University of Denver's deceptive amnesty push (Architecture for Immigration Reform)
The University of Denver has released a report entitled "Architecture for Immigration Reform"; you can download a copy here. They promote comprehensive immigration reform in a deceptive way that uses the same old arguments and talking points we've come to expect, although they aren't quite as bad as others. And, at least two of those involved in the panel of twenty people who put the report together are highly questionable.
1. In addition to academic and business leaders, these two on the panel stand out:
a. Former Colorado state senator Polly Baca, someone who should have been forced off the panel in April at the latest after she told an American to "go back to Europe".
b. Kim Patmore; her bio is here. While she hasn't been mentioned here before, she's identified at the du.edu page as "Former Executive Vice President & CFO, First Data Corp." and at the last link as a member of First Data's board; whether she's still on the board isn't known. In any case, First Data used to own Western Union, a company that profits when illegal aliens send money home (remittances). They're shady to such an extent that the New York Times almost did an expose on them. None of that is a condemnation of Patmore, but there's a good chance that she was representing the interest of those who profit from illegal activity rather than everyone else.
2. The section that promotes comprehensive immigration reform is deceptive. The attached picture (from their PDF) illustrates their proposed "Provisional Legal Status" ("PLS") system, and an extended excerpt of that section is below.
a. They claim that PLS would help "identify persons who may pose security, criminal or medical risks to society". Their PLS would include medical checks, something that would probably never happen due to time and money pressures and the work of the far-left. Those who pose the other two risks would either remain in the underground where they are, or they might try to take advantage of rushed background checks to become legal residents as at least one has already done.
b. They say their plan would "expand the productivity and realize the potential of workers whose opportunities are limited by their illegal status"; see immigration wage floor.
c. In the second paragraph below, they use the deportations false choice, ignoring attrition (more on that in h., i., and j.)
d. They claim there's increased border security, when that doesn't exactly comport with the facts. And, the far-left continually works to undermine border security and other enforcement; their report offers no way to prevent those from doing that.
e. They claim there are "existing regulations limiting public services available to undocumented immigrants", when the Democratic leadership is constantly working to give benefits to illegal aliens, whether through the DREAM Act, SCHIP, Obama healthcare, or all the rest.
f. Their complicated series of steps would be constantly assailed by the Democratic Party and the far-left; those forces would work night and day to undermine provisions such as language requirements and so on.
g. Their "secure identification card" would become a national ID, decreasing the privacy of U.S. citizens as their reward for legalizing those who entered or remained in the U.S. illegally.
h. They make at least two rather fantastic references to deporting illegal aliens that are similar to those made by John McCain during the campaign. He wanted to legalize 10 million illegal aliens, and deport the 2 million recent arrivals, criminals, and so forth. Yet, no one called him on how exactly he was going to deport those 2 million. And, since we're told by those who support amnesty that we can't deport 12 million, it would be nice to know why they think they can deport 2 million but not 12 million. In their case, they say "Illegal immigrants not applying under the PLS program within the deadline would be subject to deportation". How would they do that? And, if they could do that then, why not do it now?
i. They say "If an individual had not met the requirements for legal permanent residency by the end of the renewal period (10 years after initial issuance) the visa would expire, the person would not be eligible for employment or education in the U.S., and would be required to leave the country." After 10 years, who's going to track them down and deport them? Who's going to even remember that we were supposed to deport those people? And, won't the far-left have obtained even more power and be more able to resist attempts to deport those who don't qualify after 10 years?
j. The first part of the third paragraph sounds an awful lot like attrition; why would they propose then rushing to offer an amnesty? Why didn't they, for instance, propose a multi-year pause while waiting to see how many illegal aliens will self-deport? I think that part pretty much gives the game away: they want amnesty and they're just trying to find some way to get it that might be able to fool as many people as possible.
There's more that could be said, and discussing the other sections is left as an exercise. However, the reasons above show just how little their report can be trusted.
The excerpts from that section follow.
The panel sees compelling reasons to bring illegal immigrants into a legal status. From a security perspective, these include the ability to identify persons who may pose security, criminal or medical risks to society. Economically, legalization presents an opportunity to expand the productivity and realize the potential of workers whose opportunities are limited by their illegal status. The chance to become a part of the community while acquiring English language skills and civics education strengthens society by creating shared values as immigrants are brought into the mainstream of American life. Finally, creating a pathway to legal status for those who qualify strengthens families by removing the threat of family breakup through selective deportation...
