Paul Ryan, let’s debate!

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Come on Paul, you’re simply not ready for prime time.

On Wednesday, Wisconsin Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, who has supported forms of immigration reform since he was a House staffer in the 1990s, declared that he would “debate anybody” who calls the current bipartisan effort “amnesty.”

And lest I forget, Rep. Ryan, you’ve been in Washington too damn long.

The linked article at Yahoo, a news site that is more reliably leftist than the New York Times or Mother Jones, talks about S744, the Gang of Eight’s comprehensive immigration reform legislation.  Let’s deconstruct it, and while we’re at it, Rep. Ryan’s argument, such as it is.

Earlier this year, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul warned lawmakers not to trip over loaded phrases like “pathway to citizenship” and “amnesty” to describe the effort to overhaul immigration. Doing so, Paul said, would polarize the debate over reform—and he was right.

Not surprisingly, opponents of the immigration bill regularly refer to it as an offer of amnesty to immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, while proponents throw around the loosely defined term “pathway to citizenship” to see who is for it and, so, on their “side.”

Rand Paul also supports some convoluted form of amnesty, he just hasn’t defined it as neatly as Ryan and the Gang of Eight.  In 2007 McCain’s pride and joy on this subject was soundly defeated because we didn’t let him and his ilk command the language.  That bill was amnesty and it was solidly defeated.  S744 is amnesty and because they’ve jammed it through the committee and it’s now on the floor with no real debate anywhere in the process, they’ve take control of the language and they – and their media enablers – are likely to pass it in the Senate.

Now that there’s actually an immigration bill making its way through the Senate and a similar version coming in the House, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who support the effort are pushing back against opponents who use the A-word to frame the bill. …

“Earned legalization is not amnesty,” Ryan said during a forum on immigration sponsored by the National Association of Manufacturers. “I will debate anybody who tries to suggest that these ideas that are moving through Congress are amnesty. They’re not. Amnesty is wiping the slate clean and not paying any penalty for having done something wrong.”

Ryan pointed to provisions baked into the Senate bill from the beginning that require those in the United States to pay a fine, back taxes, undergo background checks and enter a years-long probationary period before earning citizenship, a process that can take up to 15 years.

“That,” Ryan said, “is not amnesty.

We’ve been documenting this travesty for over a month and if you’ve been following us you know that point-by-point, everything Paul Ryan is saying is a flat out lie.

Pay a fine

As for the fine – or “penalty” – the current version of the Senate immigration bill requires illegal immigrants to pay $500 for the initial probationary legal status and another fine of $500 six years later. If a person wants to switch from this provisional legal status to green card status (and eventual US citizenship), he or she will have to pay a $1,000 fine many years down the road. But there are many exceptions.

For example, a person of any age who claims to have entered the US before age 16 and has a high school degree or GED does not have to pay. Finally, people under 21 years of age are also exempted. Furthermore, it is likely that some non-profits will assist applicants in paying the fines – some of which will be using taxpayer-provided funds to do so. The bill actually grants such groups $150 million to help illegal immigrants apply for the amnesty. In reality, the fine may not be much of a punishment at all.

Let’s remember, the DHS under Janet Napolitano and directed by Barack Obama refuses to enforce current immigration law and the Congress, with the Gang of Eight leading from behind hasn’t said a peep.  The exceptions and the public funding for non-profits to pave the way for amnesty will make sure there are virtually no “fines” collected.

Back taxes

Despite claims from amnesty advocates, the bill does not contain a requirement that illegal immigrants pay back taxes for the many years they have been working off the books. The only requirement in the bill is that illegal immigrants must iron out any existing problems they may have with the IRS. If the IRS has ever audited the illegal immigrant and requested payment of unpaid taxes, they would be required to pay them before receiving amnesty.

The reality is that the 45 percent of illegal immigrants estimated to be working off the books are not even on the IRS’s radar and are highly unlikely to have ever been audited. There simply aren’t any tax forms to audit. Of the remaining illegal immigrants, the number who have been audited by the IRS is also likely very small, simply because historically the IRS audits only about 1 percent of tax filers.

Add to the above the fact that illegals most likely don’t come close to the income threshold to be audited.  They are low-skill, low-income workers.

You can count on zero taxes being assessed or paid by any of those 11 million illegals.  The very idea that, under the legislation as written in S744, any “back taxes” will be collected is simply stupid.

Undergo background checks

A close analysis of the Senate Gang of Eight’s Amnesty bill (S.744) shows that its authors have broken their promise to bar criminals from receiving amnesty, called “registered provisional immigrant” status (RPI status).

At first, S.744 appears to prohibit most criminals from receiving amnesty under the bill.  The bill provides that an illegal alien is ineligible for RPI status if he/she:

  • Has a conviction for a felony or aggravated felony;
  • Has a conviction for 3 or more misdemeanors (other than minor traffic offenses);
  • Has a conviction for any offense under foreign law that if committed in the U.S. would render the alien inadmissible or removable;
  • Has a conviction for unlawful voting;
  • Is reasonably believed to be engaged in, or likely to engage in, terrorist activity.

However, when one looks at the details, one sees that these bars do not apply a wide range of criminal conduct.  First, the language provides that aliens with certain “convictions” are ineligible for RPI status.  This means that anyone charged with the offense and released on bond is still eligible.  It also means that juvenile aliens who committed egregious offenses will not be barred from eligibility, as they are technically “adjudicated delinquent” not “convicted” of a crime.  Finally, barring aliens with convictions for certain crimes ignores the fact that many individuals will “plea down” their offenses in order to turn a felony conviction into a misdemeanor conviction or a misdemeanor conviction into a misdemeanor conviction with a lesser penalty.

Next, the bill contains a glaring loophole: it allows DHS to waive misdemeanor convictions for the purposes of determining eligibility for amnesty. Indeed S.744 allows DHS to waive multiple misdemeanor convictions.

Again, DHS has the sole power to waive convictions on background checks.  They refuse to enforce the current immigration law, why would we think for a second that they’ll not grant waivers enmasse to criminal illegal aliens.  After all, they’re currently releasing felons from custody.

The leadership of the unions that represent immigration employees, the people who do the background checks and process the application of illegal aliens, said this…

“The legislation will provide legal status to millions of visa overstays while failing to provide for necessary in-person interviews,” union President Kenneth Palinkas said in a statement. “Legal status is also explicitly granted to millions who have committed serious immigration and criminal offenses.” …

The USCIS union’s workers examine and approve citizenship and visa applications.

Palinkas said USCIS employees are pressured to “rubber-stamp” citizenship and visa applications and lack the resources to adequately investigate applicants.

I’m no fan of government employee unions, but in this instance, if I have to chose who is in the best position to understand whether illegal aliens will actually have real background checks, I’ll believe the union leadership over Paul Ryan every day.

A process that can take up to 15 years…

I’ll just note here that the “process” will be run by DHS.  That would be the same DHS that refuses to enforce current immigration laws.

Representative Ryan, you’re either lying or stupid.  Want to debate?  Just give me 24 hours notice to show up and you’re on.  Bring both of my lying Senators (McCain & Flake) with you to help.

 

About Author

Michael Becker is a long time activist and a businessman. He's been involved in the pro-life movement since 1976 and has been counseling addicts and ministering to prison inmates since 1980. Becker is a Curmudgeon. He has decades of experience as an operations executive in turnaround situations and in mortgage banking. He blogs regularly at The Right Curmudgeon, The Minority Report, Wizbang, Unified Patriots and Joe for America. He lives in Phoenix and is almost always armed.

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