Gang of Eight Talks Immigration Perks, Pitfalls, and Strategy

Here are four takeaways from a breakfast with Gang of Eight members Michael Bennet and Jeff Flake.

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Michael Bonfigli / Christian Science Monitor

Senators Michael Bennet (D-Colorado) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.),left, speak at the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel on June 12, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Democratic Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado and Republican Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona, two of the members of the bipartisan Gang of Eight, discussed their  immigration-reform bill in a breakfast with reporters Wednesday, hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. Here are TIME’s four key takeaways:

Border security and tax credits are big issues for Republicans.

Republican Senator John Cornyn’s amendment to the measure would require the Department of Homeland Security to hit a 90% apprehension rate along the southern border before the government can allow registered provisional immigrants (RPIs) to get lawful permanent resident, or “green card,” status. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has called it a “poison pill.” It’s so unpopular among Democrats that Flake assessed that it is “unlikely he’ll get his amendment as it is.”

“What we’re not open to,” said Bennet, “Is using [the border-security] discussion as a pretext for making the pathway more difficult.”

Another issue: currently the legislation allows RPIs to be eligible for the earned income tax credit, widely viewed as a successful federal program that increases the wages of the working poor. “It’s part of the tax code, and these are people that are hurting, paying taxes. It doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to me anyway to deny them [the tax credit],” said Bennet. “I’d rather they didn’t,” countered Flake. “It’s tough to justify.”

The President is playing his hand well.

Both senators say Obama’s hands-off approach has been helpful in the current partisan environment. “I think that he’s been constructive in this process allowing us to see how far we can get on the legislation,” said Bennet. “I think continuing to do that the way they’ve been would be very positive.”

Flake agrees. “I think he’s played the right role so far,” he said. “As a Republican, it would be more difficult were he out front and pushing this issue.”

Republicans know they need this bill.

Flake bemoaned that there is a “small group,” who want him to “get off immigration so we can just get on the scandals.” Still, he says, “a majority of Republicans” want immigration reform. “I believed for a long time that this issue makes it very difficult for Republicans to compete nationwide and state by state…it behooves us as Republicans to solve this issue.” Adds Flake: “It’s tough to compete for [Latinos'] vote or enter the discussion if they think they don’t like you.”

Passing a huge bipartisan bill would be a harbinger of future cooperation.

Bennet believes that if Congress and the President can agree on providing a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented workers in America, it would be evidence that “the institution of the U.S. Congress is not in fact broken.” He says that it would show that Congress can compromise on large issues, including the “hard decisions when it comes to our debt and our deficit.”

8 comments
TyPollard
TyPollard

Unusual weather we're havin'. Partly cloudy with 100% chance of crazy.

KevinBrown
KevinBrown

Adds Flake: “It’s tough to compete for [Latinos'] vote or enter the discussion if they think they don’t like you.”

Apparently, Flake is being paid big bucks to push this.Thankfully, most Americans aren't buying "Republicans need the Hispanic vote" nonsense. As this bill will crumble as soon as a real border security amendment is adopted(or rejected). Then we can get back to reforming or fixing our "broken" immigration system by allowing the self-deportaion to finally happen.

Forums4Justice
Forums4Justice

The 1986 Reagan Amnesty was projected to provide citizenship to the, between 

1.1, and 1.3, million illegal aliens thought to be in our United States at the time .... 

Almost 3.5 million illegal aliens received citizenship.

In addition, based on the Reagan 1986 amnesty, for each person who received amnesty, 
Chain Migration added 5 more, poverty-level, immigrants

Amnesty for an alleged 11 million, mostly poverty-level illegal immigrants, 
would add another 55 million poverty-level legal immigrants over the next two decades.

Is poverty-level population growth good for the national interest? 
Do we really want millions of poverty-level illegal immigrants to receive amnesty?
Aren't our entitlement programs overburdened enough already? 

End Chain Migration. Stop burdening American taxpayers with the poor from other countries.

