Congress

Congressman Cotton explains the catastrophic pitfalls of S744

If Congress would simply take their eyes off the next election for a moment, they might learn something invaluable from Congressman Tom Cotton in his recent letter to the editor published in the "There Shall Be Open Borders" Wall Street Journal. The immigration legislation Congress is pondering will change our country forever and in ways that will be detrimental to the country forevermore.

The importance of this legislation demands and deserves thoughtful consideration and even more importantly it deserves a NO vote.

Call and thank Congressman Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) for his strong stand. You can call him at his Washington DC office (202) 225-3772.

Ray Stevens has some fun in 'Come to the USA' video

If you want a good laugh, take a moment to watch this funny YouTube video.  We need to remember to laugh sometimes!

Watch Ray Stevens video here.
 

Eye-popping billboard zings famous Republican

A brand-new Georgia billboard proclaiming South Carolina’s alleged affinity for illegal aliens is raising eyebrows this week.

The sign, posted in Canton, Ga., declares: “South Carolina welcomes the undocumented. Sen. Lindsey Graham says his state has a labor shortage and wants more immigrants. For job tips, call his office at (864) 646-4090. Located in Pendleton, S.C. Only 2 hours from Atlanta!”

Sen. Graham, R-S.C., sits on a bipartisan committee that just passed a sweeping immigration-reform bill.

“These people must have been off the planet for the last five years,” said D.A. King, an immigration activist with the Dustin Inman Society who paid for the billboard. “We don’t need more workers. We need more jobs.”

King blasted the immigration bill, claiming illegal aliens will have an easier time getting jobs in the U.S., while making it more difficult for American citizens to find or hold onto employment.

“I think unemployed Georgians are already kicking and screaming,” King told WGCL-TV, the CBS affiliate in Atlanta.

“If you want an answer, go to the unemployment office and ask someone in line if they think adding 20 million more workers to the American workforce in the next several years is a good idea.”

The CBS station went to the Cobb-Cherokee Department of Labor office, and found that most people did not wish to comment on immigration, but did say they were desperate for work.

“With less income coming in, I have two kids to take care of, a husband and a household so it’ll be a struggle,” said Tangela Roach, who recently lost the second part-time job she had.

“I’m very concerned,” said Brooke Daugherty. “I’m a single parent. I’m very concerned to find a job immediately.”

King is hoping his billboard brings national attention to immigration reform and the negative impact it could have.

“Most of us want our borders enforced, our laws enforced and our jobs back,” King said.

King’s activist group was named for Dustin Inman, a 16-year-old American boy killed by an illegal alien in a traffic crash on Father’s Day weekend in 2000.

Dustin was on his way to a weekend of fishing in the North Georgia mountains with his parents.

Despite being in the U.S. illegally, the driver of the car that killed Dustin, Gonzalo Harrell-Gonzalez, was able to obtain a valid North Carolina driver’s license using his Mexican birth certificate and a Mexican Matricula Consular ID card.


Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2013/07/billboard-has-eye-popping-message-on-illegals/#97j4e6KUmqKZxMxD.99

Boehner Aims to Move Immigration by Capitalizing on a Conservative Rift

John Boehner wants immigration reform to pass. To get it done, the House speaker will have to capitalize on the widening gap among conservatives, and he’s preparing the groundwork to do it.

The rare split inside the conservative wing of Boehner’s Republican conference offers him an uncommon opportunity to bring a bill to the floor without facing an insurrection among his members. It also means convincing enough conservatives that passing some immigration measure won’t be preamble to the Senate using compromise negotiations to jam a more liberal version down the House’s throat.

As a senior GOP leadership aide put it, “Our conference is all over the place. Our goal here is to try and find that little slice of land where we can walk through and we’re not crucified on either side.”

Republicans on and off the Hill say Boehner, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy all want to do something on immigration. Boehner “really wants to get that done but he has to be real quiet about it because if he puts his name on it and his brand on it, like he did with the big (fiscal-cliff) deal, then it’s probably going to die under its own weight,” a former GOP leadership aide said.

So House leaders have been meeting privately with members, making the case that inaction on immigration will be more costly than doing something. Weeks into the debate, it remains a hard sell among reform opponents, particularly members who do not want to offer citizenship to people here illegally. They worry that any House legislation—such as a tough border-security bill most of them are after—will ultimately be watered down in negotiations with the Senate.

“What will have to happen, and is happening in private discussions, is that we have to convince these guys if we’re going to go to conference, we’re not going to cave on our principles,” a senior House GOP aide said. “That is the sales job you have to make to those guys.”

