FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
The Obamacare-Style Waiver Authority of Immigration Bill Nullifies Talking Points
Do you want to know why this country is going to hell in a handbasket? Do you want to know why we have a constitutional crisis with the executive branch disregarding many of our laws, particularly our immigration laws? It’s because of those who construct the legislation.
I’ve spent the past 24 hours combing through the legislation, and have only successfully grasped a few parts of the bill. How are senators, who are busy with many other assignments, supposed to prepare for hearings on this disgraceful bill within 48 hours? There are so many problems with every 5 pages of this bill, giving credence to the argument that we must do this one step at a time.
As we noted earlier today, every security “goal,” precondition, and eligibility clause in the Gang of 8 bill is qualified with a waiver, exception, or exemption clause granting the Secretary of DHS authority to do what she wants, just like Obamacare did with the Secretary of HHS. I’ve only skimmed the first 120 pages, but perhaps the most egregious waiver is the one that essentially allows Napolitano to waive all the eligibility standards for legal status for “humanitarian purposes, family unity, and the public interest.” Yup, that pretty much covers everything.
Take a look at Section 245B(3)(A) on pages 61-66:
In this section, it lists the eligibility requirements for receiving the RPI status, which will come with social security cards and the full works as soon as Napolitano submits a strategy plan to secure the border. To begin with, the basic law allows many criminals to get legal status. They have to have at least 3 misdemeanor offenses in order to be disqualified, and even those have some exceptions: (emphasis added)
‘‘(3) GROUNDS FOR INELIGIBILITY.—
‘‘(A) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in subparagraph (B), an alien is ineligible for registered provisional immigrant status if the Secretary determines that the alien—
‘‘(i) has a conviction for—
‘‘(III) 3 or more misdemeanor offenses (other than minor traffic offenses or State or local offenses for which an essential element was the alien’s immigration status or a violation of this Act) if the alien was convicted on different dates for each of the 3 offenses;
(ii) is admissible under section 212(a), except that in determining an alien’s admissibility—
‘‘(I) paragraphs (4), (5), (7), and (9)(B) of section 212(a) shall not apply;
(II) subparagraphs (A), (C), (D), (F), and (G) of section 212(a)(6)13 and paragraphs (9)(C) and (10)(B) of section 212(a) shall not apply unless based on the act of unlawfully entering the United States after the date of the enactment of the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act; and
(III) paragraphs (6)(B) and (9)(A) of section 212(a) shall not apply unless the relevant conduct began on or after the date on which the alien files an application for registered provisional immigrant status under this section;
The second part of this clause exempts RPIs from being excluded on a account of being a public charge, pursuant to section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Now let’s take a look at subsection (B), our trusty waiver:
‘‘(i) IN GENERAL.—The Secretary may waive the application of subparagraph (A)(i)(III) or any provision of section 212(a) that is not listed in clause (ii) on behalf of an alien for humanitarian purposes, to ensure family unity, or if such a waiver is otherwise in the public interest. Any discretionary authority to waive grounds of inadmissibility under section 212(a) conferred under any other provision of this Act shall apply equally to aliens seeking registered provisional status under this section.
If you listen to the liberals in both parties explain the rationale for amnesty, it is entirely based upon humanitarian purposes, family unity, and the public interest. There is nobody here who cannot be granted legal status based on that determination. OK, there are a few exceptions to the waiver:
EXCEPTIONS.—The discretionary authority under clause (i) may not be used to waive—
‘‘(I) subparagraph (B), (C), (D)(ii), (E), (G), (H), or (I) of section 212(a)(2);
‘(II) section 212(a)(3);
(III) subparagraph (A), (C), (D), or (E) of section 212(a)(10); or
‘(IV) with respect to misrepresentations relating to the application for registered provisional immigrant status, section 212(a)(6)(C)(i).
From what I’m seeing of Section 212(a) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the exceptions to Napolitano’s discretionary authority would only include the following nefarious crimes:
- multiple criminal convictions
- controlled substance traffickers
- procures or attempts to procure sex traffickers
- certain aliens involved in criminal activity and have asserted immunity from prosecution
- Foreign Government Officials who have committed particularly severe violations of religious freedoms
- traffickers in person
- money launderers
- Terrorist activity
- Childe Abductors
- Unlawful Voters
- Former Citizens who renounced citizenship to avoid taxation
- Misrepresentations on applications for provisional immigrant status
Everyone else, including all regular criminals, even violent criminals and members of terrorist groups and gangs (as long as they have not been convicted), will be eligible for legal status – subject to the discretion of…you guessed it..the Secretary. And even those convicted of such crimes, might have a way out:
‘‘(C) CONVICTION EXPLAINED.—For purposes of this paragraph, the term ‘conviction’ does not include a judgment that has been expunged, set aside, or the equivalent.
And here is the final kicker:
‘‘(D) RULE OF CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this paragraph may be construed to require the Secretary to commence removal proceedings against an alien.
So even the most egregious terrorists and criminals who cannot get legal status, are not necessarily subject to deportation either.
It is incontrovertibly clear that all deportations will be completely suspended for the 10 year provisional period, assuming political pressure doesn’t expedite those 10 years anyway. Even without stretching the law, which the administration of almost any president will do, almost anyone can potentially be eligible for legal status. Consequently, it’s practically impossible to commence deportations, especially when this bill grants the immigration lawyers numerous opportunities to challenge any deportation. In 10 years from now, we will have more illegals than we do today. Liberals are right to suggest that this is a more progressive starting point for amnesty legislation than in 2006.
This is what happens when Republicans let Chuck Schumer’s staff write legislation, instead of working with conservatives to implement real reforms and solve the real issues with legal immigration and the lack of enforcement.