- Elton John blasts Russia’s anti-gay laws during Moscow concert
- U.N.: Afghanistan slow to enforce law protecting women
- Heart cancels SeaWorld concert after ‘Blackfish’ documentary
- South Carolina sheriff refuses to lower American flag for Nelson Mandela
- South Africans hold day of prayer for Nelson Mandela
- Mandela not on life support in final hours, friend says
- Ukraine protesters topple, decapitate Lenin statue in Kiev
- Kim Jong-un’s uncle removed from North Korean state documentary
- Thailand crisis deepens as opposition quits Parliament
- Campbell Soup apologizes for SpaghettiOs’ Pearl Harbor tweet
Immigration officer: Congress heeded illegal immigrants, not law enforcement
The chief of the union representing immigration agents and officers told Congress on Monday that illegal immigrants had more say-so in drafting the new Senate immigration bill than the government’s own law enforcement agents.
His testimony capped off an emotionally charged day that saw a former illegal immigrant plead for a full path to citizenship and saw lawmakers heatedly debate whether the Boston Marathon bombing should spur Congress to speed up or to put the brakes on the push to pass a bill.
Critics took aim from all sides. Some said the guest-worker program the bill envisions is too small to handle businesses’ needs, while a former congressman pleaded for lawmakers to treat gay couples the same as opposite-sex married couples for immigration purposes something this bill doesn’t do.
The complaints underscored the tricky path the immigration bill will have to weave through Congress.
Some immigrant-rights advocates testified the bill cuts down too much on families being able to bring siblings into the country.
But the chief complaints came from those who want to see a crackdown instead of legalization including Christopher Crane, chief of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, the union that represents ICE agents and officers.
“Senators invite illegal aliens to testify before Congress,” he said. “But American citizens working as law enforcement officers within our nation’s broken immigration system are purposely excluded from the process.”
That legislation offers illegal immigrants legal status but withholds a full path to citizenship until the Homeland Security Department takes more steps to secure the border. The bill also rewrites but expands avenues for legal immigration.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet A. Napolitano is slated to appear before a third hearing Tuesday after canceling a Friday appearance to handle the Boston Marathon bombing.
That attack has sparked questions regarding how quickly Congress should press ahead on immigration.
Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, said Monday he thinks Congress should apply the brake.
“The facts emerging in the Boston Marathon bombing have exposed a weakness in our current system. If we don’t use this debate as an opportunity to fix flaws in our current system, flaws made even more evident last week, then we will not be doing our jobs,” he wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “We should not proceed until we understand the specific failures of our immigration system.”
But the Senate’s senior Democrat said it would be unfair to “exploit” last week’s attacks by holding illegal immigrants’ chance at citizenship hostage.
“Let no one be so cruel,” said Sen. Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Stephen Dinan can be reached at email@example.com.
- Federal deficit shrinks 20 percent in fiscal 2014
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Activists urge Obama to go rogue, sidestep Congress
- Bipartisan House votes against 'patent trolls' who file lawsuits against innovators
- Bipartisan House votes to stop patent 'trolls'
Latest Blog Entries
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- Obama: Hole U.S. 'digging out of' requires billions more in unemployment benefits
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- Sen. Rand Paul pushes 'economic freedom zones' for Detroit
- Redskins' season hits bottom with Chiefs blowout
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- FENNO: Mike Shanahan's empty words no salve to free-falling Redskins
- U.S. debt jumps a record $328 billion tops $17 trillion for first time
- Sen. Rand Paul: 'I am seriously thinking about' running for president in 2016
- Legalizing illegal immigrants is the solution to Obamacare: Democrat
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Al Maurer provides a common sense, conservatarian, Constitutional conservative perspective from the battleground state of Colorado
Film Reviews and Articles by Kevin Williams
"Critical thinking is thinking about your thinking while you're thinking in order to make your thinking better." - Dr. Richard Paul
Go beyond tourism's "top 10" bus tour destinations with Susan McKee as she explores the varied history, culture, food, and gardens, of the world.
Let it snow
White House pets gone wild!