June 2013 E-Newsletter

Senator Mike Crapo
2013-07-01 12:41:28
United States Senator Mike Crapo - Idaho Dear Friends, Welcome to my latest edition of the E-Newsletter Immigration Rarely does an issue invoke more interest from Idahoans and people across the nation than the issue of immigration reform and border security.� In the last several weeks, the U.S. Senate has been debating and considering S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, commonly referred to as the �immigration reform bill".� During that time I have heard from over 2,000 Idahoans who have expressed concerns with the legislation. Throughout the history of the United States, our immigration laws have been periodically altered and adapted to meet our changing needs and circumstances.� I have consistently maintained that there is a real need for rational immigration reform.� However, S.744 fails to provide the necessary reforms to stop illegal immigration at the border while ensuring fairness for both current Americans and immigrants alike.� Unfortunately, the current Senate bill bears striking resemblance to laws passed in 1965, 1968 and 1986.� Americans need and deserve better. We cannot afford to repeat the same mistakes of the past. The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (ICRA) was sold on the premise that it would solve the issues plaguing both the 1965 and 1968 attempts at Congressional reform.� Sadly, these same problems still exist today, but have only worsened over the past two decades.� ICRA�s proponents promised that in exchange for legalizing approximately 3 million illegal immigrants, the U.S. government would finally, and effectively, secure the border.� ICRA prescribed employer sanctions for hiring undocumented workers, a workable guest worker program for agriculture, and guaranteed first opportunities for America�s unemployed labor force.� On its face, ICRA and S. 744 are remarkably similar. More than 25 years later, the estimated population of illegal immigrants has ballooned to 11 million, and the seasonal program promised to aid America�s farms and ranches is bogged down in bureaucracy, rendering it completely ineffective.� Further, economists at the Council on Foreign Relations estimate an apprehension range of 40 to 55 percent, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office determined that the Senate bill would only stem the flow of illegal immigration by 25 percent.� It is clear that the border security measures contained in S. 744 are nowhere near acceptable.�� During debate on the Senate bill, I co-sponsored an amendment offered by my colleague from Texas, Senator John Cornyn, which would strengthen border security requirements by putting in place specific, quantifiable benchmarks to ensure the Department of Homeland Security� achieves 100 percent surveillance and a ninety percent apprehension rate before any legal status can be recognized or given.� I was disappointed that this amendment was tabled and denied an up-or-down vote.� To learn more about the amendment, click here [link 8]. I also sponsored several other amendments in an effort to improve the bill: - I joined my colleague from Montana, Senator Jon Tester, in offering an amendment to provide a �use restriction� to clarify when E-Verify photographs can and cannot be used.� This amendment was in response to concerns that the federal mandate to implement E-Verify would result in a national, searchable database of vital biographic information and photographs of every American, similar to a national ID system. To learn more, click here [link 9]. � - Shackling a pregnant detainee is an unnecessary and outdated law enforcement practice that is strongly opposed by the medical and criminal justice communities, yet it is still legal in 32 states across the country.� Senator Patty Murray (D-Washington) and I offered an amendment to place a federal ban on the practice of shackling pregnant detainees to their hospital beds during childbirth.� To learn more, click here [link 10]. � - I again joined my colleague, Senator Jon Tester (D-Montana), in sponsoring an amendment that will add four tribal representatives�two from the northern region and two from the southern region�to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Border Oversight Task Force.� The DHS Task Force will be responsible for making recommendations on how to secure the border across thousands of miles of public, private and tribal lands.� These border communities know the land better than anyone, including its vulnerabilities and threats.� Tribes on both the northern and southern borders should be included to improve public safety and better communicate with law enforcement.�The Senate adopted the amendment by a strong bipartisan vote of 94-0.� To learn more, click here. [link 11] With over 500 amendments filed to the Senate bill, it is extremely important that comprehensive reform not be rushed.� Sound and well-balanced policy is formed only after careful consideration and lengthy debate.� The Majority Leader�s decision to file Cloture on S.744 to effectively end further debate and severely limit the amendment process was disappointing, which is why I voted against invoking cloture on the bill.� To read my full statement following the vote, click here [link 12]. Ultimately, I voted no on S.744, which passed the Senate by a vote of 68-32. �I could not support the bill as it stood.� Stronger border security measures are needed to ensure our nation�s borders are secure to prevent an illegal immigration problem from occurring in the future.� I also have grave concerns about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) that, �under the Senate bill, will allow anyone granted legal status to qualify for the credit for previous years in which they were not legally authorized to work in the U.S.� My colleagues and I on the Senate Finance Committee have long tried to reform this credit, which allows the IRS to issue a refund of approximately $6,000 to an illegal worker issued an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN).� In Fiscal Year 2012 alone, these cash payments exceeded $52 billion.� Our debt crisis is an existential threat to the future of the United States and we cannot afford to continue this credit to illegal immigrants.