Forums4Justice
Forums4Justice

With Illegal Immigration Reform, 30 million green cards are expected to be issued over the next 10 years,

the U.S. population will approach 400 million by 2030. Water Shortage? ... Can you imagine the traffic? 

U. S. OVERPOPULATION
YEAR ——– U.S.—- —–DECADE GAIN – GREEN CARDS 
1900——76,094,000
——————————–16,134,496 —-
1910 —–92,228,496
————————- ——13,793,041 —-
1920 —-106,021,537
————————- ——17,181,087 —-
1930 —-123,202,624
————————- ——-8,961,945 —-
1940 —-132,164,569
————————- ——19,161,229 —-
1950 —-151,325,798
————————- ——27,997,377 —-
1960 —-179,323,175
————————- ——23,888,751 —-
1970 —-203,211,926
————————- ——23,333,879 —-4,323,688
1980 —-226,545,805
————————- ——22,164,068 —-6,750,168
1990 —-248,709,873
————————- ——32,712,036 —-9,447,963
2000 —-281,421,906
————————- ——27,323,632—10,214,981
2010 —-308,745,538

yellow2
yellow2

@Forums4Justice 

Stick with your other argument. These undocumented people are already living in the US. A green card isnt going to increase traffic or use more water.

DaveFrancis
DaveFrancis

INSTEAD OF THE MAJORITY OF THE SENATE PANDERING TO THE SPECIAL INTERESTS, U.S. JOBLESS WORKERS SHOULD HAVE PARAMOUNT PRIORITY?


I don’t believe what the U.S. government tells us anymore; especially
when they think they are doing us a favor. Before any immigration reform
passes, the TRIGGERS must be reintroduced? The 700 mile double layer fence called
the 2006 Secure Fence Act and that no loopholes for illegal aliens to gain
access to public welfare either federal or State. That Sen. Ron Paul has
introduced amendment requiring an annual congressional vote
certifying that the U.S. border is secure. That the children of illegal
aliens do not get Birthright Citizenship as the parents with 3 to 6 children
can collect large cash payments, this being the largest mega cost to taxpayers and
should only be claimed by a U.S. citizen child. That employers caught hiring
illegal aliens after the implementation of the new upgraded version of E-Verify
should receive a mandatory prison sentence.
There should be no mitigating circumstances for criminal acts over one
misdemeanor and should be deported. I read thousands of comments every day,
which does not indicate to me that illegal aliens should receive a Path to
Citizenship. The Guest Worker program must be fully vetted and regulated, unlike the 1986 program, which even today is fraudulent and full of irregularities.





·
What happened
behind the Senate closed doors with the presence of unions, the radical La
Raza, the U.S. Dept of Commerce the giant agricultural mega companies, technology
businesses, pro-immigration organizations and the other special interests
lobbyists, who use their bountiful supply of favors to get Congressional bills
overturned or changed for their convenience. We can jam their phones at toll-free -- 1-888-978-3094—or you may
phone the United States Capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121. A terminal
operator will connect you directly with the Senate office or just about anybody
in Congress you request. A few well-meaning Senators who can be trusted are
Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, Senate
Minority Whip John Cornyn, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Sen. Ron Paul of Kentucky,
Sen. Coats and a few more, who are heading the list that are fighting for
American sovereignty and our rights. Set
up your own message on Twitter or Face-book as already the Left is also
flooding their misleading socialist agenda. You can reach millions of people on
these Social networks, so we can pound away at these furtive politicians. THERE
SHOULD NO PATHWAY TO CITIZENSHIP, EVER. ONLY LEGAL STATUS!



California: Cash Deficit $3.2 Billion—Total
Debt and Deficit=$127Billion



By Stephen Frank on 06/10/2013
California News and Reports:



The State Controller must be an
admirer of President Obama—neither seems to be willing to tell the full truth
about finances. Obama forgets to mentions the jobs “created” are part
time; low pay/no benefit jobs. State Controller Chiang forgets to note that the
reason we “only” have a $3.2 billion cash deficit is by transferring the debt
and deficit to other accounts—at this time per the State Auditor that number is
$127 billion. If California was a corporation the SEC would have Chiang,
Lockyer and Brown in jail and given the State to a receiving Trustee.



