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A Closer Look At Immigration Reform
Bill S 1639

By Perry Hicks & Keith Burton       Filed 6/27/07  GCN

This is a voluminous bill.  Numbering more than 800 pages in its original form, the version here is the Congressional working copy that has been reduced to 418.  The bill is highly technical, modifying other laws and establishing new or clarified definitions of terms used government-wide.

Accordingly, it would take a large team of specialized analysts to adequately cover every provision of every section of this draft legislation.  In written form, the number of pages required for their collective summary would by necessity have range into the thousands.

Still, it is immediately apparent that this would be a landmark way-of-life changing bill for all Americans.

It is also immediately apparent that it will not give us our country back.  The alien invasion that has been underway for decades and accelerated by the amnesty afforded by the Immigration Reform & Control of Act of 1986, has already swept the old America away.  That America now exists only in our minds.

The analysis of this, or any other immigration bill, cannot be made through the lens of returning to us what has been lost, but instead, the consideration must be made based on what such legislation may bring to our future.

Legislation, no matter how well intended, comes with unintended consequences; and this is the prism through which the more salient portions of S 1639 is examined. GCN has provided a link to the working copy of the bill for readers at the bottom of this article. The following is only a portion of what can be derived from reading the bill under consideration.

1.  Local Authorities Are Not Authorized To Enforce Law

Section 136 (d) provides a “savings provision” by which “Nothing in this section may be construed to provide additional authority to any State or local entity to enforce Federal immigration laws.”

In other words, state and local authorities cannot arrest or detain aliens known to be residing in the United States illegally.  This is no change from the current practice where police officers or other state and local officials come into contact with illegal aliens but can do nothing more than call the officials with Immigration Control and Enforcement (ICE).

ICE and its predecessor, the Immigration and Naturalization Service has a history of refusing to take custody of illegal aliens being held for any reason by state and local authorities. 

2. Creation of a System of Illegal Alien Detention Centers

The Federal Government through the Department of Homeland Security is authorized to catch and detain subsequent to deportation up to 31,500 aliens per day on an annual basis.  Facilities to house these detainees are to be built on Federal property left over from military base closures. Some detention centers would house entire families.  Each detention facility would hold up to 20 thousand individuals.

The result will be a number of specialized detention facilities will have to be built and a small army of guards hired.  One does not have to think long and hard to foresee liberals raising protest about American law finally being enforced.

Network news anchors will continually make comparisons to Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib; Television sets will be filled with images of children crying behind chain link fences; ACLU attorneys would be suing the Federal Government for illegally incarcerating American citizens (i.e. the children born to illegal Aliens.)

Do not expect the same broadcasts to report that the detainees have either failed to register as this bill would require, belong to violent gangs, have convictions for drunken driving resulting in incarceration for a year or more, has been convicted of firearm offenses, have been convicted of domestic violence, stalking, or child abuse/neglect, or other serious offenses.  As the number and type of these convictions would involve a considerable portion of illegal aliens, civil unrest and even the possibility of rioting are reasonable conclusions once enforcement is underway.

3. Creation of Biometric I.D. Cards & Employment Verification System

In order to avoid arrest and detention, and to allow employers to employ foreigners, the formerly illegal aliens will be required to register with the United States Government and be issued a biometric I.D. card.

Such cards containing a photo of the alien and verifiable biometric data are necessary to thwart document forgery which is currently rampant.  However, coupled with the proposed Employment verification system, it is not difficult to see pressure being applied similarly to native born and naturalized U.S. citizens  to prove their citizenship.  As such, the I.D. cards could be expanded to cover everyone in the U.S.

Biometric I.D. would also be used to track visiting aliens as they traveled about the United States.  About half of all illegal aliens simply did not go home after their visa expired.

4. Substantial Addition to Federal Bureaucracy    

Border Patrol agents are to be increased to 20 thousand beginning with 2 thousand in 2007 and then in increments of 2400 per year over the next five years ending in 2012.

Increases number of Customs Patrol Officers to 75. Expands the number of government immigration trial attorneys working by no less than 100. 

Expands the number of USCIS adjudicators by no less than 100.

Increases clerks assigned to courts by no less than 1 per judge.

Increases the number of government trial attorneys by no less than 50.

Increase number of U.S. Attorneys by no less than 50.

Increase the number of Immigration Judges by not less than 20 and judicial support staff by not less than 80.

Increase number of members of the Board of Immigration Appeals by ten.

Although detention centers could be staffed via government contracts to private companies, the total effect would still be to a substantial increase the employment load on the Federal Treasury.

5.  Would Border Security Provisions Be Enforced?

S 1639 not only requires the administration build hundreds of miles of fence and vehicle barriers along the southern border, it also mandates ground based radar and camera towers, aerial border patrols by unmanned drones, tethered aerostat radars (balloon based radar) and electronic listening posts.  It also creates additional border entry points.

The Bush Administration has been loath to enforce laws the president does not agree with so it is curious that Title I, Subtitle A, Section 103 D states “nothing in this paragraph shall require the Secretary of Homeland Security to install fencing, physical barriers, roads, lighting, cameras, and sensors in a particular location…”

6.  Escape Clause for Avoiding Deportation

S 1639 has a provision to prevent illegal aliens from being deported if they hold a credible belief that they would be persecuted, punished, or tortured.

As official corruption and out of control street crime has driven a large portion of illegals to the stability of America, expect this clause to jam up deportations for years ahead.  After all, just what in the ACLU’s mind would constitute “persecution?”

7.  Weasel Wording

S 1639 has some other curious wording.  For example, where the bill pronounces English as the national language of the United States, it also has a disclaimer allowing the government to continue producing whatever documents it wants in languages other than English.

Elsewhere, spotlighting Mexico as the major source of illegal immigration is avoided by using references such as “southern border” and “contiguous countries.”

8.  Security & Prosperity Partnership of North America

Recognizing that poverty, official corruption, and unbridled lawlessness as the primary drivers of illegal immigration, Section 413 of the bill accelerates the Partnership for Prosperity that some argue would be the precursor for establishing a North American Union.

Those concerned with America’s national sovereignty fear Hispanic efforts to peal off the Southwest from the Unites States, or the subjugation of the U.S. Constitution to a North American super-state, if not a world government under the auspices of the Unites Nations.

However, about 70 percent of Mexico’s economy resides in the service sector.  As a result, 10 percent of Mexico’s population now resides within the United States.  Remittances, money sent home by Mexican nationals residing in the United States, have become an important component of the Mexican economy.

Couple this with how the Mexican government is rife with narco-corruption; a future collapse of the Mexican national government is not out of the realm of possibility.

In such a scenario, national security interests may compel the Unites States act boldly to neutralize such a threat.

Additional Information:

 Read the Immigration Bill Under Consideration in the U.S. Senate - GCN Special


Sen. Trent Lott: Answers Immigration Critics  - GCN Exclusive Report

Illegal Immigration and the Failure of National Leadership - GCN

The Silent War - Part 2: Liberty Wounded and the Prophets of Profit - GCN


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