This Bill hasn’t passed, and the article doesn’t indicate that it has much chance. However, isn’t this news just one more (giant) magnet for illegal aliens?
(And wouldn’t the rest of the US have to subsidize Medicaid?)
While Congress drags its feet on immigration reform, New York State lawmakers are mulling an immigration bill of their own: It would grant state citizenship to some noncitizen immigrants, including undocumented residents, allowing them to vote and run for office. Under the New York Is Home Act, noncitizen residents who have proof of identity and have lived and paid taxes in the state for three years could apply for legal status that would let some qualify for Medicaid coverage, professional licensing, tuition assistance, and driver’s licenses, as well as state and local—but not federal—voting rights. The responsibilities of citizenship would also apply, including jury duty.
More on the immigration regulations in the previous post.
It’s interesting – besides the obvious – because of the line in the second paragraph about “what administrations do.” This was not the line we heard when the Bush Administration was regulation on conscience laws and health care.
These are precisely the immigrants who have been waiting in line and now face a bureaucratic challenge to obtaining the physical green cards.
The proposed rule change falls precisely within the scope of what administrations do. The regulatory change is important because, under current procedures, some persons who have already met the eligibility requirements for green cards must leave the U.S. to obtain their permanent residence status, but as soon as they leave, they are immediately barred from re-entering the U.S. for three or ten years because of a period of unlawful presence in the United States. There is a family unity waiver available, but the way the law is currently implemented, the waiver can only be adjudicated abroad. That adjudication can often take many months, leaving the applicants in limbo, waiting to find out if the waiver has been approved and if they will be able to go back to the U.S to join their US citizen or legal resident family member. As a result, many otherwise eligible applicants do not leave the country to get their green cards, remaining unauthorized in the U.S. rather than risk separation from their families. Under the proposed rule change, spouses and children of U.S. citizens who are eligible for a green card would be allowed to apply for the waiver without leaving the U.S. They would still be required to depart from the U.S. before receiving final approval and their green card.
I find my self looking for, copying and pasting these quotes over and over, so here’s a series of excerpts from Governor Rick Perry’s book showing that he’s not in favor of amnesty. From Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington:
The Supreme Court—filled with nine unelected and unaccountable judges appointed to the bench for life—long ago wrested away from the people the power to decide what is right and what is wrong and, at the most fundamental level, how we should live our lives. Nothing could be more offensive to the concept of liberty and the principle of federalism. (pp. 94-95)
We can have all the immigration debates we want, but Americans are demanding that the border be secured first.
We have already been burned once by false promises of border security in exchange for tying security to other aspects of the immigration debate. President Regan, in 1986, signed the immigration reform and control act, which legalized close to 3 million undocumented immigrants. The law was supposed to be a comprehensive solution with provisions intended to clamp down on border security. These provisions were never enforced, and the subsequent explosion in illegal crossings has resulted in some 11 million illegal aliens living in the United States today an estimated 1.8 million illegal immigrants are currently residing in Texas, compared with 1.1 million in 2000. In ten years, that represents an increase of 54 percent or 70,000 persons each year coming to our state illegally. Today, the Pew Hispanic Center estimates than about one in ten people born in Mexico live in the United States. And all of this has occurred outside the system and to the disadvantage of others who have been waiting in line for many years. There are literally millions of people waiting to get into the country legally. pp.118-119
These levels of unchecked illegal immigration are unsustainable. We expend vast resources on illegal immigrants and our own security. State and local governments, which provide essential services like schooling and emergency health care to illegal immigrants, often under a mandate from the federal courts, bear the brunt of the immense fiscal burden. A 2007 study by the Congressional Budget Office reached several concussions relevant to this issue. Among them, the CBO pointed out that while most of the welfare or public assistance programs operated by the federal government, like Social Security, food stamps. And Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, are not available to illegal immigrants, the same federal government requires states to provide certain benefits to illegal immigrants in order for states to participate in programs receiving federal funds. Education is a good example. Emergency medical care is another; any health care facility receiving federal funds must provide certain care even for individuals who cannot pay for it, including many illegal immigrants.
A 2006 report by the Texas Comptroller’s office estimated the budgetary impacts of illegal immigration in Texas. The report found that approximately 135,000 undocumented students in Texas public schools cost the state $957million in just the 2004-2005 school year. Other studies using different population estimates and including federal spending have point to even higher costs of $1.2 billion (for the 2004-2005 school year) and $1.7 billion for the 2003 -2004 school year). The comptroller’s report cited incarceration and uncompensated healthcare as the two largest costs associated with illegal immigrants to local government entities in Texas These two items cost local governments $1. 4 Billion over a one year period.
Of course those living in Texas illegally also provide income to the state because of increased economic activity, sales taxes, and property taxes (either directly or through rent subsidizing the property owner). But adding the estimated revenues and costs to both the state and local governments, Texas taxpayers were out $928 million in 2005. (p. 120 )
The State Criminal Alien Assistance Program (SCAAP) is a case study in the refusal of the federal government to do its job at our borders. SCAAP was created in 1994 to reimburse states for part of the cost of incarcerating illegal immigrants who commit crimes.
Naturally, however, SCAAP is more window dressing than real policy, as it is woefully underfunded. A study commission by the United States/Mexico Border Counties Coalition found that in 2006, border counties in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas on the Mexican border received a total of only $4.7 million in SCAAP reimbursements, representing 9 percent of the costs of handling illegal immigrants who committed state crimes. Among just those border counties in Texas, the reimbursement rate was a mere 3 percent. The reimbursement rate is so low that some counties do not even apply for funding because it is not worth the cost of paperwork.
This is a joke. Arizona governor Jan Brewer has calculated that her state alone is owed &700 million in SCAAP funds since2003. Former Arizona governor Janet Napolitano wrote in 2008 that “as governor, I must enforce the law and pay to incarcerate these individuals. The federal government just shrugs its shoulders and walks away from its statutory obligation” Now serving as President Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security, she has not persuaded the federal government to step up to the plate.
The bottom line is that while our federal officials jealously claim exclusive authority over immigration and border policy, they avoid actually securing the border. While they mandate that state taxpayers provide services, they rarely confront any of the associated costs. In so doing, the federal Government refuses to fulfill its most basic constitutional responsibilities. (pp. 121-122)
A grand, bipartisan compromise on immigration similar to the failed 1986 law was attempted in both 2006 and 2007. In the end, the bill died, largely because the American people had been to this rodeo before. According to an ABC News poll taken in the heat of the debate in 2007, two-thirds of Americans did not believe Congress was serious about controlling illegal immigration.
Now, the current administration willfully refuses to enforce the laws on the books. While President Bush didn’t do as much as I had hoped, his administration did step up workplace enforcement, reducing the enticement for illegal immigration. President Obama on the other hand, has reversed course. He also has intentionally undermined one of the few successful measures the federal government has implemented. Section 287 (g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act allows the deputization” of local law enforcement after training from federal authorities so that they may process illegal immigrants detained in the course of law enforcement activities for removal. This program simply allows local officials to aid Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the application of our laws.
Bowing to pressure from interest groups in favor of unchecked illegal immigration , the Obama administration has instead issued new requirements intended to curtail the program by making it more expensive, among other things. So the Federal government is now manipulating successful programs to stop willing local jurisdictions from doing the federal government’s job themselves. (pp. 122-123)
(footnotes on this part refer to the explanation about Section 287 (g) at http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/03/time-to-stop-the-rush-for-amnesty-immigration-reform
Perry, Rick (2010-11-15). Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington . Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition.
The typos are all mine. I’ll fix what I can, when I can.