IMMIGRATION GROUP OFFERS ROADMAP FOR REFORM IN THE NEW ADMINISTRATION
By NWV News Director, Jim Kouri
Posted 1:00 AM Eastern
December 10, 2008
NewsWithViews.Com's news director attended a special Washington, DC news conference held by advocates for tighter border security and enforcement of immigration laws.
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the nation's leading public interest immigration policy organization held the news briefing on Tuesday, December 9 at 10 AM to discuss the implications of the recent elections and an agenda for true immigration reform in the 111th Congress. FAIR presented evidence refuting the unsubstantiated claims of special interests that the 2008 elections provided a mandate for amnesty for illegal aliens and still higher levels of immigration to the US.
During the press conference Dan Stein, president of FAIR, presented polling data to NewsWithViews.com that shows strong support for continued immigration enforcement in the workplace and along America's borders, and continued public opposition to amnesty for illegal aliens and guest worker programs.
Stein also introduced FAIR's legislative agenda for the 111th Congress, and discuss the prospects for passage of meaningful immigration reform legislation.
The news briefing included:
-- Polling data about the public's views (72% want tougher legislation) on immigration policy conducted during or immediately after the election among all voters.
-- The implications of the current economic crisis and rising
unemployment for immigration policy.
-- An analysis of efforts by special interests to use the election
results to promote their own agenda.
-- Cost burdens to state and local governments associated with illegal immigration and a potential illegal alien amnesty.
Stein, along with FAIR executive director Julie Kirchner answered questions from reporters participating in the press conference.
NewsWithViews.Com questioned the appointment of a new Secretary of Homeland Security and the changes that can be expected in border control and immigration enforcement.
Stein replied, "As President-elect Obama’s nominee to head-up the Department of Homeland Security, Gov. Janet Napolitano will assume the role of the nation’s chief immigration enforcement officer. If she is confirmed by the Senate, her purview will include the enforcement of our borders and ports of entry, enforcement of immigration laws in the interior of the country and in the workplace, and vetting all individuals applying for immigration benefits."
"However, Gov. Napolitano’s record on immigration as governor of Arizona has been inconsistent and there is little reason to believe that she will be committed to immigration enforcement," Stein quickly added.
Gov. Napolitano's record shows that she is a vocal opponent of building of a border fence, something that troubles millions of Americans when that fact is revealed to them.
"As governor she worked to defeat Proposition 200, a 2004 Arizona ballot initiative designed to deny most non-essential benefits and services to illegal aliens. When the measure was overwhelmingly approved by voters in Arizona, she sought overrule the electorate by limiting its scope to five minor state benefit programs. She later vetoed legislation that would have ended in-state tuition benefits to illegal aliens attending public colleges and universities in her state," Stein said.
In 2007, Gov. Napolitano signed into law a bill that denies business licenses to companies that knowingly hire illegal aliens, calling it the “business death penalty.” That law among the toughest of any state laws designed to discourage businesses from hiring illegal aliens has withstood legal challenges from the illegal alien advocacy network and provides a model for other states to follow.
Napolitano has called for “tamper-proof immigration documents,”
and an electronic system to verify a worker’s eligibility to hold
a job in this country using information in the Social Security Administration’s
database. “We have the technology; now we need to put it to work,”
she has said.
One of the first tests of her sincerity will be the role she and the Obama administration play when Congress takes up the issue of reauthorizing the E-Verify system which is set to expire in March 2009.
"Disturbingly, Gov. Napolitano opposed implementation of the federal REAL ID Act. That 2005 law requires all states to make driver’s licenses and state-issued ID documents more secure and prevent individuals who are not legally present in the U.S. from obtaining these valuable documents," said FAIR's Julie Kirchner.
"In June 2008, she signed a law barring Arizona from complying with REAL ID. In contrast to her apparent indifference to the costs of providing state services and benefits to illegal aliens, Napolitano testified before a Senate committee that implementation of the law would cost states $11 billion," she added.
Gov. Napolitano has been a strong proponent of new and expanded guest worker programs. These programs have been promoted heavily by business lobbyists in an effort to suppress wages. With the economy in sharp decline and unemployment on the rise whether her views on guest worker programs change will be of crucial interest to struggling American workers.
"The Arizona governor also supports amnesty for illegal aliens. Although she will not call it amnesty, she is on record supporting legislation that would legalize virtually every illegal alien living in the United States," warns Kirchner.
As governor of Arizona, Napolitano frequently complained about the federal government’s failure to exercise its responsibilities to control our borders and enforce our immigration laws. These failures, she claimed, imposed unfair burdens on state and local governments that were forced to deal with the consequences of illegal immigration.
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"As Secretary of Homeland Security, Gov. Napolitano will have the opportunity to correct the federal failures that she justifiably complained about as a state official," said political strategist Michael Baker.
"I fear the government's immigration scam will only get worse under Obama and Napolitano," said Baker.
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