House conservatives today announced plans to amend a Republican-sponsored immigration reform bill with language calling for the construction of a 2,000-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border and a provision that would deny citizenship to children born in the U.S. whose parents aren’t citizens.
The legislation, sponsored by House Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R.-Wis.), is expected to be voted on by the full House as early as next week. Sensenbrenner has worked closely with the White House to craft the bill (H.R. 4437) — the reason conservatives cited for the exclusion of key enforcement tools.
Rep. Tom Tancredo (R.-Colo.) organized Thursday’s press conference featuring about 20 other conservative Republicans. Each complained about a particular area they want to see addressed (see full list below).
Among those issues likely to be the center of debate next week: the lack of language authorizing a physical structure along the border and the exclusion of a so-called “anchor baby” provision undoing birthright citizenship.
The House conservatives said they would attempt to attach two bills previously introduced to Sensenbrenner’s legislation. House Armed Services Chairman Duncan Hunter (R.-Calif.) is sponsoring the TRUE Enforcement and Border Security Act (H.R. 4313), which authorized the fence construction, and Rep. Nathan Deal (R.-Ga.) introduced the Citizenship Reform Act (H.R. 698), which denies birthright citizenship.
Responding to Sensenbrenner’s bill, Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R.-Ariz.) said, “Both the timing and the thin patchwork context of this proposed House bill reinforced my concern that Washington continues to view illegal immigration as a political problem to be managed, rather than an invasion to be stopped.”
Conservatives flatly rejected any compromise with the Senate that would include a guest-worker or amnesty proposal. During a House Judiciary Committee meeting today, Republicans rejected a Democrat-sponsored amendment that would have attached a guest-worker proposal to Sensenbrenner’s bill.
Tancredo, leader of the 92-member House Immigration Reform Caucus, wouldn’t commit to any specific plan of action regarding amendments. His spokesman said no vote count had been done on any of the potential amendments, adding that the first priority is to simply convince GOP leaders to allow votes on amendments to the bill.
The full list of concerns, released by Tancredo’s office, is printed below.
Fixing our Broken Borders:
- Begin building a border security fence
- Put military on the border
- End ‘catch and release’
- Mandate passport usage for everyone traveling internationally
- Make volunteer border patrol a sanctioned federal activity
- Suspend visa waiver program
Enforcing the Law throughout our Country:
- Require a federal response when local law enforcement asks to have illegal aliens arrested
- Restrict federal money that goes to local governments that have illegal alien sanctuary policies
- Close the loophole which allows religious organizations and their agents to be immune from illegal alien harboring laws
- Make a DUI a deportable offense
- Increase penalties for smuggling of illegal aliens
- Increase penalties for terrorists who are illegal aliens
- Increase penalties for gang members who are illegal aliens
- Draft minimum standards for birth certificates and birth/death registries
- Make unlawful presence in the U.S. a felony
Stopping Businesses from Hiring Illegals:
- Make employment verification mandatory
- Eliminate the business tax write-off for illegal workers
- Increase the penalty for employers who hire illegal aliens
- Make businesses who hire illegal aliens ineligible for future guest workers
Reducing the Incentive to Come Illegally:
- Disallow all federal funding from going to states that offer in-state tuition to illegal aliens
- Disallow the matricula consular card as a legal form of identification
- Reform the use of ITINs
- Eliminate social security totalization for illegal aliens
Disentangling Foreign Policy from Immigration:
- Block any immigration provisions from being inserted into trade bills
- Block visas to countries that refuse to take their nationals back
- Reduce the availability of yearly legal visas per country by the number of illegal aliens from such country
Restoring the Meaning of Citizenship:
- End birthright citizenship for illegal aliens
- Eliminate dual citizenship
- Make English the official language
- Write the oath of citizenship into law
Reforming Legal Immigration:
- Eliminate the visa lottery
- Eliminate chain migration
- Eliminate H-1B visas
- Eliminate unskilled worker green cards
- Create a Department of Immigration or a cabinet-level agency
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