The Washington Times
By Stephen Dinan
The Homeland Security Department has lost track of more than 1 million people who it knows arrived in the U.S. but who it cannot prove left the country, according to an audit Tuesday that also found the department probably won’t meet its own goals for deploying an entry-exit system.
The findings were revealed as Congress debates an immigration bill, and the Government Accountability Office’s report could throw up another hurdle because lawmakers in the House and Senate have said that any final deal must include a workable system to track entries and exits and cut down on so-called visa overstays.
The government does track arrivals, but is years overdue in setting up a system to track departures — a goal set in a 1996 immigration law and reaffirmed in 2004, but which has eluded Republican and Democratic administrations.
“DHS has not yet fulfilled the 2004 statutory requirement to implement a biometric exit capability, but has planning efforts under way to report to Congress in time for the fiscal year 2016 budget cycle on the costs and benefits of such a capability at airports and seaports,” GAO investigators wrote.
Read this story at washingtontimes.com ...
Center for Immigration Studies
By Mark Krikorian
For a brief moment, I thought the Wall Street Journal had published an editorial on immigration I agreed with. It's titled "The Border Security Ruse" and I thought it would be about the efforts to add increasingly stringent border enforcement provisions as a way of buying Republican votes for the amnesty, pointing out that they were only included for political purposes and would never actually be implemented. Alas, the Journal was complaining that the promotion of enforcement-first amendments was the eponymous ruse, a "trick" by the inhumane and anti-growth folks on the "restrictionist right" to prevent amnesty for no good reason.
But more attention on the border-security ruse — in my first meaning — is warranted. The latest attempt at providing political cover for pusillanimous Republican senators to vote for amnesty comes from Corker and Hoeven. Their proposal would leave the basic, flawed architecture of the bill in place, amnestying the illegal population up front and promising more enforcement in the future. The marquee element of this latest ruse is to roughly double the Border Patrol by adding 20,000 agents and finish the 700 miles of fencing already required under current law. It also includes a 90 percent apprehension rate for border infiltrators, but that provisions is a "goal" rather than a requirement and would thus not have to be met before the amnesty beneficiaries could upgrade to green cards (and eventual citizenship).
This is utterly phony. Even Senator Corker alluded to its phoniness when said this morning on MSNBC that "for people who are concerned about security, once they see what is in this bill, it's almost overkill." There is no way to successfully recruit and train 20,000 additional Border Patrol agents in a short period of time — at least not without cutting a lot of corners. The Border Patrol certainly needs to grow — it's considerably smaller than the NYPD. But doing it properly takes some time; it took about a decade to add the last 10,000 agents, so how long would it take to add 20,000 more? They just pulled this number out of their, uh, hats as a way to dazzle the yokels "who are concerned about security."
The Corker-Hoeven amendment is a sham, pure simple. Anyone who votes for it is announcing that he thinks the American people are gullible fools. I just hope they're not right in that assessment.
Congress is trying to fool you.
Here’s how they do business. A piece of legislation is going to cost trillions of dollars, but Members of Congress don’t want the public to see that. Instead, they have the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) look at the bill for just the first 10 years—and they move any costly items off into the future on purpose.
They did it with Obamacare—saved the budget bombshells for later. Now they’re trying to do it with immigration.
Yesterday, the CBO released its score of the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill. Heritage experts are still analyzing the full report, but a few things jumped out immediately. The Gang of Eight bill:
S.744 provides only a temporary delay in eligibility to welfare and entitlements. Over time, S.744 makes all 18.5 million eligible for nearly every government program, including: Obamacare, 80 different welfare programs, Social Security and Medicare. When this occurs, spending will explode, but nearly all the real costs do not appear in the CBO score.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee, explained how the Gang of Eight purposefully hid the true costs of the bill:
The bill’s drafters relied on the same scoring gimmicks used by the Obamacare drafters to conceal its true cost from taxpayers and to manipulate the CBO score. There is a reason why eligibility for the most expensive federal benefits was largely delayed outside the 10-year scoring window: to mislead the public. As Ranking Member of the Budget Committee, I asked CBO to provide a long-term estimate. Sadly, CBO did not provide the long-term estimate as requested.
Heritage’s Derrick Morgan wrote yesterday about the CBO’s selective time period:
The CBO report also does little to assuage concern that the amnesty portion of the bill would be very costly to U.S. taxpayers. It provides only a look at the first 10 years in any real detail. (It includes only a sketch of the second 10 years.)
Sessions added, “This bill guarantees three things: amnesty, increased welfare costs, and lower wages for the U.S. workforce. It would be the biggest setback for poor and middle-class Americans of any legislation Congress has considered in decades.”
It’s easy to get the result you want when you don’t have to account for a bill’s cost. That’s exactly what the Gang of Eight is trying to get away with.
