Sandi Bartlett has provided Gilbert Watch with some little known provisions in SB 744. This is the so-called Immigration Reform bill that was passed by the U.S. Senate. As you read the 14 reasons why this bill is a bad idea, followed by the massive amount of pork spending that is included in it, remember that both of Arizona’s United States Senators — Republicans John McCain and Jeff Flake–were two of the architects of this bill. Did they think that nobody would bother to read it?
Did you know that the Republican Platform clearly states that we believe "it is the duty of the federal and state government to protect our citizens by securing our borders, including: 1) Completing the border fence without delay; 2) Preventing illegal drugs and weapons from being smuggled into our country; 3) Increasing the number of Border Patrol agents on Arizona’s border; 4) Protecting our children and schools from the drugs and weapons flowing over the border." See We Are Republicans!
Top Reasons Why S. 744 is a bad idea
1. Does not require any additional border fencing or the completion of our current border fencing requirements. Only requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to submit to Congress a strategy of recommendations for additional necessary fencing.
2. Does not end the abuse of prosecutorial discretion by DHS and the administration. It directs immigration agents to release illegal aliens deemed low priority.
3. Authorizes DHS to waive unlawful behavior when determining admissibility of undocumented immigrants, including: gang membership, three or more DUIs, domestic violence, child abuse, crimes of moral turpitude, drug law violations, passport trafficking, providing fraudulent immigration services, prostitution, visa violations, and all other violations not specifically listed in the bill.
4. Allows DHS to grant legal status in 6 months, prior to any measures to secure the border.
5. Voids state and local E-verify laws.
6. Prohibits immigration enforcement actions in ‘sensitive areas’ including: hospitals, schools, churches, and certain organizations.
7. Does not provide for punishment of undocumented immigrants who make false statements in a registered provisional immigrant application. Yet it creates criminal penalties and a fine up to $10,000 for federal officials who disclose information found on an application.
8. Does not require the deportation of a single undocumented immigrant. DHS is not explicitly required to deport an immigrant whose RPI application is denied.
9. Allows Secretary of DHS to exercise discretion to waive a ground of inadmissibility or deportability if the Secretary deems it to be against the public interest or a hardship to the family of the deportable individual.
10. Allows undocumented immigrants to bring class action lawsuits against the government for denial of RPI status.
11. Requires DHS to waive the public charge law when determining which immigrants are eligible for legal status.
12. Excludes three-time DUI offenders from a path to citizenship, but two-time drunk drivers would be acceptable.
13. Requires that passport forgers would no longer be prosecuted for making a single fake travel document, with the bar being set at three.
14. Requires that document counterfeiters whose materials are used to obtain passports would only be jailed if they contributed to at least 10 phony passports.
15. This bill will put border security and border agents under the control of the Office of Civil Rights of the Department of Justice. There is funding for sensitivity training of our agents to ensure they don’t ask hard questions of border jumpers. Just one example, the bill suggests agents be ordered not to ask for documentation.
Pork spending in the Senate immigration bill S.744
Ø $300 Million for La Raza and other liberal immigrants’ rights groups, which the federal government would contract to assist future U.S. citizens with applications and offer them legal advice.
Ø Schumer (NY). As introduced, S. 744 carves-out 10,500 visas annually for unskilled Irish workers under a new E-3 nonimmigrant visa program. NY has a large Irish population(Sec. 4403, p. 974)
Ø Graham (SC). As introduced, S. 744 guarantees the meat packing industry—under the animal production subsectors classification—an additional 10% percent allocation of W-nonagricultural visas on top of the yearly cap and exempts this guarantee from any future reduction in visas. The meat packing industry is one of the largest industries in South Carolina. (Sec. 4703(h), p. 1085)
Ø Leahy (VT) and Bennet (CO). As introduced, S. 744 allows ski and snowboard instructors to enter the U.S. under the 5-year nonimmigrant visa program professional athletes and performing artists use rather than the 10-month nonimmigrant visa program for seasonal workers under current law. (Sec. 4601, p. 1027)
Ø Rubio (FL). As introduced, S. 744 creates a new nonimmigrant Z visa to admit individuals who possess “specialized knowledge” to perform maintenance on airlines and cruise ships. (Sec. 4606, p. 1034) S. 744 also creates a two year grant program for individuals living along the Southern border “at greater risk of border violence” to purchase satellite telephones that can access 9-1-1 and are GPS equipped. (Sec. 1107, p. 83) TracPhone, a Florida-based company, makes these phones and S. 744 appropriates “such sums as may be necessary” to fund the grant program.
Ø Murkowski (AK) and Begich (AK). This carve-out to secure the votes of Alaska Senators Lisa Murkowski (R) and Mark Begich (D) classifies seafood processing positions in Alaska as “shortage occupations,” thus allowing the industry to bring in more cheap foreign labor to do those jobs. (Sec. 4701(d)(4), p. 1043) It also allows employers to bring in non-immigrants under a summer program to work in seafood processing positions. (Sec. 4408, p. 982)
Ø Collins (ME) and Tester (MT). This carve-out for Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Jon Tester (D-MT) eliminates a requirement that at least 90% of funding for a law-enforcement program along U.S. borders be devoted to the southwest border, freeing up more money for Northern border states. (Sec. 1104, p. 73)
Ø Sanders (VT). This carve-out for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) creates a slush “Youth Jobs Fund” for FY 2014-2015 using $1.5 billion from the U.S. Treasury. Until the kickback, Sen. Sanders was an outspoken critic of the bill for taking jobs away from Americans. He has since been silent. (Title V, p. 1169)
Ø Kirk (IL). This carve-out to gain Sen. Mark Kirk’s (R-IL) support allows a person who has served in the military and received an honorable discharge and certain combat medals to become a citizen without meeting key naturalization criteria under current law. This includes waiving the requirement an alien understand the English language, waiving the requirement the alien has knowledge and understanding of the fundamentals of the history and of the principles and form of the U.S. government, and waiving the requirement an alien is of good moral character. (Sec. 2555, p. 502)
Ø Heller (NV). Tucked away in the Corker-Hoeven (“Border Surge”) amendment is a kickback for Las Vegas hotel and casino chains. The provision at hand permanently authorizes $100,000,000 in annual funding to certain parts of the country to promote tourism under the Travel Promotion Fund, posing a win for Nevada Senators Dean Heller and Harry Reid. (Sec. 1102(f), p. 66)
Ø Hatch (UT). In addition to the H-1B deal Sen. Hatch brokered during committee negotiations, Sen. Hatch got another carve-out on the Senate floor. In the massive Corker-Hoeven amendment was language by Sen. Hatch that would preclude Social Security credits for unauthorized work. However, like so many other provisions in the bill, Hatch’s includes an exception that swallows the rule by allowing an alien to merely attest that he or she was authorized to work, opening the door for fraud and handouts. (Sec. 2107(d), p. 218)
Ø Schumer (NY). Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) obtained a carve-out to allow public universities to fire U.S. workers and replace them with H-1B nonimmigrants. (Sec. 4211(d), p. 918) The deal also exempts nonprofit education and research institutions from the higher fees and stricter requirements imposed on employers that heavily rely on H-1B workers. (Sec. 4211(f), p. 919)
Ø Leahy (VT). Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy (D-VT) obtained a carve-out to grant special treatment to Hollywood by waiving fees for artist O and P visas if applications are not processed within 14 days. (Sec. 4416, p. 995)