We're starting to get quite a lot of inquiries from our members about what is going on with NumbersUSA and a much trumpeted "DREAM" amnesty proposal by Sen. Marco Rubio. Because he is Hispanic, Republican and possibly a VP candidate, and because he is meeting with long-time DREAM supporters among Democrats and Hispanic groups and with long-time opponents of DREAM, Sen. Rubio is creating a media frenzy.
And because NumbersUSA is known in Washington D.C. as the primary organization behind the killing of the DREAM amnesty in 2007 and in the lame duck session of 2010 in the Senate, lots of the media who are focused on Congress are trying to find out where we stand on Sen. Rubio's attempt to come up with an amnesty that has enough limitations to win our approval but also is able to get votes from the pro-amnesty crowd.
First, let me make this clear: NumbersUSA is NOT endorsing or otherwise supporting the as-yet unrevealed Rubio plan for illegal aliens who were brought here as young children.
But the Politico newspaper created something of an impression of movement on the Rubio not-a-bill-yet early this week when it reported that Sen. Rubio had contacted us about the proposal. The article paraphrased me as saying that NumbersUSA "would be willing to entertain the proposal" if it contained certain provisions.
It is true that the Senator contacted us, but he has not talked to us about the details of his proposal. It is also true that I have said in media interviews for years that I believe some of the illegal aliens who would be covered by the DREAM amnesty have compelling cases that might be considered. I have also said that there are millions of unemployed Americans who also have compelling cases and that an amnesty for the compelling DREAM cases would do further harm to unemployed Americans.
National Review this week quoted Rosemary Jenks (our director of government relations) explaining that NumbersUSA couldn't consider a DREAM amnesty unless the bill also . . .
. . . ended chain migration, required employers to use E-Verify nationwide, and permitted only those young adults who had been brought to the United States at a very young age (think ten or younger) to be eligible for legal status. If the bill doesen't include those provisions, NumbersUSA intends to actively oppose it."
Note that the key to the provisions Rosemary mentioned is that they would greatly reduce future green cards for more immigrants to enter the country to compete with unemployed Americans, and they would take away the ability of future illegal aliens to hold U.S. jobs for many years while their children became rooted in our schools and society.
Also note that we are not saying that we WILL support such an amnesty bill that included the key provisions but merely that we would be WILLING to CONSIDER such a bill.
Sen. Rubio and his supporters are claiming that his proposal would not be an amnesty because it would not give the illegal aliens U.S. citizenship. Reporters are calling me to get our opinion. The Hill newspaper wrote this yesterday:
Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, an anti-illegal immigration advocacy group that defeated the DREAM Act in past years, said Rubio's proposal would amount to amnesty."
'Everything we're reading says the bill would give a permanent presence and a permanent access to jobs,' Beck said. 'It's absolutely an amnesty. Not a citizenship amnesty but an amnesty.'"
National Review quotes Rosemary saying that Rubio's . . .
. . . current version, as described by media reports, 'is a non-starter' for (NumbersUSA)."
The National Review continues:
That's no small threat. Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, calls NumbersUSA "sort of the most influential lobbying group most people have never heard of" and notes that "they've got a million activists." Krikorian himself has concerns about the legislation; among other things, he would like to see the bill include a provision that would end chain migration."
In the meantime, we continue to have faxes and phone talking points posted for all of you on your NumbersUSA Action Boards. Make sure that your Senators know what you think about Sen. Rubio putting together an amnesty that is just like the DREAM amnesties we've killed in the past except it doesn't give U.S. citizenship. If you oppose a DREAM amnesty under any circumstance, then say so. If you are willing to trade some kind of DREAM amnesty in exchange for stopping a quarter-million chain migration greencards each year and fully implementing national mandatory E-Verify, express your opposition to the way the Rubio proposal is missing those elements.
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA