Last week Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Larry "foot tapping" Craig attached an AgJobs type amnesty amendment to the Iraq War Funding Bill that would grant a 5 year amnesty to more than 1.3 million illegal aliens. This was done in the dead of night in hopes that nobody would notice.
This bill is now scheduled to head to the floor and the amendment must be stopped!
Included in this gem is that the illegal alien and their spouse and children all receive amnesty and can come and go across the border at will. Also of note is that if they are granted this status they are forgiven for being an illegal alien and any past illegal entries into this country are forgiven. In addition it states that they will not in general be eligible for Federal aid. The "in general" part will certainly be ignored once they have their legal identification.
Also included and of note is the portion on how they will prove they are eligible and residing in this country. They add this funny little line “Such other reliable documentation as the alien may provide”. Surely no illegal alien who has already broken our laws and worked using fraudulent documents will provide fraudulent residency proof documents as well? I mean these are fine upstanding people who would never break one of our laws.
Also included is that DHS can waive at will anything that would make the illegal alien ineligible. This includes “humanitarian purposes, to ensure family unity, or if otherwise in the public interest.”. Family unity. So if you came here illegally and got married or had a child then you get to stay here under this program. As for the stupid illegal alien who didn't have some kids or get married because he knew he could be deported at any time, too bad sucker!
As for Social Security fraud and identity fraud committed by any of these illegal aliens... well they get an amnesty for that too. No charges will be filed against them and they'll get their legal status. After all identity fraud is a "victimless crime" (right IRS? Oh wait you DO want those extra taxes you say I owe since I had 5 full time jobs in 4 different states last year)
You need to call your Senators today and tell them to strip out this Feinstein-Craig amendment that grants amnesty to illegal aliens. It was disgracefully attached to a war spending bill for Pete's sake. Totally inappropriate and one of the reasons that Americans hate members of Congress.
Capitol Senate Switchboard
Below is a summary of the amendment as provided by FAIR
Title I: Emergency Agricultural Workers
Overview. In general, Section 101 of the Feinstein Amendment grants amnesty to illegal alien agricultural workers by creating “Emergency Agricultural Worker” (EAW) status that lasts five years (Sec. 1(a)). Aliens who receive this status are not prohibited from applying for any other legal status for which they are eligible under the INA (Sec. 102(e)). The program is limited to 1.35 million Emergency Agricultural Workers, however spouses and children may be added on top of that without limit. (Sec. 101(h)).
Requirements. Applicants for EAW status must meet certain requirements:
- During the 48-month period ending December 31, 2007, applicants must:
- have worked 863 work hours or 150 work days; or
- have earned at least $7,000 from agricultural employment (Sec. 1(a)).
- Applicants must not be convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving serious bodily injury (Sec. 1(a)).
- Workers must perform 100 work days per year of agricultural employment to maintain EAW status (Sec. 1(e), waivers for hardship are incorporated).
- EAWs must pay federal taxes while they have legal status (Sec. 102(c)), but there does not to appear to be a requirement that taxes are paid for work that was unauthorized.
Benefits of EAW Status. Illegal aliens who receive EAW status receive certain benefits as an
Emergency Agricultural Worker. The amendment provides that:
- EAWs receive authorization to travel in and out of the country as a permanent resident (Sec. 1(b)); and
- EAWs receive work authorization as a permanent resident (Sec. 1(c)).
- In general, EAWs shall be treated as green card holders (LPRs) (Sec. 102(a)).
- Spouses and minor children are entitled to derivative status (Sec. 102(d)). Spouses and children may travel as green card holders. Spouses are entitled to work authorization.
- DHS shall issue EAWs, spouses, and children a biometric identification card (Sec. 1(f)).
- EAWs are generally not eligible for federal benefits (Sec. 102(b)).
Revocation of Status. DHS shall revoke status if:
- DHS determines that the alien is deportable;
- DHS determines that the application was granted as the result of fraud;
- the alien commits an act that makes him inadmissible,
- the alien is convicted of a felony or 3 misdemeanors; or is convicted of an offense that involves bodily injury or damage to property greater than $500. (Sec. 1(d)).
Applications. The Feinstein Amendment creates an 18-month application period beginning on the first day of the seventh month that begins after enactment (Sec. 101(a)). Farm Labor Organizations or approved employer associations may submit applications to DHS (Sec. 103(a)). Proof of eligibility may be established by (Sec. 103(c)):
- Government employment records
- Records supplied by employers
- Records supplied by collective bargaining organizations
- “Such other reliable documentation as the alien may provide”
Organizations receiving legal aid are allowed to assist illegal aliens who wish to file for EAW status (Sec. 103(h)).
Waivers of Grounds for Inadmissibility. The Feinstein Amendment provides that certain grounds of inadmissibility under INA § 212 (a)(2) that would normally apply to aliens do not apply to EAW applicants. These include:
- Absence of required labor certification;
- Illegal presence;
- Absence of proper documentation; and
- Previous removal (Sec. 104(a)).
In determining the eligibility of an EAW applicant, DHS may not
waive convictions for:
- Crimes of “moral turpitude”;
- Certain drug offenses;
- Drug trafficking;
- Alien smuggling;
- Money laundering; and
- Security-related Offenses (Sec. 104(a)(2)(B)).
DHS may waive inadmissibility due to likelihood of becoming a public charge, if the applicant can show self-sufficiency (Sec. 104(a)(3)). DHS may waive any other provision for “humanitarian purposes, to ensure family unity, or if otherwise in the public interest.” (Sec. 104(a)(2)).
Confidentiality of Application Information. In general, DHS is prohibited from using application information for any purpose other than to make a determination on the application. However, DHS shall disclose application information to a law enforcement entity in connection with a criminal prosecution if requested, or to a coroner for identification purposes. Information on criminal convictions may be used or released for immigration enforcement or law enforcement purposes (Sec. 103(e) and (f)).
Prohibition on Removal. Any alien who is apprehended (although it does not say on what grounds) and can establish a “nonfrivolous case of eligibility” may not be deported until the alien has had an opportunity to apply for and “shall” be granted work authorization for such purpose (Sec. 104(b)).
Social Security. The Feinstein Amendment expressly provides that illegal aliens who have committed social security crimes before receiving their EAW status shall not be subject to prosecution (Sec. 109(a)). These crimes include include:
- knowingly furnishing false information to SSA;
- knowingly using a social security account number issued on the basis of false information
- intentionally using the social security number of another person;
- altering a social security card, buying or selling social security cards, creating fraudulent social security cards, possessing social security cards or counterfeit social security cards with intent to sell or alter.
The Amendment also appears to prohibit SSA from granting social security credit to EAWs for quarters worked, unless SSA determines that the worker was authorized during that quarter.
Capitol Senate Switchboard