Will HR 4437 cause humanitarian groups to be prosecuted for giving emergency aid to illegal aliens?
Posted Mon, Jan 1, 2006 at 8:53 am
The WashTimes punctures the latest "liberal" myth:
In an apparent effort to kill any immigration reform bill in the Senate, open-borders advocates have gone to the P.R. playbook and come up with an old standby: trying to scare people into falsely believing that the Bush administration and the evil House Republicans are trying to persecute priests and nurses who provide humanitarian help to an illegal immigrant.Supporters of illegal immigration lied? What's the world coming to, I tells you.
The New York Times published a news story on the subject last week that read like a brief for the pro-legalization side. "Churches, social service agencies and immigration groups," the Times reported, are rallying in opposition to H.R. 4437...
The Times warned darkly that the bill "would broaden the nation's immigrant-smuggling law so that people who assist or shield illegal immigrants would be subject to prosecution. Offenders, who might include priests, nurses or social workers, could face up to five years in prison. The proposal would also allow the authorities to seize some assets of those convicted of such a crime." Moreover, the bill "could also subject the spouses and colleagues of illegal workers to prosecution."
...So, in the interest of accuracy, here are some relevant facts about Section 202 of the House-passed legislation, the section targeted by the bishops and the New York Times: There is simply nothing in the language of this section (one strongly advocated by border-state U.S. attorneys and which actually deals with alien smuggling and related offenses) that says anything that could be reasonably interpreted as an attempt to prosecute someone who gives a meal to an illegal alien or provides emergency health care. But the section does clearly address a very serious topic in a serious way: It substantially increases penalties for criminal smuggling rings who bring illegal aliens into the United States for commercial gain...