Immigration Reform

December 16, 2005

The U.S. House on Friday passed a major immigration and border control reform package.

The highlights are as follows:

1. There is *not* any provision, whatsoever, for so-called “amnesty” of illegal workers.

2. The bill makes mandatory employer verification of Social Security numbers. It also increases civil and criminal penalties for businesses that knowingly hire or employ illegal workers.

3. It creates much stiffer penalties for smuggling aliens and for aliens who reenter after being deported.

4. It bars refugees and those seeking asylum with felony convictions from obtaining green cards.

5. It increases the authority of DHS to detain dangerous criminal aliens while deportation proceedings are ongoing.

6. It contemplates the reimbursement of local sheriffs in the counties along the southern border for their enforcement of immigration laws and their detaining of illegal aliens.

7. It funds the construction of a massive concrete fence along key portions of the U.S. – Mexico border.

The vote was as follows:

36/200 = Democrats in favor (18%).
203/220= Republicans in favor (92%).

164/200 = Democrats opposed (82%).
17/220 = Republicans opposed (8%).

Go figure.

And that roll call is in one respect misleading. Some of the “no” votes by Republicans were because those GOPs wanted even *tougher* measures included, e.g., no citizenship for children of illegals born within our borders.

The U.S. Senate takes up its version of immigration reform early next session.

With any luck, Senate Democrats will be dense enough to filibuster that bill right on through late-October of next year.

We can only hope.

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