March 19, 2010

President Obama, yesterday, succeeded in winning the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’s endorsement of his health care reform legislation by pledging to push an overwhelmingly unpopular amnesty plan for millions of illegal aliens. In this apparent quid pro quo, the president’s promise to push amnesty in 2010 came just hours after members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus promised their support for the health care reform bill. The announcement also coincided with the release of an outline for amnesty legislation authored by Senators Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

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According to the outline, illegal aliens would be required to admit that they broke the law, pay an unspecified fine for having settled illegally in the U.S., pay back taxes (which should have been paid anyway), and fulfill some minor civic requirements. In addition, the outline calls for increases in future immigration to the United States. The concrete benefits for the people who violated U.S. immigration laws are offset by vague promises of future immigration enforcement.

“The Schumer-Graham plan appears to be a near carbon copy of the McCain-Kennedy-Bush amnesty legislation that was resoundingly rejected by the American people in 2007,” said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “The public believed amnesty was fundamentally unfair, harmful to the interests of law-abiding citizens and legal immigrants, and prohibitively expensive to American taxpayers. Since the last attempt to pass amnesty, U.S. unemployment has more than doubled, the size of the federal deficit has grown tenfold, and nearly every state government is facing a fiscal crisis.”

The release of the Schumer-Graham outline is timed to appease the thousands of illegal aliens and their supporters who are expected to gather on the National Mall this Sunday. “While Congress and the Obama administration ignore the concerns of millions of American families who are struggling through the worst economic crisis in 75 years, they appear remarkably responsive to the demands of people who are in the country illegally,” Stein said.

In 2006 and 2007, FAIR led the national opposition to efforts to enact amnesty for illegal aliens. Based on the general outline of the legislation being proposed by Senators Schumer and Graham, FAIR believes that this latest attempt sells out the interests of American citizens and taxpayers and will be similarly rejected by the American people.

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