Immigration reform bills

laws not menRep. Capuano (D-MA) writes:

The First of Two Very Bad Immigration Bills

The House spent most of Thursday debating two immigration bills. Neither one comes close to comprehensive immigration reform. The first, H.R. 4760, the Securing America’s Future Act, is essentially an anti-immigration bill. The legislation does not include a permanent path to citizenship for the Dreamers. Instead, it allows some Dreamers to apply for three year temporary legal status which cannot be used to apply for a green card. They can apply for renewal at the end of the three year period but approval is not guaranteed. Moreover, this provision does not cover all Dreamers. In fact, about 2 million of these individuals will still be left with no avenue to stabilize their status in this country.

H.R. 4760 takes a hammer to the existing family-based reunification program. Under current law, U.S. citizens can sponsor their parents, children, spouses and siblings for a green card. The bill narrows eligibility to only spouses and minor children. The legislation eliminates the Diversity Visa Lottery program. This initiative is open to nationals of countries whose citizens have not previously come to the United States in large numbers. Under this program, roughly 50,000 green cards are distributed annually after careful review of applicants who must meet certain educational standards. This program has been a success and the only reason to end it is to close off a legal avenue for immigrants, many from sub-Saharan Africa, to come to our country.

H.R. 4760 also makes the family separation crisis worse by clearing the way for an undocumented individual to be criminally prosecuted if they are simply discovered living in the country. Previously, these circumstances were treated essentially as misdemeanors. Given what we are seeing play out at the border, does anyone doubt that this administration would fully embrace this provision – arresting and prosecuting every illegal immigrant they can find – without regard for any minor children, most of them U.S. citizens, they may leave behind? And of course, H.R. 4760 contains $30 billion for Trump’s border wall. I voted NO. Republicans couldn’t round up the votes for this bad bill. H.R. 4760 failed and the entire vote is recorded below:

REPUBLICAN 193 41 0 0
DEMOCRAT 0 190 0 3
TOTAL 193 231 0 3

 Tom Reed to his credit voted NO.

More Immigration

The House also considered H.R. 6136, the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act. Republican leaders pulled it from consideration because they didn’t think they had the votes to pass this bill either. This legislation is being laughably described as the Speaker Ryan “compromise” bill. It doesn’t even come close. H.R. 6136 also fails to provide a tenable solution for Dreamers. This bill establishes a “contingent non-immigration status” which would require Dreamers to apply for six year renewable status while they wait in a long line for green cards. Under this proposal it could take up to 23 years before all Dreamers get green cards and years more before they become citizens.

H.R. 6136 also abolishes the Diversity Visa Lottery Program and rescinds more than 3 million immigrant visa petitions that have already been approved. Tearing children from the arms of their parents as a matter of deliberate policy must be one of the cruelest actions that this Administration has undertaken. And this proposal is surely one of the most hypocritical. The legislation revokes already approved applications made by U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents for their relatives abroad. They are already facing a long wait for immigrant visas. These families followed the rules. Although persons dear to them, often in difficult and dangerous circumstances, could not join them, they trusted in the rule of law and did nothing illegal to get their loved ones here. Yet none of that matters.

This bill makes family reunification even more difficult by eliminating two family-based immigration programs. It reduces some important protections for asylum seekers by raising the bar for those fleeing persecution and other dangerous circumstances. The legislation also requires the Department of Homeland Security to essentially imprison families if a parent is caught attempting illegal entry. It does nothing to alleviate the crisis at the border. In fact, it makes the situation measurably worse. H.R. 6136 also contains $25 billion for Trump’s border wall. I spoke on the floor about this bill which the House is expected to continue considering next week.

While the House considers these bills, child abuse by our Federal Government continues.


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9 Responses to Immigration reform bills

  1. josephurban says:

    Using 4 year olds as pawns because an idiot want to build a wall which will do nothing to stem immigration. Welcome to the Trump Political Party.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rynstone says:

    We should let the many many millions of illegal immigrants for the crap-hole countries in Central America and South America (who the US Government gives millions if not billions to in aid) into our giant welfare country.

    Where will they all live?

    Who will pay for all of their basic living costs including free medical and social security?

    Here will become there.

    We have seen this happen in Europe.

    I guess many Progressive Liberals and Socially Liberal Democrats need to learn this lesson. The career politicians and career federal government employees will want this as it will increase their need and grow government jobs and government power.


  3. whungerford says:

    Gary, I worked hard to find one thing to agree with; I agree that “here could become there.” But only due to tax cuts for the rich, tariff protection for inefficient industries, and government policies that result in low wages. Certainly not due to an influx of immigrants.


