I. THE PROCESS IS BROKEN (GENERAL WEEKLY TALKING POINTS)
- Security First: The first step for any immigration legislation under consideration MUSTbe 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. We cannot afford another broken promise on border security.
- 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. We need more than empty promises and superficial explanation from the Senate sponsors.
- 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 amnesty bill gives too much discretion and power to an unelected official (the Secretary of Homeland Security) and also creates an unmanageable bureaucracy. In early May, the IRS admitted that some of its agents had harassed tax-exempt organizations, including tea party groups. That incident is a reminder of why we need more control over the Executive Branch and unelected government officials.
- Fiscal Responsibility: We do not yet know the true cost of this legislation, but estimates from Sen. Sessions’ Budget Committee staffers and from the Heritage Foundation indicate that the 10-year cost could be around 6.3 trillion dollars.
II. THE SENATE AMNESTY BILL LACKS MEANINGFUL MEASURES TO SECURE THE BORDER (SPECIFIC WEEKLY TALKING POINTS)
- The Fence: The Senators pushing this amnesty bill continue to promise that we will have a fence on the southern border. In reality, the Senate’s amnesty bill contains no true requirement to build even one foot of the fence.
- Border Security: S. 744 does not secure the border or strengthen national security in any way. The bill would grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants before ever implementing any border security measures.
- No additional border patrol agents: S.744 does not add any additional Border Patrol agents to patrol the vast land areas between ports of entry.
- Gives too much discretion to bureaucrats: S.744 leaves in place policies that direct immigration agents to release illegal immigrants the Administration deems “low priority.”
- Opposition from Border Patrol Agents: The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Union and USCIS both strongly oppose this bill because the border would not be secured.
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.”
- The current immigration bill, much like Obamacare, is a hefty piece of legislation that will have permanent, detrimental ramifications. At almost 900 pages, this amnesty bill is far too complex for the Senate to be rushing to pass it. We need time to analyze the bill and ask questions.
- The Senate amnesty 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.)