Printed letters, November 5, 2013

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Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

While Joseph Luff’s letter (“Enforce Simpson-Mazzoli bill to reform immigration”) rightly questions whether Congress has learned appropriate lessons from the failed attempt at immigration reform in 1986, he incorrectly implies that neither S.744 (“The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013”
—crafted by the “Gang of Eight” and already passed by the Senate on a bipartisan vote)
nor H.R. 15 (the same-titled House version currently languishing in committee) does so.

Rather, both versions incorporate Simpson-Mazzoli’s “three promises” and include added provisions to both fully effectuate those promises and create an enforceable regime for permitting increased numbers of both agricultural workers and highly skilled foreigners to legally enter and at least temporarily remain in the U.S.

Both bills provide for interim “legalization” of undocumented immigrants who register, satisfy stringent eligibility requirements, and pay a $1000 fine – thereby self-sorting worthy potential citizens from those subject to deportation.

Because the 1986 “reform” failed due to lack of political will to enforce legal sanctions against scofflaw employers who hired undocumented immigrants, both bills provide for mandatory use of “E-Verify” by employers – a technology not yet available in 1986.

Both bills provide for a 13-year “pathway to citizenship” which cannot even begin until border security meets objective statutory benchmarks and “E-Verify” is fully deployed – precisely what Luff demands.  S.744 would spend $46.3 billion on enhanced border security (because the Corker-Hoeven “border surge” amendment doubles the Border Patrol); H.R.15 would spend “only” $8.3 billion (the Senate’s original number).

Thus, Luff’s pejorative use of the term “amnesty” is “dubious at best”, and his effort to discredit the bipartisan CBO (not created until 1976) – using 1967 Medicare projections is “laughable”. 

Meanwhile, as the Sentinel has aptly opined, the current immigration “system” remains “broken” and is costing billions in futile enforcement expenses and lost revenue.

Alden Savoca’s letter (“After caving to Democrats, Tipton should lose in 2014”) aptly portrays the predictable perils encountered by Scott (“Tea Party”) Tipton as he cynically defends fundamentally incompatible public policy positions—pandering to uninformed extremists like Savoca, while pretending to be attuned to the rest of his constituency’s interests, and thereby inadequately “representing” both.

Savoca was seemingly misled by one “palisade peach farmer’s” objection to an expanded
guest-worker program, not appreciating that other local agriculturalists support that facet of “comprehensive immigration reform”.  While Tipton would “cherry-pick” only locally popular provisions (likely gaining nothing), the reform bills give locals what they need.

Savoca also misunderstands that, first, the best time to implement proposed reforms is when domestic unemployment is high and illegal border-crossings are “net zero” (after one million deportations per year).  Second, both the Senate and House versions amply protect American jobs – requiring prospective employers to advertise locally and certify the non-availability of American workers willing to fill those jobs.

Ironically, Savoca excoriates Tipton for “caving to Democrats” – when that’s not what happened.  Rather, knowing that they didn’t have the votes in the Senate and deluding themselves that the adverse impacts of a government shutdown (not to mention defaulting on the debt ceiling) would not redound to their discredit, House Repugnicans undertook a “fool’s errand” (beginning in March 2013) and mindlessly inflicted some $24+ billion in economic damages on the country before “caving” to the reality of their craven ideology.

Moreover, it is not President Obama’s “irresponsible approach to our out-of-control fiscal issues” that’s the real problem.  Rather, our fiscal issues are only “out-of-control” (if at all) because Repugnicans remain determined to make matters worse and obstruct every sensible approach to dealing with annual deficits and rising debt.

Tipton has thus proven that “he’s not to be trusted”.

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