FAIR Responds To The Flake-Gutierrez Amnesty Show
Flake-Gutierrez Immigration Bill Amounts to a
Distinction without a Difference, Contends the Federation for American Immigration Reform
March 20, 2007
Washington DC - Recognizing that public opposition to guest worker amnesty legislation has rendered that option politically impossible, congressional supporters are now resorting to cosmetic surgery in an attempt to put a prettier face on their unpopular plan. Legislation to be introduced in the House tomorrow by Representatives Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) attempts disguise the fact that their plan grants amnesty to tens of millions of illegal aliens, by incorporating a “touchback” provision that requires people to take a pointless roundtrip to the nearest border.
The pointlessness of the exercise is recognized by Gutierrez himself, who asked rhetorically, “Is it going to sound somewhat absurd to some people? Certainly it will.” Under the legislation, once illegal aliens who arrived in the U.S. prior to June 1, 2006 complete the meaningless ritual of setting foot outside the United States, they would be immediately readmitted and set on a path toward citizenship. The legislation will also likely include the annual admission of hundreds of thousands of low-skilled “guest workers,” who would also get on the citizenship path.
“The inclusion of a so-called ‘touchback’ provision amounts to a distinction without a difference, and as Rep. Gutierrez points out, and a rather silly one at that,” observed Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “The reason the American public is up in arms about illegal immigration is not merely that millions of people entered the country without permission. Rather, it is the impact that this population has on the daily lives of the American people that is the issue. Making them take a road trip and giving them a piece of paper won’t change the impact that the millions who have come here illegally continue to have on jobs, education, health care and other areas of American life.”
FAIR also criticized the bill’s proposal for a massive new program to bring in 400,000 new unskilled workers, plus their dependent family member to the U.S. every year. “At a time when poverty in the United States is increasing, when one-sixth of our population lacks health coverage, the last thing this nation needs is new immigration policy specifically designed to import more poverty. If someone set out to design a policy to destroy the middle class in America, they could not have devised a more effective plan,” said Stein.
“This latest attempt to enact a massive guest worker amnesty amounts to putting lipstick on a pig. At the end of the day this bill still oinks,” Stein continued. “The American public has made it quite clear that they want a meaningful policy of border, interior and workplace enforcement that makes it clear to illegal aliens that they will not benefit from breaking our laws. Unfortunately, all the Flake-Gutierrez bill offers the American people is the same old amnesty proposal with a gimmick even Congressman Gutierrez can’t sell with a straight face,” concluded Stein.
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