� Without meaningful EITC reform, I could not support the bill. Finally, I have consistently maintained that no person who breaks the law and enters the U.S. illegally should obtain any benefit toward either permanent legal residency or citizenship as a result of their illegal conduct.�� This is unfair both to American citizens and to those entering through legal channels. �At the core of the national character of the United States stands two principles: One, we are a nation of immigrants; within our borders every culture and ethnicity in the world is represented.� Almost all who live here can easily trace their ancestry to a foreign country.� Two, we are a peace-loving, compassionate, law-abiding society.� The United States, more than any other country, has a stable political and economic system because we respect the rule of law that maintains the peace and prosperity we enjoy.� As a U.S. Senator, I have pledged to advocate for what is best for both Idahoans and our nation.� The Senate bill is not in that interest.� We must not forget the lessons of the 1986 bill and make the same mistakes. To read my full statement following the vote on final passage, click here [link 13]. *Banking Committee Update* In my position as Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, I oversee many issues affecting the people of Idaho every day.� This month alone, the Committee held hearings on issues ranging from sanctions against Iran to student loans to nominations at important federal agencies.� One of the most significant hearings was held on lessons learned from the financial crisis� effect on community banks.� The number of banking organizations has shrunk by nearly one-third from 1990-2006, most of this reduction involving small community banks whose numbers fell by more than 3,000 during that time.� The financial crisis of 2008 only exacerbated this consolidation trend.� This is a critical issue since small banks represent the lifeblood of many communities across America, and especially rural communities in Idaho.� At the hearing, I encouraged regulators to help Congress identify the proper structure and system that needs to be in place to create the best safety and soundness, and best profitability for a strong community banking system.� To see my remarks, click the photo below.� Another issue that continues to be of serious concern to me is the massive data collection effort being undertaken by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an agency over with the Banking Committee has jurisdiction.� In a recent op-ed [link 16], I expressed my concerns with the agency acquiring data on the spending habits of more than 10 million Americans, and subsequently sent a letter [link 17] to the CFPB inquiring about the legality of this data collection.� A recent article in the American Spectator sheds substantial light on the issue: �Richard Cordray is Watching You [link 18]� *Hot Topics* - The administration recently announced a decision to decrease the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILT) payments to local governments across the country, including those in Idaho.� PILT was enacted to provide payments to offset the impact of the presence of federal lands. Nearly 80 percent of Idaho�s counties depend on these instrumental funds that help provide for schools, road maintenance, law enforcement and emergency response.� It is unthinkable that the administration would choose to make cuts to these essential programs, instead of responsibly targeting cuts towards discretionary spending. To learn more, click here [link 19]. � - Recently, reports have surfaced that the president is being encouraged to use his authority to designate federal lands as national monuments to prevent these lands from being used for oil and gas exploration.� In response, I joined nine Republican Senators in a letter to President Obama urging against unilaterally designating land as a national monument.� I encourage the president to remember that the modest economic growth the country has seen over the last five years has come from oil and gas production on private and state-owned lands.� To read more, click here [link 20]. � - I recently welcomed nine new interns to my Washington, D.C., and Idaho offices for the summer to learn more about Congress and the legislative process.� Interns play an integral role in my offices and assist staff with legislative research, constituent services, communications efforts, administrative tasks and many other duties.� To learn more about my summer interns and the internship program, click here [link 21]. � - Senator Crapo recently commented on the president�s attempt to bypass Congress to implement a national global warming policy.� To hear Senator Crapo�s thoughts, click here [link 22]. *Crapo�s Picks* Earlier this month, program trustees reported that Medicare will reach insolvency in 2026, and Social Security shortly after in 2033. �Congress cannot continue to ignore the fact that these programs are unsustainable and must be reformed to protect current beneficiaries and future generations. To learn more, click here [link 23]. *Recent Editorials* June 24, 2013: Increasing Access to Idaho Dairy Products [link 24] June 17, 2013: Taking Steps to Reduce Fire Risk [link 25] June 10, 2013: Using Tax Scrutiny to Chill Speech Is Intolerable [link 26] June 3, 2013: Taking County Funds Is Not the Solution [link 27] � *Staying in Touch* Follow me on Twitter [link 28] Like me on Facebook [link 29] Subscribe to my YouTube Page [link 30] � *Looking for more information? Please use�the�questions to�the�left to specify.* Please visit�the�Issues and Legislation [link 31]�section of my website for information that addresses many issues important to all of us.� As always, I highly value�the�opinions and concerns of my fellow Idahoans.� With that in mind, we�continue to work to improve my website. Please do not reply directly to this e-newsletter.� We are set up to respond to your comments,�suggestions�or concerns at my official website, www.crapo.senate.gov/contact/contact.cfm. [link 32]� Also,�please let me know if�there�are other issues that you would like me to address. All the best,
July 01, 2013
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Dear Friends,