But it’s a hard argument to win—and not only because Republicans don’t think Democrats have much incentive to accept anything other than the Senate bill.

Plaguing House leadership is a fear among conservatives that immigration reform could be one of those few pieces of legislation that Boehner might value enough to bring to the floor knowing it would pass even though it fails to get the majority of House Republicans to back it.

“This is one of those issues where they may only get 80 to 100 Republicans to vote for it on the House floor, but there won’t be the huge internal backlash,” the former aide said. “And that gives (leadership) some room to maneuver and they have some conservative cover. They have (Sen. Marco) Rubio and (Rep. Raul) Labrador,” who are two key conservative Republicans pushing reform.

Some in leadership scoff at the notion of bringing anything to the floor without majority Republican support. “I just can’t see that happening,” a House GOP leadership aide said.

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said, “Our goal is always to pass legislation with strong Republican support consistent with our principles.”

A number of influential congressional Republicans believe that giving the 11 million people living in the country illegally a path to citizenship opens up a new pool of voters who share the GOP’s entrepreneurial, family, and religious values.

“There’s no reason why these people can’t be our voters except for the fact that you have (GOP Rep.) Steve King out there talking about electrifying our border fence,” the senior GOP aide said.

But before that happens, Republican leaders need to convert more skeptical lawmakers into believers.

Nevada district embodies GOP's immigration dilemma

LAS VEGAS — On the flight home from Washington last week for the Fourth of July recess, Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., read all 1,200 pages of immigration reform that had just passed the Senate.

It is a document that probably has no political future in the GOP-controlled House, but Heck may be a prime example of why House Republicans will be forced to grapple with immigration in the next few months, despite deep opposition within their caucus and their party.

Heck's district begins just south of the glitzy hotels and casinos on the Vegas Strip and stretches into the neighboring suburbs teeming with Latino and Asian immigrants, who work at the same hotels and casinos. Those immigrant employees comprise about a quarter of the district's voters and last year they mostly backed President Barack Obama, in part because of his support for immigration reform that is embodied in the recently approved Senate bill.

But the conservative Republican voters who secured Heck's re-election last year oppose any legislation that would give a pass to immigrants living in the United States illegally, especially because of Nevada's persistently high unemployment rate.

This is an immigration crossroads, where demographics and ideology collide, and Heck may have some special responsibility to persuade his GOP colleagues to take action on the issue.

He said that those Republicans who oppose a House debate "have to understand that for those of us who represent districts that have a large foreign population, this is not a Mexican issue, this is not a Hispanic issue. This is an issue about a broken legal immigration system. They've got to understand that we've got to address this broken immigration system or, quite honestly, we maintain the status quo and we continue to see a growing illegal population."

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said that on immigration, he will hold votes only on bills backed by a majority of House Republicans, which disqualifies the Senate measure Heck spent so much time with last week.

"Like any 1,198-page bill, there are some good things in there, there are some bad things in there," he said in an interview. "I hope that when those provisions are addressed in the House that we have the opportunity to tighten up the areas that need to be tightened."

Among the things in the Senate bill that Heck wants to change are making it a requirement that hundreds of miles of new border fencing be built and more agents be deployed to help eliminate illegal border crossings before any illegal immigrant is given a chance to start the process of becoming a U.S. citizen.

And he wants to toughen the education requirements for the children of illegal immigrants seeking citizenship.

Heck held a town hall meeting at a library auditorium here Tuesday night. About 80 people attended, and of the 15 questions he took, 10 were about immigration.

"Let's face it, we have a broken legal immigration system," he told the crowd at one point.

"No, we don't," one man shouted.

"Yes, we do," Heck shot back.

"You're just not enforcing the law," the man replied.

But Heck pressed on: "We do an awful lot of legal immigrant visa casework in my office. And we have folks that have been in the queue waiting for a visa to bring their spouse from the Philippines for 15 years."

"I think it's ridiculous," he added as others shouted at him. "As the grandson of Italian immigrants who came through Ellis Island . . ."

A woman cut him off, saying, "But they didn't come illegally."

"I understand that," Heck said. "And that's because they didn't have to wait 15 years back in Italy. It's not easy, but it's something we have to address."

Later, a younger woman in the back of the room put Heck on the spot: Would he vote for the Senate bill if it ever earned a vote in the House?

He wavered at first, then said, "If it was brought up in the House, there would be an opportunity to amend it."

But the woman pressed him again.

"As it's currently written, I would vote no," he said.

Knowing he couldn't please everyone, Heck remained hopeful.

