Our View: No Conservative Could Vote for Senate Immigration Bill

No conservative could vote for the immigration bill expected to come up in the U.S. Senate today. It is the worst bill ever considered by the Republican majority Congress.

President Bush’s Medicare prescription drug entitlement, which added $8 trillion in unfunded liabilities to the long-term national debt, was outrageously bad legislation. This bill is more outrageous. It carries not only great fiscal costs, but social and cultural ones as well.

And it will not secure the border.

First, this bill may cause the Balkanization of America. Last week HUMAN EVENTS published an analysis by Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector, who determined that the bill would allow 66 million new immigrants to enter the U.S. over the next 20 years. The fabled U.S. melting pot is already bubbling over. It cannot absorb and assimilate 66 million new immigrants in such a short period of time—especially since most of these new immigrants would come from the same part of the world, Latin America, and speak the same language, Spanish.

Secondly, this bill will impose onerous social costs on American communities. In his nationally televised speech last Monday night, Bush conceded that illegal immigration “puts pressure on public schools and hospitals, it strains state and local budgets, and brings crime to our communities.” It is not clear why the President believes that converting 10 to 12 illegal aliens into guest workers and permanent legal residents, as the Senate bill does, would magically make these social costs go away. On the contrary, allowing many millions of more low-wage immigrants to enter the country, as the Senate bill also does, magnifies the problem.

On just the federal level, the costs are staggering. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the illegal aliens granted amnesty by the Senate bill would receive $29 billion in direct payments from the federal Treasury in the form of “Earned Income Tax Credits” over 10 years. The Heritage Foundation calculates that the illegal aliens granted amnesty by the Senate bill—not counting the many millions more that would follow them–would receive about $50 billion per year in welfare benefits from 10 to 20 years out.

The bill also insults the intelligence of Americans. Its supporters insist it is not an amnesty. It obviously is: It allows people who have entered our country illegally to stay here and be rewarded with U.S. citizenship.

And, finally, the bill is loaded with bad surprises. Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a true conservative, found multiple outrages buried in its fine print, which he laid out in a must-read speech delivered on the Senate floor.

For example, Sessions found that the bill grants amnesty not only to illegal aliens, but also to employers who have cheated on their taxes. “They get tax amnesty,” said Sessions. “Employers of illegal aliens applying for adjustment of status—amnesty—‘shall not be subject to civil and criminal tax liability relating directly to the employment of such alien.’ That means a business that hired illegal workers does not have to pay the taxes they should have paid.”

What a crock!

No conservative could vote for this bill.

Call or e-mail your senator and tell him to vote no. You can reach him through the Senate switchboard at (202) 224-3121.