Welcome to my latest edition of the E-Newsletter

Immigration

Rarely does an issue invoke more interest from Idahoans and people across the nation than the issue of immigration reform and border security.  In the last several weeks, the U.S. Senate has been debating and considering S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act, commonly referred to as the �immigration reform bill".  During that time I have heard from over 2,000 Idahoans who have expressed concerns with the legislation.

Throughout the history of the United States, our immigration laws have been periodically altered and adapted to meet our changing needs and circumstances.  I have consistently maintained that there is a real need for rational immigration reform.  However, S.744 fails to provide the necessary reforms to stop illegal immigration at the border while ensuring fairness for both current Americans and immigrants alike.  Unfortunately, the current Senate bill bears striking resemblance to laws passed in 1965, 1968 and 1986.  Americans need and deserve better. We cannot afford to repeat the same mistakes of the past.

The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (ICRA) was sold on the premise that it would solve the issues plaguing both the 1965 and 1968 attempts at Congressional reform.  Sadly, these same problems still exist today, but have only worsened over the past two decades.  ICRA�s proponents promised that in exchange for legalizing approximately 3 million illegal immigrants, the U.S. government would finally, and effectively, secure the border.  ICRA prescribed employer sanctions for hiring undocumented workers, a workable guest worker program for agriculture, and guaranteed first opportunities for America�s unemployed labor force.  On its face, ICRA and S. 744 are remarkably similar.

More than 25 years later, the estimated population of illegal immigrants has ballooned to 11 million, and the seasonal program promised to aid America�s farms and ranches is bogged down in bureaucracy, rendering it completely ineffective.  Further, economists at the Council on Foreign Relations estimate an apprehension range of 40 to 55 percent, and the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office determined that the Senate bill would only stem the flow of illegal immigration by 25 percent.  It is clear that the border security measures contained in S. 744 are nowhere near acceptable.  

During debate on the Senate bill, I co-sponsored an amendment offered by my colleague from Texas, Senator John Cornyn, which would strengthen border security requirements by putting in place specific, quantifiable benchmarks to ensure the Department of Homeland Security  achieves 100 percent surveillance and a ninety percent apprehension rate before any legal status can be recognized or given.  I was disappointed that this amendment was tabled and denied an up-or-down vote.  To learn more about the amendment, click I also sponsored several other amendments in an effort to improve the bill:

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