The Gang of Eight Amnesty Bill Weakens Current Immigration Law

We have heard time and time again throughout the immigration debate that it’s better to do something than to do nothing at all.  That is not true.  Enacting legislation that is extremely flawed just for the sake of doing something is unacceptable and misguided – in short, it is typical Washington.  Americans deserve better. 

Not only that, but the bill actually weakens current law. Today during debate on the Gang of Eight Amnesty bill, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) explained that the bill does nothing to strengthen our interior enforcement efforts.

For example, “federal immigration enforcement officers have been handicapped from doing their job,” he said.  “The bill would practically render these officers useless since they are required to verify a person’s eligibility for legalization before apprehending and detaining.  They need to be provided the resources to fulfill their mission and not be told by Washington to sit idly by. ”

Sen. Grassley outlined several ways this bill would weaken current law, especially with regard to criminals.   The following is not an exhaustive list, but here are some of his main points:

1.       The bill does nothing to strengthen federal law enforcement efforts to apprehend and detain illegal immigrants who pose a risk to our community.

2.       The bill gives the states no new authority to act when the federal government refuses.

3.       The bill weakens current law regarding passport fraud, only charging those who make or distribute illegal passports three or more times.  A person can be charged with a crime if ten or more passports are made.

4.       The bill incentivizes foreign citizens to enter the country as many times as they want.  They will only be subject to criminal punishment if they were removed from the country 3 or more times.  Why isn’t it only 1?

5.       The bill is weak on foreign national criminal street gang members.

Heritage explains that there is a better way.  They state:

Much of the criminal activity that crosses the border involves the use of networks that smuggle people, weapons, drugs, and money—making it a national security concern. Attacking these networks is key to reducing illicit cross-border trafficking. This requires the integrated cooperation of federal, state, local, and tribal authorities. 

Unfortunately, the Gang of Eight bill would undermine those efforts.

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