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A cliched but legitimate argument made by restrictionists in opposition to any type of “comprehensive” immigration plan that purports to happily marry enforcement with amnesty is that the same false promise was made 25 years ago, when, numerically-speaking, the stakes were a lot lower. Fool us once, shame on you; fool us twice, shame on us.

Sharing that sentiment, I’d like to see HR 2164 smothered. The resolution is being pushed by Lamar Smith (R-TX). Smith is hardly a champion of the open borders cause. NumbersUSA gives him an A for the last two years, and an A+ for the entirety of his congressional career. But he’s dining with the devil, Mephistopheles taking form as the US Chamber of Commerce in this case.

In essence, HR 2164 makes nationwide use of E-Verify mandatory for most private employers (with some egregious exceptions*) in exchange for amending federal law so that SCOTUS precedent set in the Whiting case–which holds that federal and state governments may work together to enforce immigration law–becomes irrelevant, and immigration enforcement solely becomes the domain of the federal government.

With impeccable timing, President Obama recentlyh issued an executive order that basically puts the DREAM Act, which has been repeatedly countered by the will of the people, directly into play. It does not inspire confidence that the federal government wants anything to do with enforcement:

The Obama administration memo from the John Morton, Director of I.C.E. (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) directs I.C.E. agents now to use prosecutorial discretion with regard to enforcing immigration laws. Director Morton says that Obama Administration policy directs border patrol agents not to enforce immigration laws: “When ICE favorably exercises prosecutorial discretion, it essentially decides not to assert the full scope of the enforcement authority available to the agency.”

I have a lot more confidence in Maricopa County deputies than I do in John Morton. If you’re of a like mind, consider calling or e-mailing your House representative to express your opinion on HR 2164. Easily find the necessary contact information here.

* For example, all people currently employed, irrespective of their residency status, would be exempted from an E-Verify check so long as they remain in their current positions. And if an employer has worked with an aspiring employee at some point in the past without incident, that potential employee is similarly exempted–an exception that opens the door for all kinds of abuses.

(Republished from The Audacious Epigone by permission of author or representative)
• Tags: Immigration, Take action 
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  1. AE,

    A lot of big names have endorsed the bill, including Tom Tancredo. Do you know of any of them have addressed your criticisms? I agree that the bill sounds awful, and I can't figure out what they see in it.

  2. jmperry,

    It's driving a wedge through the restrictionist movement. Prominent people in the movement who have been big boosters of E-Verify seem to be the biggest backers of the bill. I'm not sure if they feel they have to support it, or they think it should be a federal issue exclusively, and that we just need the right people in charge at the federal level.

  3. AE,

    Thanks for the explanation. I can see why they would support the bill if E-Verify is a long-time pet project of theirs, though it's still a terrible idea. I'll definitely call my congresscritters and ask them not to support it.

  4. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Did Democrats end the wars like their constituents wanted? No.

    Will Republicans refuse amnesty like their constituents want? No.

    We have no Democracy.

    "we just need the right people in charge at the federal level."

    Yes, we do. Will we get them? No.

    The truth is AE would be a fine president, as would a million other good guys. You don't need to be an expert in a bunch of stuff. You just have to be willing and able to read and think and ask the right questions and make the right decisions. We have those people all over this country except at the top.

  5. Section 6 ofthe bill is the only thing that is worrisome to me, but it is very worrisome indeed:

    Sec 6: The provisions of this section preempt any State or local law, ordinance, policy, or rule, including any criminal or civil fine or penalty structure, insofar as they may now or hereafter relate to the hiring, continued employment, or status verification for employment eligibility purposes, of unauthorized aliens. A State, locality, municipality, or political subdivision may exercise its authority over business licensing and similar laws as a penalty for failure to use the verification system described in subsection (d) to verify employment eligibility when and as required under subsection (b).’.

    So, states and local governments may include the provisions laid out in HR 2164 to hit businesses that employ illegals to whatever extent they will be able to do so with the Whitey precedent abrogated. The problem is, as I understand it, that the abilities of states and local municipalities are too limited, so that the benefits of this bill are contingent upon the federal government's enforcement of the new E-Verify requirements. This appears to be why the US Chamber of Commerce so promptly announced its support for the legislation.

    NumbersUSA backs the bill, too, although other equally tenacious restrictionists like Kris Kobach oppose it. I hope I didn't jump the gun, but with neither political party having shown any seriousness in enforcing immigration law at the federal level in the last 50 years, the preemption clause makes me very wary.

  6. "I hope I didn't jump the gun, but with neither political party having shown any seriousness in enforcing immigration law at the federal level in the last 50 years, the preemption clause makes me very wary."

    The laws we have now are sufficient. They aren't enforced. That is the problem. This is not a legal issue. It is an enforcement issue. None of the folks at the top will enforce laws unless they want to, and they don't want to. We have no democracy.

    Reminds me of Chomsky's book, Manufacturing Consent.

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