Be it known to all citizens and
legal permanent resident in the United States, that in just Los Angeles
County $550 million was incurred for public safety and nearly $500 million for
healthcare, welfare, as a total cost for illegal immigrants to County taxpayers
exceeding $1.6 billion dollars a year. These costs do not include the hundreds
of millions of dollars for education. The Heritage Foundation in a statement
estimated the cost to legalize the 11 million people from cradle to grave,
retirement and healthcare will be 6.4 Trillion dollars; that’s if that number
is not 20 to 25 million? Each year the 50 states spend on illegal alien welfare
$113 Billion dollars. (THESE ARE NOT THE LATEST FIGURES)

Forums4Justice
Forums4Justice

Current Status along the 1,951 mile Southwest border ....


351 miles of varying types of pedestrian fence; exception 36.3 miles of double, and triple-layered fence at key points (i.e. San Luis, AZ, and Smugglers Gulch, CA).
300 miles of vehicle barriers

129 miles of border under full control
873 miles under operational control

18,516 Border Patrol agents 

Everything I have heard, or read, over the past five years indicates that the Southwest Border Patrol agents' consensus, is that they now apprehend an estimated 1, out of every 3, illegal immigrant border crossers.

Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol Sector Monthly Apprehensions (Source: DHS/CBP)
as of April 2, 2013, Rio Grande Valley arrests were up 53% to 59,147
RGV apprehensions through May, are over 90,000
FY2013 projected 149,576 +53%
FY2012......97,762 +65%
FY2011......59,243

Border Patrol Nationwide Monthly Apprehensions (Source: DHS/CBP)
FY2013 projected --415,678 +14.0%
FY2012--364,768 +7.2%
FY2011--340,252

Bryan Roberts, who used to evaluate border and immigration programs for the Department of Homeland Security, "To catch 90 percent of all illegal crossers — which is what the Senate bill demands — the Border Patrol would have to triple the number of agents on the ground from 20,000 to 60,000." 

Critics say the government often is too fixated on high-technology solutions. C. Stewart Verdery Jr., a former Homeland Security official who now runs a lobbying firm, said federal officials should instead focus their limited resources on making it harder for illegal immigrants to work in the United States, an approach that would serve as an effective deterrent. 

“Where are you going to get the biggest bang for the buck?” Mr. Verdery said. 
“Enforcement of the workplace is probably the best area to invest more dollars.”

Forums4Justice
Forums4Justice

If illegal immigrants couldn't get a job, or collect entitlements, they wouldn't cross our border, except to visit.


Mandating, and ENFORCING, E-Verify, as it currently exists, for all jobs, and any entitlement, with harsh prosecutions of any offending employer, as well as the offending illegal immigrant, will do more to stop illegal immigration, than any futile attempt to secure the border, and also do it much faster, and at far less expense. At the same time, a mandatory, and ENFORCED, E-Verify could immediately provide jobs for millions of Americans 

Eight million illegal immigrants, are continuing to break our laws, by using false, or stolen, SS numbers, to work in, non-agriculture, on-the-books, American jobs. Only 6% of employers are presently using E-Verify. ... E-Verify has a 99.71% accuracy rate (per recent Congressional testimony) ... For every illegal immigrant working, an American isn't... 

Simply put, E-Verify is, by far, the single most-effective tool we, the people have, to prevent illegal immigration.

E-VERIFY NOW!! Full Name? Birthdate? Social Security Number?
It can't get any easier than that.


Critics say the government often is too fixated on high-technology solutions. C. Stewart Verdery Jr., a former Homeland Security official who now runs a lobbying firm, said federal officials should instead focus their limited resources on making it harder for illegal immigrants to work in the United States, an approach that would serve as an effective deterrent. 

“Where are you going to get the biggest bang for the buck?” Mr. Verdery said. 
“Enforcement of the workplace is probably the best area to invest more dollars.”