June 27th, 2007 14:27 EST
Majority Leader Reid, You Were Absolutely Correct!
June 27, 2007
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
United States Senate
Dear Majority Leader Reid:
In 1993, America was overwhelmed by millions of aliens who defied our borders and immigration laws and came here unlawfully.
As a responsible steward of the United States Constitution and a dedicated patriot at the time, on August 5, 1993 you released the following statement to the floor of the U.S. Senate to the address the illegal alien crisis:
“In response to increased terrorism and abuse of social programs by aliens, (I) today introduced the first and only comprehensive immigration reform bill in Congress. Currently, an alien living illegally in the United States often pays no taxes but receives unemployment, welfare, free medical care, and other federal benefits. Recent terrorist acts, including the World Trade Center bombing, have underscored the need to keep violent criminals out of the country.”
Your bill, titled the “Immigration Stabilization Act,” would have overhauled the nation's immigration laws, and called for a massive scale-down of immigrants allowed into the country.
You went on to say, in part:
"Our borders have overflowed with illegal immigrants placing tremendous burdens on our criminal justice system, schools and social programs. The Immigration and Naturalization Service needs the ability to step up enforcement. Our federal wallet is stretched to the limit by illegal aliens getting welfare, food stamps, medical care, and other benefits often without paying any taxes.
Safeguards like welfare and free medical care are in place to boost Americans in need of short-term assistance. These programs were not meant to entice freeloaders and scam artists from around the world. Even worse, Americans have seen heinous crimes committed by individuals who are here illegally.”
Specific provisions proposed by you in the Immigration Stabilization Act included:
* Reduce annual legal immigration levels. Relatives other than spouse or minor children admitted only if already on immigration waiting lists and their admission does not raise annual immigration levels above approved level.
*Reform asylum rules to prevent aliens from entering the United States illegally under phony "asylum" claims.
*Expand list of felonies considered "aggravated" felonies requiring exclusion and deportation of criminal aliens. Allows courts to order deportation at time of sentencing.
*Increase penalties for failing to depart or for re-entering the United States after a final deportation order. Increases maximum penalties for visa fraud from five years to 10 years.
*Curtail alien smuggling by authorizing interdiction and repatriation of aliens seeking to enter the United States unlawfully by sea. Increase penalties for alien smuggling.
*Add "alien smuggling" to the list of crimes subject to sanctions under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act.
*Expand the categories of property that are forfeited when used to facilitate the smuggling or harboring of illegal aliens.
*Clarify that a person born in the United States to an alien mother who is not a lawful resident is not a U.S. citizen. This will eliminate incentive for pregnant alien women to enter the United States illegally, often at risk to mother and child, for the purpose of acquiring citizenship for the child and accompanying federal financial benefits.
*Mandate that aliens who cannot demonstrably support themselves without public or private assistance are excludable. This will prevent admission of aliens likely to be dependent on public financial support. This requirement extends to the sponsor of any family sponsored immigrant.
*Increase border security and patrol officer positions.
Unfortunately, Majority Leader Reid, America did not heed your warning in 1993. As a result, the problems you described so eloquently in 1993 have grown completely out of control. America is now inundated with 12-30 million "freeloaders and scam artists."
Most distressing is the fact that, although our nation has been at war since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, millions of illegal aliens continue to invade America, seemingly at will, every year.
Unlike your excellent proposal in 1993, the so-called "comprehensive" immigration reform bill now before the senate is an amnesty bill.
Although one can quibble over the technical and legal definition of amnesty, the following description of S 1639 is irrefutable:
S 1639 would result in blanket and unconditional legalization of at least 12 million people who have ignored and violated U.S. borders and immigration laws.
That may not fit the exact definition of amnesty, but it is surely unwise, foolish and, perhaps, even un-American.
America is supposed to operate under the rule of law, but S 1639 would ignore that principle of governance in order to legalize people who simply have no respect or regard for law, and who have no legal basis for being here.
In addition, of the 12 million or more illegal aliens currently here, how many are terrorists who harbor the goal of killing millions of innocent Americans? How prudent is it to assume that there are no terrorists among those millions of illegal aliens? Has America reached the point where access to cheap labor is more important than homeland security?
S1639 would legalize 12-30 million illegal aliens about whom the federal government knows absolutely nothing. America simply cannot afford such a reckless and irresponsible policy in the name of "comprehensive" reform.
Majority Leader Reid, you were exactly right in 1993. Please follow your original instincts and vote NO on this ill-advised and very dangerous legislation. Thank you.
John W. Lillpop, San Jose, CA