Friday, April 07, 2006

A Terrible Compromise Collapses

The US Senate’s "compromise" on immigration reform that was so enthusiastically heralded by the White House and various GOP senators (all desperate to stop the GOP’s death-spiral in the opinion polls) has apparently foundered on the shoals of Republican infighting and Democrat political maneuvering. The Senate compromise, which would have rewarded millions of illegal aliens for breaking US law with a fast track to citizenship, sounded bad enough on its face, but as the New York Post points out this morning, the details of the Senate bill are even worse:

Like that surprise hidden on page 302 - which would replace the country's entire bench of experienced immigration judges with pro-immigration advocates.

With a few exceptions, today's immigration judges (who serve for life) are dedicated to enforcing the law, and they do a difficult job well. This bill forces all immigration judges to step down after serving seven years - and restricts replacements to attorneys with at least five years' experience practicing immigration law.

Virtually the only lawyers who'll meet that requirement are attorneys who represent aliens in the immigration courts - who tend to be some of the nation's most liberal lawyers, and who are certainly unlikely as a class to be fond of enforcing immigration laws.

It gets worse. Immigration judges are now appointed by the attorney general - whose job it is to see to it that laws are enforced. The Senate bill gives that power to a separate bureaucrat, albeit one directly appointed by the president, making immigration courts more susceptible to leftward polarization.

The second nasty surprise? Just before the committee approved the bill on the evening of March 27, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) offered the "DREAM Act" as an amendment. It passed on a voice vote.

The DREAM Act is a nightmare. It repeals a 1996 law that prohibits state universities from offering in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens. The principle, of course, is that no illegal alien should be entitled to receive a taxpayer-subsidized benefit that out-of-state U.S. citizens can't get. But the committee's bill allows illegals to be treated better than those U.S. citizens on tuition.

The bill also gives an amnesty to the nine states (including New York) that have been flouting the '96 law, two of which (California and Kansas) are now facing lawsuits (I'm a counsel to the plaintiffs in both cases).

The third nasty surprise lies in what the bill fails to do. The measure envisions a massive amnesty for illegal aliens now in the country - but doesn't give the Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS) the personnel or infrastructure to implement the amnesty.

What this means is that the US Senate – the Republican-controlled Senate – was on the verge of adopting a bill that would have eviscerated border enforcement, granted amnesty to tens of millions of illegal aliens, and established a system that would have permitted even more illegal aliens to flood into the country in its wake. As improbable as it seems, this bill would have been worse that the 1986 amnesty, which legalized three million illegal immigrants and opened the door to ten million more.

This is what Senate Republicans and the Bush administration believe constitutes border control and national security. Is it any wonder that the US deficit is out of control and American foreign policy is in shambles?

Meanwhile, the consequences of illegal immigration continue to seriously harm actual Americans (for whom neither the GOP, the Democrats, nor the White House appear to have any regard). In Westchester County, New York, a jury yesterday convicted Ronald Douglas Herrera Castellanos, an illegal alien from Guatamala of the brutal rape, torture and murder of Mary Nagle, a 42 year old mother of two. Castellanos worked (illegally) for a contractor who was hired to power wash the rear deck of the Nagle’s home.

Instead, Herrera sneaked inside the house and attacked Nagle in her bedroom, where she was preparing for a tennis game at the Nyack Field Club.

Armed with a green-handled box cutter, Herrera slashed and beat Nagle almost beyond recognition as he raped her for at least 30 minutes and mutilated her with the box cutter. Part of her earlobe was cut off, and she was cut across her hands while trying to fight off her attacker.

Castellanos then called various members of the Nagle family using Mary Nagle’s cell phone to taunt them, in graphic detail, about what he’d done to his victim. Native born Americans are perfectly capable to commiting horrible crimes all on their own. There is no need for the US to import lawless foreigners to make matters worse. If the US government had been doing the one job it was specifically created for – protecting US territory - Castellanos would have remained in outside our borders and Mary Nagle would very likely still be alive today. Not that anyone in Washington gives a damn.


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