FAIR Update on Immigration Legislation

I just received the following update from FAIR, the Federation for American Immigration Reform, on current legislative activity, primarily aimed at illegal immigration. 

Legislative Update
July 21, 2008

E-Verify Reauthorization Stalled With Time Running Out

Congressional efforts to reauthorize E-Verify, the electronic work
authorization verification program, have stalled despite bipartisan
efforts of many Members to bring a bill to the floor. The program,
vital to combating the unlawful employment of illegal aliens, will
expire in November if legislation to reauthorize the bill does not
pass both the House and Senate before the fall recess. In March,
Representative Ken Calvert (R-CA), along with sixteen cosponsors,
introduced H.R.5596, which would extend the E-Verify program for a
ten-year period. Plans to bring the bill to the floor were halted
earlier this month when Representative Sam Johnson (R-TX) insisted
that language be added to the bill that could jeopardize future
funding of the operation of the program. In short, Rep. Johnson’s
language would prohibit the Social Security Administration (SSA) from
ever spending any of its own funds to implement the program. Since the
program is a joint effort of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)
and SSA, this means that if DHS ever fails to enter into a
reimbursement agreement with SSA, the SSA database could not be used to verify an employee’s legal work status.
Read the full article

. . . . . . . . . .

House Homeland Security Committee Questions Chertoff on Border

On Thursday, the House Homeland Security Committee held a hearing to
examine border security and ask DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff about
the department’s efforts in that area. Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS)
voiced concerns about border security in his opening statement: “DHS
has failed to develop a comprehensive strategy to guide its border
security activities.” The Chairman added, “Without a comprehensive
strategy to coordinate the Department’s efforts across components, DHS
will not be as effective as it should be.” Thompson pointed to
“out-dated,” “ill-equipped,” and “understaffed” ports of entry along
both the Southern and Northern borders as evidence substantiating his
claim. (Statement of Chairman Bennie G. Thompson, July 17, 2008)
Read the full article

. . . . . . . . . .

House Committee Examines Who Should Pay To Fingerprint Exiting Foreign

On Wednesday, the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Border,
Maritime, and Global Counterterrorism examined the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), and questioned DHS’s proposed rule requiring the airlines to pay for a system to collect biometric data to verify that foreign
visitors leave the country. The VWP allows nationals of designated
countries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for
stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. VWP travelers are
enrolled in DHS’s United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator
Technology program (US VISIT) when they arrive at U.S. ports of entry.
(U.S. Department of State, Visa Waiver Program)
Read the full article

. . . . . . . . . .

House Judiciary Committee Tweaks Immigration Law’s “Widow Penalty”

On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee passed by voice vote a
bill designed to eliminate what has become know as the “widow
penalty.” Under current immigration law, an immigrant spouse of a
citizen automatically faces deportation if their spouse dies less than
two years after their marriage and before the survivor’s permanent
residency application was approved. (See, 8 U.S.C. 1151(b)(2)(A)(i)).
The bill would allow a spouse in this situation to avoid deportation
by proving, “by a preponderance of the evidence that the marriage was
entered into in good faith and not solely for the purpose of obtaining
an immigration benefit.” (See, H.R. 6034)
Read the full article

. . . . . . . . . .

Recent Floor Statements
* Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) commented on The Guilty Go Free Because Our
Government Has Blundered (July 17, 2008)
* Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) commented on A Common Language (July 15,
* Rep. Joe Baca (D-CA) commented on Support Comprehensive
Immigration Reform (July 15, 2008)

Read the full article

. . . . . . . . . .

For more information from FAIR, visit us on the web at
http://www.fairus.org/site/R?i=eO_VxWoMeB67ELTHoYaa3A.. .

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4 Responses to FAIR Update on Immigration Legislation

  1. FJ says:

    Interesting that a Senator from Texas, of all places, wants to hold this up – probably to look good to older folks so he can say he protected Social Security funds when they run out in about ten years. “I did my portion, guys; the gov’t screwed you over but I fought for you!”

    It’s a shame that we even need to debate these issues in Congress. One Senator should not be able to effectively put a halt to electronically monitoring social security numbers and who is using which ones, potentially leading to arrests for fraud/identity theft. A healthier country & economy would be more willing to bring the hammer down on this stuff & pass more strict laws in regard to illegal immigrants & the companies that hire them.

  2. Pete Murphy says:

    It’s so frustrating that these senators and congressmen can prevent progress on anything by making themselves appear to be supporting something else. In this case, my preference would be to go ahead and reauthorize the E-verify program, even with the amendment in it. It’d be a while (if ever) before the SSA got into a squabble with the DHS. Then, just deal with it with more legislation. At least the program would be active in the interim.

  3. […] FAIR Update on Immigration Legislationcountries to travel to the United States for tourism or business for stays of 90 days or less without obtaining a visa. VWP travelers are enrolled in DHS’s United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator … […]

  4. US Economics says:

    When an individual is protesting society’s refusal to acknowledge his dignity as a human being, his very act of protest confers dignity on him.BayardRustinBayard Rustin

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