The Senate Judiciary Committee will mark up S. 744 (aka: "The Gang of Eight" immigration bill) on May 9th despite less than half of American knowing even basic details about the legislation. According to Pew Research, only 37 percent of Americans know that the bill was introduced by a bipartisan group of Senators, and only 47 percent are aware that the legislation would allow illegal aliens to stay in the country and apply for citizenship. The media hasn't had a lot of time to give the American public many details about the bill, so here is a partial list of under-reported details that have been discovered by people sifting through S. 744's 844 pages:
33 million new permanent workers via legalization and expanded immigration in first decade: The author's of S. 744 have been quiet on the question of numbers but NumbersUSA estimates that S. 744 would add an additional 33 million permanent workers via amnesty and future immigration in the first decade alone. Thirty three million is the equivalent of the top 20 most populated cities in the United States.
Illegal workers who never filed tax returns would not have to pay back taxes: Page 68 defines the tax requirements for illegal aliens that are eligible for amnesty under the bill. The tax clause states:
An alien may not file an application for registered provisional immigrant status under paragraph (1) unless the applicant has satisfied any applicable Federal tax liability.
The bill then defines the term "applicable Federal tax liability" as all Federal income taxes assessed in accordance with section 6203 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. In other words, illegal aliens that have filed a tax return and owe taxes to the federal government will have to pay those taxes before they can receive amnesty, but those who were paid off the books or simply failed to file a tax return will not.
Protection for illegal identity thieves, but no restitution for victims: Analysis from Ron Mortenson found: "government employees (who have sworn an oath to the Constitution to faithfully discharge their duties) who uncover Social Security fraud, identity theft, or perjury on I-9 forms while reviewing applications for provisional status would be prohibited from notifying victims, law enforcement, etc. (pp. 92, 120) If government employees do report the crimes, they could be fined $10,000. This is 10 times more than the $1,000 penalty paid by an illegal alien who has committed felony identity theft. (pp. 84, 120, 130-134)."
Simply put, amnestied aliens who have stolen the identities of Americans would be given a new Social Security number and a clean slate while their victims are left to spent countless hours and money clearing up their stolen records.
Illegal employers get amnesty, too: "Employers who have illegal immigrants on their payroll can keep them there with no penalty; there is no assessment of back taxes for their employees who worked off the books; those who paid unfair wages will not be prosecuted; and those who aided fraud by accepting bogus Social Security numbers won't face a penalty." (Stephen Dinan, "Immigration bill grants amnesty to employers of illegals; no prosecution for bogus IDs" Washington Times, April 29, 2013).
Loopholes to ensure legalized aliens get benefits earlier than claimed: Sen. Sessions' office found several loopholes that would get around the claim that newly-legalized aliens would not access public benefits. According to page 91 of the bill, all illegal aliens granted legalized RPI status would be considered by the legal definition, "lawfully present."
According to the Sessions memo, "state laws frequently extend benefits to anyone 'lawfully present' in the U.S."
The Sessions team points to a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) brief that details how the only requirement many state and local governments have with regard to immigrant access to public benefits is that they are "lawfully present."
Under the new bill, one does not have to be financially stable to receive RPI status. According to the Sessions' memo the legislation "explicitly forbids" the DHS from using current law, that blocks those who could become dependent on the state.
According to analysis from Senator Sessions' office, "The bill provides a five-year pathway to citizenship for 2--3 million illegal immigrants--of any age, including those previously deported--who claim DREAM eligibility. These illegal immigrants will be eligible for all federal assistance--and will be able to bring in an unlimited number of parents, spouses, and children in just five years. Illegal ag workers will get green cards in five years and will be able to apply for citizenship in 10. The families of illegal immigrants (including elderly parents) now living outside the country will be eligible for federal benefits as soon as 10 years from the passage of the bill."
JEREMY BECK is the Director of the Media Standards Project for NumbersUSA
Updated: Thu, May 2nd 2013 @ 9:38am EDT