Illegal Immigration Battles Loom with Obama
Despite their victory in the huge fight over amnesty for illegal immigrants in 2007, conservatives can’t rest easy: it’s all about to happen all over again.
The Democrats’ (and RINO Republicans’) push for “comprehensive immigration reform” has returned and will be a major issue this year, and perhaps next year as well if the pro-amnesty groups don’t get their way.
Whether Barack Obama wants to risk another public backlash over such a comprehensive effort early in his first term — knowing that polls indicate the large majority of Americans oppose illegal immigration — is a big question mark. But we do know that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, (D-Nev) said just two Sundays ago on Meet the Press that John McCain had promised him to work “real, real hard on immigration reform, and I’ll work with him”
Reid further said this includes “a pathway to legalization” for illegal immigrants already here as well as untold numbers of new foreign workers under a “guest work program.”
We know the new administration will veer toward a more open-borders policy as indicated by Obama’s choices of Janet Napolitano as Homeland Security chief and Hilda Solis as Labor Secretary.
Napolitano is a proponent of amnesty for the estimated 15 million illegal aliens who have sneaked across our borders. She is an opponent of the almost completed 650-mile U.S.-Mexico border fence. As Arizona’s governor, Napolitano also slashed funds to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s task force working against illegal alien drug, arms and human smuggling.
Incredibly, she also vetoed legislation to deny in-state college tuition to illegal aliens and a bill designating English as the official language of government.
Solis, as a California state senator and now congresswoman, touts her radical open borders record. She opposes federal workplace raids, defends illegal immigrant day labor sites and opposes efforts by cities to enact ordinances against such havens. Solis is accused by the organization ProEnglish for “taking a sledgehammer to America’s melting pot society” by introducing a misnamed-bill “The Health Equity and Accountability Act.” It requires all federally-funded entities to provide “meaningful access” to their services for non-English speaking immigrants. The huge cost of providing such translation services for the 320-plus languages spoken in the U.S. would of course be paid by the taxpayers as well as by health care consumers in the form of bigger bills.
The new president could also stop the Bush administration’s defense in a California federal court of an administrative rule cracking down on employers with illegal immigrant workers.
He could also rescind the rule requiring employers to fire employees who cannot resolve the failure to match their name and Social Security number with the information in the Social Security Administration database. Employers receive “no match” letters from Social Security, and usually the illegal worker disappears upon their receipt. A key plaintiff is the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has a history of protecting greedy employers who hire undocumented workers. A ruling could come in March or April.
A major battle will emerge over the E-verify homeland security program, a free online service that enables employers to check the identities — and whether they’re legally in the US — of prospective employees. E-verify comes up for congressional re-authorization in March and it’s being opposed by many business groups such as the US Chamber of Commerce.
E-verify is a program that the Center for Immigration Studies labels extremely effective in helping demagnetize the jobs magnet that draws illegal aliens. An employer can log onto the Homeland Security website and enter an applicant’s Social Security number into the federal database to ascertain if a worker is legal. In fact, a new E-verify feature is a photo of the job applicant that pops up on the employer’s computer screen — so it is more than just a Social Security number being verified. (All too many illegal immigrants, of course, steal the Social Security numbers and identities of real citizens.)
Voluntary use of E-verify by employers has risen dramatically in all 50 states, and the Bush administration issued an executive order requiring that federal contractors and subcontractors use the system. Yet left-wing open border advocates, allied with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are pushing Obama to reverse the order. Of course, as Homeland Security spokeswoman DHS spokeswoman Laura Keehner emphasizes, there is “very little” reason for a company to avoid using the system “unless you are for some reason in favor of hiring illegal immigrants.”
There are now 10 million unemployed Americans. They will have very little chance of finding a job if U.S.-Mexico border control is undermined, if the Obama Justice Department withdraws from the California lawsuit and if the E-verify system (which Obama once claimed he supported) is gutted.
If it goes that route, the Obama administration should anticipate a noisy public reaction similar to one that derailed the 2007 U.S. Senate amnesty proposal for illegal immigrants.