"There are just some fundamental differences between certain individuals and party ideology," he told the crowd. "There will always be those divisions. But there's always the opportunity to come together, as we've seen in the House and in the Senate, to pass bills that everybody can get behind."

Heck is also facing considerable pressure from national Democrats who are pushing him to support immigration reform modeled on the Senate bill that most Republicans consider unacceptable.

Among Heck's constituents is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., whose home town of Searchlight sits in the southern part of the Republican's district. Reid held a rally Monday just off the Strip to celebrate the Senate measure's passage and to urge House Republicans to support it.

"We're a long ways from finished, we're only halfway done. But what a good halfway this is," Reid told hundreds who were packed into the local headquarters of the Culinary Workers Union. He urged the crowd to call GOP lawmakers such as Heck and "tell them that Speaker Boehner cannot stand in the way of what the American people want and are going to demand."

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is airing Spanish-language radio ads here that criticize Heck's recent vote for a plan that would force the Department of Homeland Security to resume deporting the children of illegal immigrants. Similar ads are airing in 22 other House districts, in California, Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, New York and Pennsylvania, that are represented by Republicans who narrowly won re-election or have many Latino voters.

"Voting on immigration reform by itself may not win or lose a specific congressional district," DCCC Chairman Steve Israel, D-N.Y., said in an interview. "On the other hand, yet another failure by Republicans to find a compromise and solve a problem could win or lose the House. So this fits into a general narrative of whether Republicans like Joe Heck and others choose to pander to their right-wing base, or listen to the concerns of moderates and independents who expect some compromise."

Heck dismisses the push from Democrats.

"I'm not the speaker, I'm not the majority leader, I'm not a committee chairman. You can pressure me as much as you want, but I'm not the one that decides what gets a vote on the House floor," he said.

But some voters say that where Heck ends up on immigration will determine whether they support him for re-election in 2014.

Bob Yeary, a retired school teacher from Las Vegas, was one of the voters shouting at the lawmaker Tuesday night when he suggested that the immigration system is broken.

"He's in a tough position," Yeary said, adding later that Republicans will face severe electoral consequences if they support a significant immigration overhaul. "The GOP will be destroyed if we let 40 million, 50 million immigrants in at this time," he said.

Then there's Otto Merida, who leads the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce and is a registered Republican. He meets regularly with Heck, and often tells him "that immigration is something that will determine how we vote for you in the next election. This is very important to us," he said. "And if you don't do it, unfortunately I'll have to vote against you and campaign against you, even though I like you. This is the right thing to do and we need to do it right now."

Astrid Silva, 25, has emerged as a prominent spokeswoman for immigrant advocates in southern Nevada. She crossed the Rio Grande with her family from Mexico as a 4-year-old girl and eventually settled in Las Vegas. She has spoken with Heck about immigration reform five times in recent months.

"We know that Heck understands our issues. He's been evolving on it," Silva said.

But she's ready and willing to campaign against Heck if he doesn't vote the way she wants.

"We've waited decades for this and I do think that we have momentum right now," she said. "If Congress takes much longer on it, we won't lose the momentum, but we will get very impatient


 

Loopholes mean amnesty before border security

There are significant unreported loopholes and exceptions in the immigration-reform bill that could allow illegal immigrants to achieve permanent status before the border security portions of the legislation are executed, WND has learned.

One of the key selling points repeatedly cited by the bill’s “Gang of Eight” sponsors has been that illegal aliens will not be eligible for permanency until after the border-security provisions of the legislation are implemented.

However, a WND review of the latest text of the bill, with the new Republican “border surge” amendment included, finds multiple possibilities for full immigration reform before the required border arrangements are in place.

Further, even the new border amendment leaves the possibility of gaps in the proposed pedestrian fence to be constructed along the border with Mexico.

The updated bill calls for over $40 billion in new border security provisions, including the stationing of 38,405 U.S. Border Patrol agents along the southern border as well as the construction of a 700-mile pedestrian fence along the 1,954 mile border.

The new Republican amendment to the bill contains a laundry list of new surveillance equipment to be installed, from cameras to seismic instruments, plus the construction of new integrated watch towers.

However, the bill contains language that would allow illegal aliens to achieve permanent status after 10 years before any or all of the new border security requirements are fulfilled.

The bill specifically states the “Secretary shall permit registered provisional immigrants to apply for an adjustment to lawful permanent resident status” after 10 years following the bill’s passage if litigation or a force majeure have prevented the fulfillment of the border security requirements, the implementation of a work visa program or electronic exit system.

Further, illegal immigrants can receive permanent resident status if the border requirements, the work visa program or the new electronic exit system has been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

In one of many possible future scenarios, if claims are brought to district courts that tie up construction of the border fence, illegal aliens still can achieve permanent status after 10 years.

