In his Dec. 14 op-ed "Fasting for immigration reform," U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (Wis-2nd) calls himself a "proud" co-sponsor of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (H.R. 15), a carbon copy of the Senate amnesty bill (S.744) that passed in June.
He says he “stands with” hardworking immigrants and their families, but who in Congress is standing with the 20 million Americans who can’t find full-time work while the federal government permits 7 million illegals to keep their jobs in construction, manufacturing, transportation and service industries? Who is fasting on their behalf?
It is unlikely that Pocan has read H.R. 15 because if he had, he would know that what he says it does - doesn’t.
· It does not require illegal aliens to pay all back taxes, and even the authors of this bill acknowledge that (The Washington Times, May 21.) The only illegals who will pay anything is what they may owe after using the ITIN (Individual Tax Identification Number) that was originally created primarily for foreign businesspeople who are not eligible for Social Security Numbers.
· There also is no requirement for illegals to learn English; all they have to do is show that they have enrolled in a course but there is no penalty for dropping out. (Speaking of no penalties, there is none for using stolen IDs to get jobs.)
· Most disturbing, of course, is that promises of enforcement are just that - promises. Like the 1986 "one-time-only" amnesty for 3 million illegal aliens, enforcement will never materialize this time around. The only guarantees H.R. 15 offers are immediate legalization and work permits for 12 million people here illegally. Further, the bill gives the head of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) plenty of discretion in negating any of the promised enforcement measures. The word “discretion” is found more than 30 times in this bill, and that doesn’t include the more than 400 “exemptions” available to DHS. In other words, if enforcing any part of our immigration laws presents an inconvenience to illegal aliens or politcal party - voila! - it just doesn't get enforced.
· Pocan also omits the all-important fact that this bill doubles legal immigration to 2 million people a year and results in the addition of 33 million foreign workers to our labor pool in just the first 10 years. What are these people supposed to do when our creation of jobs isn’t even close to keeping up with our explosive population growth?
· Pocan says this bill requires illegals to "go back to the end of the legal immigration line." The only legitimate way to go to the back of the line requires leaving the country and applying for entry in accordance with our laws. Why would they do that when they already are at the front of the line by virtue of the fact they are holding permanent jobs and, thanks to the immoral Obama Administration, practically immune to deportation?
If Pocan is so committed to something he says is "good" for the nation, why isn't he scheduling a town hall meeting that deals exclusively with the immigration issue where he can explain in detail how H.R. 15 will benefit any of the nation's unemployed? Let him defend his apparent belief that illegal aliens are more deserving of regular paychecks than millions of his fellow citizens because that is exactly what he is saying.
When sworn in, new members of Congress pledge to “defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic . . . .” Ironically, Pocan and those who co-sponsored H.R. 15, including Ron Kind (3rd) and Gwen Moore (4th), fall into the latter category of those dedicated to the destruction of those prinicples on which this country was founded.