Joe draws attention to yesterday's speech on the Senate floor by Senator Sessions of Alabama. It is a remarkable document (and Joe has appended it to his comment). Sessions, and his staff - to whom he gives credit - really understand this issue (and I speak as a hardened veteran of the Immigration Policy Wars). Every immigration skeptic will learn something by reading it, particularly of course about the current bill.
In particular, Sessions has grasped a great truth: the "Temporary Guest Worker" concept as the bill designs it is an utter fraud.
Under this bill, under that rubric of big print language, "Nonimmigrant Visa Reform, Subsection A, Temporary Guest Workers'"?what it really says is if you come into this country under this work visa you get to convert your status to a green card holder—a legal permanent resident that can then become a citizen. Somebody said last night: Why are people afraid to discuss this issue? I say to the supporters of the bill: Why are you afraid to tell the truth about your bill? Why do you title the section one thing and then write it to actually do another?There is a great deal more which deserves publicity. I note in particular that Sessions is aware that the conventional estimate of the number of illegals present in America could quite easily be too low:
Why are you putting in here "temporary guest workers'" when there is nothing "temporary'" or "guest'" about them. Why? Are they afraid the American people will find out what is really in that provision which would have brought in, had it not been amended by Senator Bingaman, perhaps 130 million new people into the country permanently? What kind of temporary program is that?
How does it work? This is the way it works: You come in, get a job; you come in under this guest worker proposal, and within the first day you arrive, your employer can seek a green card for you. If you qualify—and most will—then that green card will be issued, and you are then a legal permanent resident. You are a legal permanent resident within weeks or months of entry into the country, and within 5 years of being a legal permanent resident and having a green card, you can apply for citizenship. If you know a little English and don't get arrested and convicted of a felony, you will be made a citizen by right under that provision. So it is not a temporary guest worker program. We need one in the bill. It is not there
I am not talking about the other 11 to 20 million illegal aliens who may claim amnesty under this bill.Pro- Amnesty forces prefer to use the lower number, but it is questionable. AND WE SHOULD KNOW BEFORE OFFERING AMNESTY!
The Senate is writing a blank check, drawn on the American people.
He also seems to understand the political dynamic at work here:
In fact, if you read the bill, you will discover there has been a studied and carefully carried out plan to conceal how many people will come in under the temporary guest worker programs when, in fact, what they mislabel as a temporary program is in fact a permanent worker program that leads on a direct path to citizenship in fairly short order.Up until now, the supineness of the Senate has been appalling. But terrible times bring forward great men, sometimes from humiliating obscurity.
We have an agreement here struck between the Chamber of Commerce and some political activist groups to move this bill through, and they are not concerned sufficiently about the interests of decent American citizens who may not have the highest skills..
In terms of lawfulness, decency, morality, and the national interest, the American people are head and shoulders above the Members of Congress who are asserting and pushing this flawed legislation. A huge majority of the American people have been right on this issue for decades. It is the executive branch and the Congress that have been derelict in their most solemn duties. If the American people had been listened to and not been stiff-armed by an arrogant elitist bureaucracy and political class, we wouldn't have 11 million to 20 million people in our country illegally today.