Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Lemme Tell 'Ya Something:


Write your useless Congressman and tell him how you feel about the Amnesty Bill.

He probably won't listen, but it might be therapeutic for you.


I wrote to my Senator, and within four hours got this response:

Thank you for contacting me regarding amnesty proposals for illegal aliens. It is good to hear from you.

Two years ago, in an attempt to address the longstanding issue of illegal aliens, President Bush proposed a new federal identification and tracking program that would allow any of America's 8-10 million illegal aliens the opportunity to apply for "temporary worker" status. If cleared through a security check, the applicant would be issued a "temporary worker" identification card for a small administrative fee and be allowed to work and live freely in the United States for a limited period of time. The card would be valid for three years and include the chance to apply for an additional three years. Cardholders would enjoy the following benefits: 1) freedom to travel between America and their home country, 2) the ability to be joined by immediate family members, 3) freedom to negotiate salary/benefits, receive training, and change jobs, 4) credit in their home country's retirement system per international agreements including American-supported tax-preferred savings accounts that can be collected upon return to their native land. Any business could hire them provided they made every "reasonable effort" to first fill the job with an American. The aliens would be required to return to their home countries upon their card's expiration.

I applauded President Bush's courage in attempting to tackle this thorny issue head on when others have shied away from the challenge. I also understand that that there is more at stake than simply more stringent border enforcement. Many aliens take on strenuous, low-paying and low-skilled jobs that help keep America 's economic engine running smoothly. That said , I had several concerns about President Bush's proposal.

The first flaw in the President's proposal rested at the very root of the matter. Illegal aliens are just that - illegal. America has long-standing immigration laws and when those laws are not consistently enforced, respect for the law as a whole is diminished. President Reagan issued a temporary blanket amnesty for illegal aliens in 1986 in the hope of remedying the problem by refocusing enforcement efforts on border control. While the tactic may have been somewhat effective in the short run, the knowledge that the federal government could easily turn around and allow illegals to stay has made border-crossers even more brazen in their attempts to enter America and stay.

The second issue was one of fairness. America has been and will continue to be a land built on the brains and backs of immigrants. We are the world's superpower primarily because of simple laws that protect property rights and individual liberty but also because of the unique perspectives and new ideas offered by people from a wide variety of backgrounds. What does it say however to the man who puts in the time and work to enter America legally in the hopes of seeking a better life when another man breaks the law by jumping to the front of the line and is then told he may stay?

The third problem relates to the enforcement issue. Even if the program were eventually to expire after 6 years, how could the federal government make sure that those aliens who have agreed to participate in the program actually return to their home countries? I find it difficult to believe that a person who broke the law to enter America and is now enjoying the fruits of his risk would willingly and happily return to his poorer life in his home country.

The final problem was the proposal to have the United States government credit other nations' retirement systems for work performed by cardholders - even going so far as to create tax-preferred savings accounts for the aliens. While this part of the plan also had few specifics, I question the fairness of promising some form of retirement benefit to alien workers when the future of Social Security is already financially insecure.

Several Congressmen have since introduced bills that would attempt to find some solution to the problem of having 10 million illegal aliens residing in America yet living outside the bounds of mainstream society. I applaud their initiative but I do not believe we can begin to solve this internal problem without first plugging the leak at our borders. Any immigration reform proposals must first address this crucial point. That said , Congress does need to find a plausible and workable long-term answer to the illegal alien problem without harming America 's economy. The President has shown courage in attempting to address this issue and I look forward to working with him and Congress to find a lasting solution.

Thank you again for contacting me regarding this important issue. Please continue to keep me informed of your concerns.

John A. Boehner

**UPDATE #2**

It would seem that Sen. Boehner thinks this bill is fit for the crapper:

"I promised the president today that I wouldn't say anything bad about ... this piece of s--- bill," Boehner said, according to a report in the National Journal's Hotline blog.

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