  4. whungerford says:

    More that might lead to a banana republic: cuts to government spending, cuts to SS and Medicare, health insurance only for the rich, cuts to unemployment insurance and food stamps.


  5. Rynstone says:

    The 1% or 3% or 5% (the wealthy) cannot keep the entire population of the Western Hemisphere afloat. And why should they?

    Should someone living and working in Manhattan be taxed into poverty?

    Should the tax rates gets too high the wealthy people just relocate. Look at just two examples of Rush Limbaugh and Tom Golisano moving to Florida.

    Look at all of the retired school teachers, firefighters, police officer, state police officers, public school superintendents and heads of NY State universities who have fled the state to FL., TN, TX, NC, SC after they reached retirement qualification.

    They can avoid taxes on their pensions and then live in a state with much lower gasoline taxes, electricity taxes and property taxes.

    They do not even support the system that provides them with their pension.

    NY State is losing working class people, pensioners and wealthy people while importing people who are on public assistance.


  6. whungerford says:

    Gary, much of what you write is more fantasy than fact. In particular, retirees (or their employers) pay for their pensions while working rather than after they retire. If retirees want to move to Florida, I see no reason to object.


  7. josephurban says:

    Blah. Blah. Blah. Here are some facts. In 2017 the US earmarked over $ 700,000,000 in aid to Latin America and the Caribbean. Programs included health services for pregnant women and children, aid to education and aid to help small businesses. Also, of course, the usual military aid. Creating jobs in Latin America means less of an impetus to migrate to El Norte. Bettering education means a more stable society and more economic opportunity n Latin America. Fostering democracy and economic growth is good for the US in the long run.
    Anyone who calls these “crap-hole” countries is a fool. Ignorance of Latin America seems to be a prime badge of the xenophobic crowd. Like the US, there are parts of Mexico and Guatemala that are very dangerous. I know. I have been there. But, unlike cities in the US, you can see young people and old people strolling the streets of Merida , Mexico (population 892,000) at night, feeling completely safe. I know, i did. In fact, some folks actually take “dental vacations” to Merida, where you can fly down, have extensive dentistry done, take a week vacation, and fly home for less than it costs to have the same work done in the US. or Canada.
    And you can visit the colorful markets of Chichicastenango, the villages along the coast of Lake Atitlan and the colonial city of Antigua in Guatemala and feel safe and , if you have any curiosity about life, very fascinating. But stay out of some areas of Guatemala city at night (Also stay out of certain areas of Boston, NY, Chicago, Dallas, Miami, night)
    One more fact: The population of Latin America and the Caribbean is about 651,000,000. So that MASSIVE AID the whiners whine about ends up being about $1 per person per year. Yep. One buck a year.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. josephurban says:

    Ryn posted:
    “Look at all of the retired school teachers, firefighters, police officer, state police officers, public school superintendents and heads of NY State universities who have fled the state to FL., TN, TX, NC, SC after they reached retirement qualification.

    They can avoid taxes on their pensions and then live in a state with much lower gasoline taxes, electricity taxes and property taxes.”

    Well. NY does not tax teachers pensions. Or any government pensions. Just another false “talking point” that gets repeated so SOME people think it is true.

    “Government pensions include Social Security income, military benefits, civil service pensions and New York state and local government pension plans. These plans are all exempt from income tax in New York. This benefit extends to firefighters, police officers, teachers and corrections officers.”

    Are public employees public employees “fleeing ” NY when they retire?
    “As of March 2017, there
    were 452,455 NYSLRS
    retirees — 78 percent of
    whom have chosen to live here in New York.
    They are former employees of New York State,
    the university system, public authorities, local governments,
    and schools, and many of them give back to their communities
    as volunteers and supporters of charitable causes…”
    These retirees contribute $11.8 BILLION to the NY economy.

    Click to access all-counties.pdf

    In the end a smart person retires to a location where they will be happy. Basing your retirement solely on some tax systems is not very bright. After all, the older you get the more you will need services. NY does an Excellent job of providing all kinds of services to older folks.
    So, the myth that NY is not a good place to retire or public employees are “fleeing” NY is just that. A myth.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. whungerford says:

    A few decades ago, some German engineers came to Detroit. They foolishly decided to take a walk around downtown at midnight; they were assaulted by a drug addict. They feigned indignance, but one admitted that it could just as easily have happened in Frankfort.

    Liked by 1 person

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