Heritage will host a public discussion of the CBO report today. Watch the event live at 2 p.m. ET: Scoring the Immigration Bill
How to Read the CBO’s Scoring of the Immigration Bill
Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.
By Susan Heavey
Boehner added that reforming the nation's immigration system was his top legislative priority this year.
"I think by the end of the year we could have a bill," he told ABC. Asked if that bill would be one to also pass the Democrat-led Senate and be signed into law by...Obama, Boehner said: "No question."
Read this story at reuters.com ...
In a Spanish-language interview Sunday with the network Univision, Sen. Marco Rubio, the leading Republican on the Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform group, made his strongest statement yet that legalization of the nation’s estimated 11 million illegal immigrants must happen before any new border security or internal enforcement measures are in place, and will in no way be conditional on any security requirements.
“Let’s be clear,” Rubio said. “Nobody is talking about preventing the legalization. The legalization is going to happen. That means the following will happen: First comes the legalization. Then come the measures to secure the border. And then comes the process of permanent residence.”
In most of his public appeals for the Gang of Eight bill, Rubio has stressed its enforcement provisions, saying that border security must come before immigrants are granted legal permanent resident status. What he has not stressed so much is the fact that the bill would legalize the 11 million almost immediately, after they have passed background checks and paid some sort of fine. That would happen before any new security measures are completed, or even begun.
Here is an English translation of Rubio’s remarks. Here is video of the Univision appearance.
Read this story at washingtonexaminer.com ...
Many political commentators are feigning surprise at the large number of waivers, exemptions and “unreviewable discretion” written into the Senate’s 844-page amnesty bill. No one should be surprised: No amnesty bill in history has ever had its enforcement provisions implemented after the amnesty was granted.
The debate over the Gang of Eight amnesty bill, S.744, has centered on the weak border security provisions, but in truth, that is almost a distraction. Enforcement problems permeate every aspect of the amnesty bill.
The first Senate committee hearing on the amnesty bill should serve as a wake-up call for Sen. Rubio. All amendments aimed at setting honest enforcement “triggers” were voted down. Rubio has been promising the conservative critics of the bill that “its weaknesses will be fixed.” Well, evidently not.
It turns out that the other members of his “gang” have no interest in fixing the bill. Sens. Jeff Flake and Lindsey Graham voted with Sen. Schumer and other Democrats to scuttle any strengthening of the bill’s border security features. So much for the Gang of Eight’s willingness to help Rubio keep his promises for genuine, enforceable border security guarantees.
But why is any of this a surprise to anyone? The reality is that no amnesty bill acceptable to Democrats and [Alleged] President Obama will have meaningful enforcement provisions – not on border security, not on employer sanctions, not on our five million visa overstays, not on any significant problem the bill is supposed to “fix” in our “broken immigration system.”
The scenario being played out in the Senate was entirely predictable. Thus far, the bill is following the 2006 pattern to a tee. The Senate will pass a very bad amnesty bill with near-unanimous Democrat votes and a dozen Republican votes and will then be hailed as “a great bipartisan achievement.” The bill will then go to the House.
What will happen when the Senate amnesty bill goes to the Republican-controlled House? If the House Republican leadership has its way, the Senate bill will be taken up and amended and then passed. But this will not happen if the House follows “regular order” and first gives consideration to House-sponsored immigration reform bills originating in House committees.
The only open question is what those House bills will look like, and the first question House conservatives will ask is this: If the bills do not take enforcement seriously, why should we take the bills seriously?
That question has no answer. No amnesty bill ever takes enforcement seriously. Why? Because the amnesty sought by Democrats and the Republican open-borders lobby lies not simply in the granting of legal status to a fixed number of currently illegal aliens. The amnesty they want lies in creating a legal path for additional millions of illegal aliens to join them in gaining that legal status over the next 20 years.
So, no amnesty bill acceptable to Democrats and [Alleged] President Obama will ever contain meaningful enforcement provisions that limit the rewards of legal status or actually secure the border against successive waves of illegal aliens.
If the debate over “triggers” for border security were only a debate about how many low-skilled Mexican and Guatemalan laborers we can tolerate crossing our borders, then that alone would be a serious issue to be debated and resolved. But border security involves far more than the future wages for the landscape crew at Lindsey Graham’s private golf course. Border security involves our national security and our national sovereignty.
Read this story at wnd.com ...
WASHINGTON — The conservative Heritage Foundation is claiming in a new report that bipartisan immigration legislation pending in the Senate would cost taxpayers $6.3 trillion.
Heritage says the costs come from more than $9 trillion in government benefits to newly legalized immigrants over their lifetimes — only partially counterbalanced by $3 trillion they would pay in taxes.
Read this story at news.yahoo.com ...