The Washington Times editorial yesterday is on the latest scheme by House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi to get amnesty for illegals.
For months, leading Democrats like House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chief Rahm Emanuel have tried to talk tough on illegal immigration.... Last month, Mrs. Pelosi joined House Minority Leader John Boehner in announcing that the House-passed economic stimulus bill would "not allow any taxpayer funds to be distributed to illegals."
But unfortunately, the Democrats are putting together an elaborate con job: using tough-sounding rhetoric while working behind the scenes with open-borders advocates in the business community to win support from from firms that have become very dependent on cheap foreign labor. The goal of these Democrats — and possibly the U.S. Chamber of Commerce as well — is to defeat a bipartisan bill that takes a no-amnesty, enforcement-oriented approach to illegal immigration.
The SAVE Act [Secure America through Verification and Enforcement Act, H.R. 4088] is an omnibus bill that would strengthen border security and require that employers verify that their workers are legally present in the United States. Forty-seven Democrats and 89 Republicans are cosponsoring the Shuler bill, which is currently bottled up in the House Judiciary Committee, where liberals like Rep. Zoe Lofgren, California Democrat and chairwoman of the Immigration Subcommittee, will work to ensure that it stays there.
Republican supporters of the SAVE Act are working to get enough votes to pull the bill out of committee and onto the floor, but as the editorial writer points out, the Democrats have come up with a "Plan B."
The Baca Amendment would give illegal aliens who pass a background check a "five-year temporary worker permit" that expires on Dec. 31, 2012. It would also provide employers who hired illegal aliens "safe harbor" (apparently some measure of immunity from prosecution) for past hiring of illegal aliens. If Mr. Shuler gets enough signatures to force his bill to the floor to be debated, Democrats hope to neuter it by attaching the Baca Amendment. If Mr. Baca's proposal were to become law, open-borders advocates could come back later and pass legislation putting these illegals on a path to citizenship.
It's an election year, so of course the Democrats are talking tough on immigration, because they know they must. But they're ready with their usual Bait and Switch tactic.
This is a battle that bears watching. Those of us who favor employer verification of workers' immigration status would do well to keep after our Congressmen. Encourage them to put pressure on the Immigration Subcommittee to pass the bill as it stands and work to prevent passage of the Baca Amendment. We must remain watchful, because the supporters of amnesty will not stop trying to enact it.