The House distinguished itself in a not so good way just recently when it managed to pass several counterproductive immigration reform amendments.
The problem most of the members of the House have with the Department of Homeland Security(DHS) and their enforcement issues is why vote against those measures now when they may vote for comprehensive immigration reform later, which would include similar enforcement issues. That being said, someone should likely have kept a tab on which bills conflicted with others before passing them for the whole world to see.
At issue isn’t the fact that people don’t want an immigration system that actually works and restores some sanity to the legal side of the system. The problem is that in order for the changes to work there needs to be a comprehensive and rational immigration system that is able to effectively address America’s social interests, security and economic concerns.
In a nutshell what passed in the House recently just serves to point out that if the politicians don’t get their act together soon, their “amendments” will only make the system even more dysfunctional, costly and difficult; an appalling thought.
The first amendment was to make the E-Verify program, which is now voluntary, mandatory for all federal contractors. On the surface this sounds like not a bad thing to do. Run a new hire through the system and find out if they are legal. The problem is that the system isn’t ready to be let loose. Its databases aren’t accurate and it’s being misused by employers, resulting in lawful workers being denied employment. Then, there’s the horrendous cost of $22 billion to implement over a 10 year period.
Bright amendment number two was to mandate completion of hundreds of miles of border fence. This might be fine in theory, but physically it’s impossible and out of reach financially. The DHS wants virtual fencing instead and opposed this mandate. That’s a good news/bad news scenario, because either way, a border fence of some type will go up and it will either cost millions or billions and do a number on human rights.
Questionable amendment number three was the one that wanted to ban DHS from using funds to alter its social security no-match regulation. This came about because DHS wanted to use the SS no-match regulation as an enforcement tool. This would cost roughly $10 billion and cause the termination of approximately 165,000 lawful immigrants and U.S. citizen workers.
The icing on the cake amendment was authorizing employers to use E-Verify to verify their current workforce. Right now the idea is that it is to be used to only verify new hires. This proposed change would have employer’s demanding current employees cough up photo ID or be fired. Roughly 21 million U.S. citizens don’t have government issued photo ID.
To say that the recent developments in immigration reform amendments coming from the House are counterproductive and counterintuitive would be an understatement. The real burning question is how this will all ultimately come together, or will it?