I. THE PROCESS IS BROKEN (GENERAL WEEKLY TALKING POINTS)
- Too Rushed: Congress needs more time to read and review the bill. We also need more hearings and opportunities for feedback to improve the current legislation.
- Lack of Transparency: This bill is another “behind-closed-doors” piece of legislation that was written by special-interest lobbying groups.
- Lack of Accountability: This bill gives too much discretion and power to an unelected official (the Secretary of Homeland Security) and also creates an unmanageable bureaucracy.
- Security First: The first step for any immigration legislation under consideration MUST be national security. We have heard over and over that Congress is going to get serious about securing the border and that must be a top priority for any immigration legislation.
- Fiscal Responsibility: We do not yet know the true cost of this legislation or if it will add to the federal debt. More time is needed to examine the short- and long-term implications for the economy.
II. THE HEARING WAS A SHAM (SPECIFIC WEEKLY TALKING POINTS)
- Congress has a Constitutional duty to provide oversight and to thoroughly analyze any piece of legislation before taking a vote on it. Extensive hearings should be held for significant pieces of legislation. When the Senate considered the Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1982, the Judiciary Committee conducted 100 hours of hearings with 300 witnesses before marking up a bill.
- In the case of this immigration bill, the Senate Judiciary Committee has provided only the most cursory hearings. Several of the expert witnesses received a copy of the almost 900-page bill less than 24 hours before the April 22nd committee hearing.
- A bill of this length requires careful and thorough analysis, yet the Committee leadership allowed such a short period for questions and answers that there was no in-depth discussion about the content of the bill.
III. ANOTHER TRAIN WRECK (OVERALL THEME POINTS)
- When Congress rammed through ObamaCare in 2010, opponents correctly pointed out that there had been insufficient time to analyze the bill.
- In April, Senator Baucus, one of the original authors of the ObamaCare legislation, admitted that ObamaCare is going to be a “train wreck” and that it will be impossible to implement.
- The current immigration bill, much like ObamaCare, is a hefty piece of legislation that will be nearly impossible for the government to implement.
- The current immigration bill will prove to be just as much of a “train wreck” as ObamaCare because Congress is repeating the same mistakes (i.e. passing it before we know what’s in it.)