Immigration Reform: A Look At The Dem Proposal

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    As you may have heard, the Democrats have proffered a proposal for immigration reform. Perhaps most surprisingly, it is only twenty-six pages long.  I’m sure we’ll have much more on this issue as it moves forward, but after reading through the proposed law, a few things jump out at me (all are direct quotes unless otherwise noted, and the page number is in brackets at the end of each quote):

    A. Securing the Border First Before any Action can be Taken to Change the Status of people in the United States Illegally
    Proponents of immigration reform acknowledge that we need to meet clear and concrete benchmarks before we can finally ensure that America’s borders are secure and effectively deal with the millions of illegal immigrants already in the United States. These benchmarks must be met before action can be taken to adjust the status of people already in the United States illegally[.] [1]

    [***]

    [R]ather than spending billions of federal dollars in an attempt to link up untested satellite technology, our strategy calls for installation of high-tech ground sensors throughout the southern border and for equipping all border patrol officers with the technological capability to respond to activation of the ground sensors in the area they are patrolling. This solution is far more cost-effective than the SBInet project in Arizona and has been proven to be far more effective in the areas in which it has been deployed. [2]

    [***]

    More must also be done to ensure that all officers within U.S. Customs and Border Protection have the tools they need to succeed. These officers will all receive training to […] accomplish border enforcement without engaging in racial profiling[.] [3]

    I especially thought the last one was interesting, if only because it fires a shot across the bow of the Arizona law.  The proposed bill then goes H17 and sinks Arizona’s battleship:

    Because the federal government will have fulfilled its obligation to secure America’s borders, states and municipalities will be prohibited from enacting their own rules and penalties relating to immigration, which could undermine federal policies. [4]

    The part that I am absolutely positive will draw the most scrutiny/vitriol/inanity from the Glenn Becks of the world is the proposal of biometric social security cards.

    Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this proposal, the Social Security Administration will begin issuing biometric social security cards. These cards will be fraud-resistant, tamper-resistant, wear resistant, and machine-readable social security cards containing a photograph and an electronically coded micro-processing chip which possesses a unique biometric identifier for the authorized card-bearer.

    The card will also possess the following characteristics: (1) biometric identifiers, in the form of templates, that definitively tie the individual user to the identity credential; (2) electronic authentication capability; (3) ability to verify the individual locally without requiring every employer to access a biometric database; (4) offline verification capability (eliminating the need for 24-hour, 7-days-per-week online databases); (5) security features that protect the information stored on the card; (6) privacy protections that allow the user to control who is able to access the data on the card; (7) compliance with authentication and biometric standards recognized by domestic and international standards organizations. The new biometric social security card shall enable the following outcomes: (1) permit the individual cardholder to control who can access their information; (2) allow electronic authentication of the credential to determine work authorization; and (3) possession of scalability of authentication capability depending on the requirement of the application. [8-9]

    Ack! Big Brother is looking! Orwell was right! Obama is gonna take your guns!!  Cold dead hands rabble rabble!!!

    Nevermind that the proposed law goes on to state:

    Possession of a fraud-proof social security card will only serve as evidence of lawful work-authorization but will in no way be permitted to serve—or shall be required to be shown—as proof of citizenship or lawful immigration status. It will be unlawful for any person, corporation; organization local, state, or federal law enforcement officer; local or state government; or any other entity to require or even ask an individual cardholder to produce their social security card for any purpose other than electronic verification of employment eligibility and verification of identity for Social Security Administration purposes. [9]

    Much of the proposal discusses implementation of employment status verification technology, including how such technology will be funded:

    In order to pay for implementation of the BELIEVE System, funding will be obtained in whole or in part by collecting the following fees and fines: (1) an employment authorization fee that will be charged only to non-citizens in order to obtain the biometric social security card required for employment—under no circumstances will a fee be charged to United States citizens for obtaining an initial biometric Social Security Card; (2) an employment authorization system fee to be paid by all employers who seek to petition for an employment-related immigration benefit for a non-citizen worker; (3) fees charged to business entities who seek pre-certification as authorized private employment eligibility screeners under regulations provided for pursuant to this Act; (4) fines charged to every person or other entity subject to the Immigration and Nationality Act who fails to comply with the provisions of this law; and (5) fees charged to U.S. citizens for obtaining replacement Social Security Cards.

    Finally, the proposal covers specific type of immigration, most notably changing the rules for high-skilled and low-skilled immigrants.  That part starts on page 18, but it is not overly quotable.  On page 24, however, is this nugget that is almost as likely as the biometric Big Brother cards to ruffle some red feathers:

    Spouses and minor children living abroad will be eligible for legalization, once their resident relative obtains LPI status.

    Finally, in the very last paragraph, there was something I found odd (at best) in the context of this bill.

    It will also create a Commission on Wartime Treatment of European Americas to review the United States Government’s wartime treatment of European Americans and European Latin Americans during World War II, and a Commission on Wartime Treatment of Jewish Refugees to review the United States Government’s refusal to allow Jewish and other refugees fleeing persecution or genocide in Europe entry to the United States during World War II.

    Why, exactly?  I have no idea, really.  Thoughts?