TCR agrees that the present nonfunctioning immigration system is on three flat tires and that the federal government has pretty much failed in securing the borders, clearly we need something better.
Unfortunately, the Senate reform bill as it presently stands won't cure the present problems. The American people just don't trust the government to deliver on enforcement.
With thanks to Mike Franc of the Heritage Foundation, the present Senate bill has numerous flaws revealed by conservatives, Senator John Cornyn (TX), Senator Norm Coleman (MN), Senator Wayne Allard (CO), Senator Jim DeMint (SC) and Senator Jeff Sessions (AL).
- The proposal to not grant citizenship to 636,000 aliens who are gang members, sex offenders, alien smugglers, repeat drunk drivers and alien absconders by Senator Cornyn lost by a vote.
- Allowing government officials to question individuals about their immigration status also lost by a vote.
- The bill gives preferences to illegal agriculture workers to gain entry and the amendment to eliminate it and create a level playing field got only 31 votes and failed.
- The proposal to require illegals given amnesty to buy minimal health insurance so the taxpayers don't have to pay, that amendment got 43 votes and failed.
Recently, Heritage Foundation released the Top 10 worst amnesty provisions of the Senate bill:
- A massive amnesty for virtually all of the 12 to 20 million illegal aliens in the country today.
- The permanent "temporary" visa or Z visa that can be renewed every four years until the visa holder dies.
- Hobbled background checks. The bill would allow the government only one business day to conduct a background check to determine whether an applicant is a criminal or terrorist, which is hardly enough time.
- Amnesty for "absconders", the amnesty extends even to fugitives who have been ordered deported by an immigration judge, but choose to ignore their removal orders.
- Reverse justice, the bill effectively shuts down the immigration court system. If an alien is in the removal process he or she is "prima facie eligible" for the Z visa, an immigration judge must close any proceedings against the alien.
- Enforcement of amnesty, not laws, as the bill would transform the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from a law-enforcement agency into an amnesty distribution center.
- Amnesty for gang members, under the Senate bill gang members would be eligible to receive amnesty.
- Tuition subsidies for illegal aliens, the bill effectively repeals a 1996 federal law that prohibits any state from offering in-state tuition rates to illegal aliens unless the state also offers in-state tuition rates to all U.S. citizens.
- Taxpayer-funded lawyers for illegal aliens, the Senate's bill would force taxpayers to foot the bill for many illegal alien's lawyers.
- Amnesty before enforcement triggers, Proponents of the Senate approach have consistently claimed that it would allow delayed amnesty only after certain law enforcement goals are met. The text of the bill, however, tells a different story. Section 1(a) prohibits the federal government from waiting more than 180 days after enactment to begin issuing probationary Z visas.
So despite possible good intentions on the part of the advocates, this bill is not the answer. TCR says pass an enforcement bill first and actually do it and control the borders. Then we can decide what to do with these non-criminal illegals in our own midst. Until that happens we are just wasting time.
U.S. And Israel Face Up To Gaza Disaster
TCR has always believed that Israel shouldn't have abandoned its settlements and pulled its security forces out of Gaza and along the border with Egypt and that the US forced a premature election on Palestinians. They voted against the corruption and failures of the Palestinian Authority and that the attempts to build up Abbas with money and weapons was a disaster, and sure enough that has happened.
Now what? The US and Israel are proposing bolstering Abbas but that has been tried before and failed. As author Michael Oren says in the Wall Street Journal on June 20, 2007:
"In view of its performance over the past 14 years, the Palestinian Authority under Fatah can be counted on to squander most or all of the vast sums now being given to it by the U.S. and the international community. More gunmen will be hired and better weapons procured, but in the absence of a unified command and a leadership worth fighting for, PA soldiers will perform no more credibly than they did in Gaza. Abbas will continue to denounce terror while ignoring the terrorist units within his own organization, while PA Imams will persist in preaching their Jihadist sermons.
"Clearly no progress toward Palestinian statehood can be made before Fatah has reformed itself financially, ideologically and structurally. This process is certain to take many years - longer if economic aid and political support are provided to the PA unconditionally.
"The U.S., together with its Quartet partners, can work to establish areas of extensive Palestinian autonomy in the West Bank. Security, however, will be jointly administered by Israel and Jordan. The Jordanian involvement is crucial to convincing Palestinians that the status quo of occupation has ended and they may in the further assume full responsibility for their internal defense. Such an arrangement will benefit Jordan as well, by facilitating its efforts to fight radicalism and stem the flight of Palestinians over its borders."
TCR Comment: Why not try it?
Is It Time For The Bacarisse Campaign For
County Judge To Come Out Of The Closet?
TCR believes that everyone who wants to seek elective office should go for it. The present situation involving Charles Bacarisse and this shadow campaign for County Judge is not acceptable. He's not in and he's not out. Of course under the rules, a Harris County official must resign once they declare for another office.
Regardless of that fact, the Bacarisse exploratory campaign continues to snipe at Harris County government while he says nothing on the record. Those in the unofficial shadow campaign are only going to end up hurting the ultimate GOP nominee, be it Bacarisse or incumbent County Judge Ed Emmett, against a growing Democratic threat led by former Democrat County Chair David Mincberg.
If it's the goal of the Bacarisse exploratory committee to midwife a Democratic victory in November 2008, then they are off to a great start. If not, call off the sniping spokesman and get into the race now.
COMING (Friday, June 29, 2007 at 8 pm) on Channel 8 PBS in Houston, Texas - The Connection - Red, White & Blue, featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones with special guest House Speaker candidate Rep. Sylvester Turner. Coming soon, Lt. Governor David Dewhurst and the Press Roundtable with James Campbell of the Houston Chronicle and Ben Streusand, one of KSEV's 3 AMigo's. In August, look for a joint appearance by Congressmen Ted Poe and Al Green.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who recently completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his tenth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last six years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.