Well - its' finally here - the "latest " Immigration Reform Bill of 2007 (S1348)" providing immediate, easier, less restrictive legal status to just about all of the 12 - 20 million illegal aliens in our country who want it.
This latest Bill was written totally in secret by select Senators in both political parties, in league with President Bush. The Bill (380 pages) was finally made available to Senators after midnight last Friday and they received delivery of the official text of this Bill on Tuesday. However, on Monday, less than 72 hours later than the bill was available - the Senate Democrat and Republican Leaders forced their Senate Party Members to vote on "Cloture," which limits debate and short-circuits the full legislative process to form committees to carefully examine all parts of this bill to determine any unintended consequences. Even though many Senators had not even read the bill, 69 or them voted in favor of "Cloture" limiting both the time and process for consideration of this, 23 Senators voted against short-cutting the Legislative process to examine this controversial Bill and 8 senators voted "Not" - not to vote.
Among the "courageous" Senators voting "Not" (not to vote) were Senators, Clinton, OBama, McCain, Dodd, Biden and Kerry - all our Senate Presidential Candidates or wanna-bees who joined in "lock-step," in an effort to WALK ON ALL SIDES OF THE ROAD, demonstrated their "collective moral courage of conviction" in "NOT" wanting to be held responsible for their vote to short-circuit the legislative process on this controversial Bill. Our Florida Senator Bill Nelson and one other Senator also took this misguided path that will gain them neither respect nor favor from either their Political Party Senate Leadership or their constituents who voted to put them in office. Our Republican Senator Mel Martinez, is one of the main authors of and contributors to this Bill. He is fully committed to seeing it passed appears anxious to short-circuit any legislative process that might modify this Bill.
The Senate Leadership in both parties had hoped to get the Cloture vote passed on Monday (which they did) and get the whole Bill passed by the Senate by this Friday. It appears that this will not be happening until one week after the Senate returns from their Memorial Day Recess. They will be going back to their States and will be hearing from constituents on rushing through this Bill, written in secret and now proceeding through a short-circuited Legislative Procedure.
So Far - Here are some of the things our Senators are including in this Bill:
- Immediately after this bill passes, legal status will be given to all illegal aliens within 24 hours of their submitting an application;
- All background checks on an illegal alien must be completed within 24 hours. (No reason is given for this and no exception is made.) Can this even be done?
- Illegal aliens may apply for a "Z-Visa" that can keep being renewed for a nominal fee, forever. This Visa will give them legal status and rights to due process and citizen benefits, Social Security and Medicare.
- To get the "Z-Visa" and/or be put onto the "pathway to citizenship" the illegal alien will pay a fine but not be required to pay back taxes (President Bush's input). Of course, the illegal alien who cannot afford to pay the fee - will be able to apply for help (from you and me) to pay it.
- A gang member will be provided amnesty or a "Z-Visa" if they just "state" that they renounce their membership in their gang.
- An illegal alien arrested in an enforcement raid- our government must determine whether each illegal alien might be eligible for a "Z-Visa" and then provide them legal help to get it and then - RELEASE THEM. (An example would be the raid at the meat packing plant that hired lots of illegal aliens).
- The Bill states that priority should be given by our government in providing attorneys for illegal aliens over providing attorneys for American Citizens in poverty.
- Under this Bill, an illegal alien who obeys the order of a judge to return to his/her country will not be able to legally return to the US - but - an illegal alien who disobeys the order of the judge and stays in this country - may be eligible for a "Z-Visa."
- This Bill changes the law passed last year to build and fund around 854 miles of fencing along our southern border. It reduces the fencing first to 370 miles and later in the bill to 200 miles.
- It states that illegal aliens and "Z-Visa" holders can go to any state college or university, in any state they wish to and not have to pay "out of state" tuition.
- Section 413 of this bill promises our help (US taxpayer dollars) to:
- Make it less expensive for Illegal Aliens or "Z-Visa" holders to send their money back to Mexico;
- Strengthen Mexico's education and job training;
- Increase access to health care for their citizens;
- Reimburse Mexico for "uncompensated and burdensome health care costs incurred by the US due to legal and illegal immigration."
- Accelerates and ramps up the process towards the creation of the "Partnership for Prosperity" or "North American Union" whose goal is to remove barriers between Mexico, the United States and Canada.
Both our Florida Senators Nelson and Martinez voted in favor of last year's Illegal Alien Amnesty Bill and are expected to vote in favor of this latest Bill. They will be coming home to our State for the Memorial Day Recess. Take the time to contact them at their in-state offices and let them know how you feel about this legislation. You can find all their in-state office addresses, phone numbers and fax numbers by going to this website: http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/, clicking on your state and then clicking on each of your Senator's names. You can also check your phone book or call your Senate Switchboard, Washington DC 202-224-3121, ask to be transferred to your Senator's Office and they will provide you with local office information.