In another scenario, the Supreme Court can declare surveillance techniques or any of the border control methods required by the bill to be unconstitutional, and illegal aliens could still become permanent residents.

Further, there seem to be loopholes in the requirements for the 700-mile border fence.

A new border security strategy committee will determine the route of the fence.

According to the text of the bill, the fence is to be built on “nontribal” lands, meaning lands owned by Indian tribes may not require a fence.

There seems to also be loopholes if any sections of the fence interfere with the environment, culture, commerce or quality of life of local residents.

States the bill: “In implementing the Southern Border Fencing Strategy required by this subsection, the Secretary shall consult with the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, States, local governments, Indian tribes, and property owners in the United States to minimize the impact on the environment, culture, commerce, and quality of life for the communities and residents located near the sites at which such fencing is to be constructed.”
 

House leaders vow to overhaul, replace Senate immigration bill despite Dem pressure

House Republicans insisted Sunday that they plan to change key elements of the Senate-passed immigration bill, signaling a protracted and rocky battle ahead despite one Democrat's pronouncement that in the end the House will cave and pass the Senate bill anyway.

Republican Rep. Bob Goodlatte, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee who is playing a major role in the chamber's consideration of immigration policy, on Sunday addressed what is perhaps at the heart of the impasse.

He said the House, which is drafting its own plan, cannot agree to a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Rather, he wants a "pathway to legalization" -- in other words, allow some illegal immigrants a shot at a green card, but not full-fledged citizenship.

The pathway to citizenship, though, is a cornerstone of the Senate-passed bill, and any Democrat-backed plan. Increased border security, better enforcement of businesses and an expansion of the legal immigration system make up the rest of the bill.

Putting the issue in stark terms, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., told "Fox News Sunday" that if Republicans strip the pathway to citizenship, "no Democrat" would support it.

The confrontation over the pathway to citizenship and other planks of the bill could continue to frustrate lawmakers on both sides, and in both chambers, as they try to sustain the momentum from this past week's Senate vote.

The bill passed Thursday with a strong majority of 68 senators voting in favor. Schumer cited the bipartisan support for the bill, as well as the motive of political survival, in claiming that House Speaker John Boehner would ultimately be compelled to pass it.

"I believe that by the end of this year, the House will pass the Senate bill," Schumer said.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, speaking on NBC's "Meet the Press," also suggested that Republicans' desire to "win a presidential race" would guide them toward supporting some version of the legislation.

But what's in store for the bill might not be so clear. And there is no easy resolution to the stand-off over the proposed pathway to citizenship.

House Republicans, in the near-term, are approaching the immigration overhaul in a piecemeal fashion, tackling a series of smaller-scale bills meant to address what the Senate covered in one massive piece of legislation.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., also speaking on "Fox News Sunday," rejected Schumer's prediction.

"I was moved almost to the point of tears by Senator Schumer's concern for the future prospects of the Republican Party," Gowdy said, sarcastically. "But we're going to not take his advice."

He added: "The Senate bill is not going to pass in the House. It's not going to pass for myriad reasons."

He, like other House Republicans, questioned Senate promises that their bill would offer legalization to illegal immigrants in the near-term while eventually building border security and immigration enforcement for employers.

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel also told FoxNews.com that the speaker and his caucus have been "perfectly clear" on their intentions.

"The House will not simply take up and pass the Senate bill," he said in an email. "Our legislation will reflect our principles, particularly on border security. Wishful thinking, frankly, is not a strategy for getting a bill to the president's desk."

Schumer methodically made his case Sunday for why he thinks Boehner will, in the end, bring the Senate bill to the floor.

Aside from citing the various political pressures weighing on the speaker, Schumer said the strategy of passing smaller-scale bills would not work. He said, for instance, that Democrats would not support an enforcement bill without the promise of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Factor in Republicans who refuse to support any immigration bill, Schumer said, and those bills cannot pass.

He claimed Boehner would ultimately be left with a choice between doing nothing and bringing the Senate bill to a vote, relying largely on Democrats to pass it.

Goodlatte, though, insisted that Republicans would take a "step-by-step" approach.

Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union," he said "we want to see enforcement improved and actually enforced, and we want to find the appropriate legal status for people who are not here lawfully."

Asked about his opposition to the pathway to citizenship, he explained he didn't want a "special pathway to citizenship, where people who are here unlawfully get something that people who have worked for decades to immigrate lawfully do not have."

