Amnesty Bill’s Lack of Border Security
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: The Senate has rushed this entire bill, and now the newest amendment, the Hoeven-Corker amendment (which is almost 1,200 pages long) will receive a vote to end discussion only 40 hours after it was first dropped.
- 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.
- The Hoeven-Corker amendment gives the Secretary of Homeland Security the unilateral discretion to ignore border security provisions.
- 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. The latest amendment, the Hoeven-Corker amendment has not been evaluated for its impact on the deficit.
II. THE HOEVEN-CORKER AMENDMENT TO S.744 LACKS MEANINGFUL MEASURES TO SECURE THE BORDER (SPECIFIC WEEKLY TALKING POINTS)
- Amnesty now; border security never: The Corker-Hoeven amendment, like the entire S.744, is an amnesty bill that has zero real border security enhancements.
- 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.
- Will not curb illegal immigration in the future: The Corker-Hoeven amendment will not reduce illegal immigration in the future, and, in fact, the authors of the amendment are not even making that promise because they know their amendment will not reduce illegal immigration in any way.
- Unaffordable and not results-driven: The Corker-Hoeven amendment throws a great deal of money at the border, but lacks any serious metrics to ensure that the money will produce results.
- Does not reduce illegal overstays: Approximately 40% of illegal immigrants came here legally but overstayed their visas. This amendment does nothing to correct that problem.
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.)