Senator Johanns e-Update
As you know, the Senate yesterday passed a 1200-page piece of legislation, which I opposed, that attempted to reform our immigration system. This bill is not all that its supporters claim. There are numerous instances where the triggers and requirements touted by its supporters have a waiver attached to them. In fact, I was alarmed to find over 200 references to waivers or exceptions in the bill.
While not all of these waivers are necessarily negative, there were several that were particularly concerning to me. For example:
•While the amendment requires additional border security measures before green cards are issued, it contains an exception allowing the Secretary of Homeland Security to waive those security measures if any are delayed due to litigation at the end of the first 10-year window.
•The bill gives legal status to illegal and undocumented immigrants almost immediately and almost all restrictions can be waived by the Secretary of Homeland Security, including:
•Gang members are not allowed to apply for legal status. However, the Secretary can waive this provision.
•Illegal immigrants who have committed three misdemeanors are ineligible for legal status under the bill, but the Secretary can waive the provision for humanitarian purposes, to ensure family unity, or if such a waiver is otherwise in the public interest.
•The bill prohibits illegal immigrants who departed the U.S. and then reentered illegally after December 31, 2011, from receiving legal status. The Secretary has the sole and unreviewable discretion to allow these individuals to apply for legal status.
•Illegal immigrants are required to prove they are gainfully employed or attending an educational institution prior to receiving green cards. Again, the Secretary can waive the employment or education requirements.
Americans deserve a straight-forward solution to immigration reform, not one that contains hidden waivers and exceptions.
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