Take a day off

If you have been repeatedly calling, emailing, FAXING and visiting your Congressmen regarding S. 744, I salute you and you have my respect and admiration. 

Calls in opposition to the bill were coming in 15 to 1.  We've done a good job. 

But, if I were queen for a day, I would encourage everyone to take a day off from all this strife and turmoil. 

Take a breather to recharge your resolve to power through.  Play outside, go to the beach, hug your family, start your Christmas shopping.  Do anything except being an activist.

We will have our work cut out for us when the bill hits the House side.  But, as queen for a day, I grant you the day off to play!
 

Call now - as if the future of our country depends upon it

Alert date: 
June 24, 2013
Alert body: 

Please continue to call Congress and urge Senators to VOTE NO on S. 744, a monstrous disaster in the making.

The Senate just voted 67-27 to limit debate and amendments on the Corker-Hoeven amendment to the S. 744 amnesty bill.

That means the 1,100+ page bill as amended by 119 pages of amendments today can come to a vote as early as Wednesday morning. The final cloture vote (requiring 60 votes) on the whole bill could be as early as Thursday morning.

We recommend that you sign up with NumbersUSA for free faxing to Congress and to receive alerts on immigration bills before Congress. http://www.numbersusa.com.

NumbersUSA and FAIR are both doing great work in leading the opposition to bad immigration bills in Congress.

Congressional switch-board numbers: (202) 224-3132 or Toll free (866) 220-0044

Call, call, call....as if the future of our country depends upon it...because it does!

Shocking New Loopholes Snuck Into Amended Immigration Bill

“Today, the Schumer-Corker-Hoeven rescue amendment was dropped on the Senate floor. Members and Staff have only until Monday afternoon to read through the 1,187 pages of this modified proposal...Already, in a short time, we have identified grave and deep flaws in the modified bill – both in terms of failure to live up to new promises made as well as some shocking changes that actually further weaken the underlying bill. The special interests who wrote these provisions know exactly what they do and designed them not to work – but I fear some of the Senators who sponsored this amendment have no idea they’re even there… These are undoubtedly only some of the new flaws that will be uncovered in the proposal”

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement about the Schumer-Corker-Hoeven Gang of Eight substitute amendment:

“When the Gang of Eight first introduced their plan, they made a series of promises about their proposal. Each of those was subsequently proven to be false. Today, the Schumer-Corker-Hoeven rescue amendment was dropped on the Senate floor. Members and staff have only until Monday afternoon to read through the 1,187 pages of this modified proposal. Already, in a short time, we have identified grave and deep flaws in the modified bill – both in terms of failure to live up to new promises made as well as some shocking changes that actually further weaken the underlying bill. The special interests who wrote these provisions know exactly what they do and designed them not to work – but I fear some of the Senators who sponsored this amendment have no idea they’re even there:

--The Schumer-Corker-Hoeven amendment doesn’t change the bill’s amnesty first framework. Instead it goes even further and creates an automatic amnesty for future illegal aliens. Section 2302 says if you overstay your visa in the future you can still apply for a green card and become a citizen. It is permanent lawlessness. Joined with existing language that restricts future enforcement, it guarantees unending illegal immigration.

--Contrary to their rhetoric there is no border surge. The Secretary doesn’t even have to start hiring new border patrol agents until 2017, and the amendment only gives her until 2021 to increase the number by 20,000. According to the National Association of Former Border Patrol Agents, this hiring process could take up to 20 years. Much like the 2006 law requiring a 700-mile border fence, it’s never going to be happen.

--To raise money, the amendment increases fees on visas for legal immigrants, but keeps the same low fees and fines for those applying for amnesty – favoring illegal over legal immigrants. Under the 2007 comprehensive immigration bill, amnesty applicants had to pay up to $8,000 – vastly more than the fines in the current plan which total only $2,000 and are subject to numerous waivers. The Gang has repeatedly claimed their bill is completely paid for by fees. However, under the Schumer-Corker-Hoeven amendment, the American taxpayers are on the hook for $38 billion.

These are undoubtedly only some of the new flaws that will be uncovered in the proposal. And the largely unchanged original bill retains its scores of many flaws including: amnesty first, legalization for criminal aliens, decimated interior enforcement, and a massive increase in low-skill legal immigration.

The Gang of Eight’s proposal – modified or not – still guarantees three things: amnesty, lower wages, and higher unemployment.”

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) serves on four Senate committees: Armed Services, Judiciary, Environment and Public Works, and as Ranking Member of the Budget Committee. Visit Sessions online at his website or via YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Note: Please do not reply to this email. For further information, contact Sen. Sessions Press Office at (202) 224-4124.

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