Given the nature of the problem, the idea of rounding up and deporting some 10 million to 12 million individuals and their family members makes interesting talk-show chatter but strains credibility in terms of feasibility and logistics, whatever one's moral perspective on the issue. Similarly, broad-stroke plans that would grant amnesty with few requirements seem equally far-fetched. The panel believes that neither legalistic retribution theories nor unbridled humanitarianism provide a sound foundation for dealing with illegal immigrants. Many citizens have suggested that it is not appropriate to consider allowing illegal immigrants to legalize their status until U.S. borders are secure. The concern is, quite logically, that creating a route to citizenship for existing undocumented immigrants simply encourages more individuals to enter the country illegally. The panel shares this concern and also recognizes the significant strides made in border security in recent years. These advances in border security, coupled with the recommended employment identification card and the mandatory use of E-Verify by employers, set the stage for a policy to address existing illegal immigrants.
The strategy proposed by the panel is based upon three premises. First, improved security is making illegal border crossing increasingly difficult and expensive. Second, denying illegal immigrants jobs, through the use of a secure identification card and a database confirmation system such as E-Verify, removes the primary incentive for illegal immigration: employment. Third, existing regulations limiting public services available to undocumented immigrants provide a limitation on benefits for those who choose to remain in an illegal status. Offering illegal immigrants a one-time opportunity to gain provisional legal status, with possible permanent legal residency thereafter, is a clear incentive to bring millions of persons out of the shadows and into full participation in society.
Creating a Provisional Legal Status (PLS) program for illegal immigrants raises legitimate concerns that such a program, whatever its merits, will simply serve to attract more undocumented migrants. For this reason, the sequencing of several recommendations in this report is important. The panel believes that legislation establishing a secure identification card, mandating the use of E-Verify or a similar system by employers, and the creation of a Provisional Legal Status program all be enacted together, but implemented in phases as part of a comprehensive immigration reform package.
Before offering provisional legal status it is important that the primary incentive for immigration—employment—not be available to undocumented immigrants. Thus, a secure identification card and use of a verification database for all hires need to be in operation before a provisional visa plan for illegal immigrants is implemented. Specifically, implementation of the PLS program would begin after E-Verify was mandated and issuance of secure identification cards had been initiated, although not necessarily completed. These measures, coupled with the improvements in border security, will make it both physically difficult to enter the country illegally and economically unattractive to remain. Conversely, creating a pathway to legal permanent residence without the recommended staging has the potential to worsen, not lessen, the problem of illegal immigration. This sequence of activities is shown in Figure 12.
As illegal border crossings become more difficult, dangerous and expensive, and as it becomes extremely difficult or impossible to get a job without verification of a secure identification card, illegal immigrants will face the dilemma of either remaining in the U.S., unemployed and with few benefits, or returning to their own country. The panel believes these conditions will provide a strong incentive for undocumented persons to present themselves for participation in a Provisional Legal Status program. For the reasons described above, the panel recommends that, contemporaneous with the creation of a secure identification card and mandatory use of an employment verification system, Congress create a time-limited Provisional Legal Status (PLS) program for persons illegally in the U.S. and that the PLS program be implemented after employment verification has been required of all employers and issuance of secure identification cards has begun.
The Provisional Legal Status program The Provisional Legal Status program would permit illegal immigrants who were physically present in the United States as of a specific date and who met other eligibility standards to register for a provisional visa. Standards for eligibility could require the individual to: pass criminal, national security and medical background examinations; be employed, in school or involved in unpaid community service; speak basic English; participate in civics classes; register for selective service, if appropriate; and pay all taxes due. In addition, participants could be required to pay a fine or provide a significant amount of unpaid community service managed and documented by the immigrant’s local government. Provisional visa holders meeting requirements could achieve legal permanent resident status after five years. Illegal immigrants not applying under the PLS program within the deadline would be subject to deportation. With these criteria in mind, the panel recommends that illegal residents residing in the United States on a date certain and meeting eligibility standards: be required to register for a provisional visa; be permitted to obtain a government-issued employment identification card; be allowed to seek or continue employment or education at any location; and, upon meeting requirements, be given the opportunity to eventually achieve legal permanent resident status.
Provisional visas would be issued to persons meeting the eligibility requirements of the Provisional Legal Status program. For persons of working age a special secure identification card authorizing employment would be made available at the time of visa issuance. Illegal adult immigrants would be required to apply for provisional visas for themselves and for their minor children who qualified under the program. Provisional visas for minor children would be valid as long as the parent’s provisional visa remained valid and after the parent obtained LPR status. Upon reaching the age of majority, such children would be required to apply for their own provisional visas.
Provisional visas would be valid for a period of five years and could be renewed only once. Provisional visas would not require employer sponsorship and would not count toward per-country diversity cap calculations. If an individual had not met the requirements for legal permanent residency by the end of the renewal period (10 years after initial issuance) the visa would expire, the person would not be eligible for employment or education in the U.S., and would be required to leave the country. If the holder of a provisional visa were convicted of a serious crime the provisional visa would be terminated and the individual would be deported without any opportunity for future entry into the United States.