Read the Amnesty Bill
I. THE PROCESS IS BROKEN (GENERAL WEEKLY TALKING POINTS)
- 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. 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 VOTE ON AMNESTY BILL IS SCHEDULED BEFORE 4TH OF JULY
- Obamacare taught us how dangerous it is to pass a bill and then “find out what’s in it,” as then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi expressed it.
- The Senate amnesty bill, S. 744, is more than 1,000 pages. If they are honest, most Senators will admit that they have not read the bill in its entirety yet.
- The Senators supporting this bill have repeatedly said the bill contains strict border security measures. If they had read the bill, they would know that the bill lacks meaningful border security measures and merely suggests that the DHS Secretary submit a proposal for securing the plan.
- The Senators supporting this amnesty bill have also repeatedly said that the bill would require anyone who receives amnesty to pay 100% of their back taxes. If they had actually read the bill, they would know that the bill only requires that tax liabilities on the books be collected. In other words, anyone who worked “under the table” or “off the books” while here illegally would not be required to pay any back taxes. Furthermore, the Secretary of DHS would have total discretion over who would be required to pay any taxes. As this bill is written, she has total waiver discretion.
- As taxpayers, we expect Members of Congress to represent us, and a big part of representing us means not voting for legislation in excess of 1,000 pages that no one has bothered to read.
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.)