- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 7, 2002

Last week, members of Congress leapt to the defense of the words "under God." They shouted the phrase on Capitol Hill and in front of every available camera. But what about the two little words in the Pledge of Allegiance that come right before "under God"?
Who in Washington will rise in defense of "one nation"?
Despite their ostentatious displays of unified patriotism, both Democratic and Republican lawmakers are pushing for treacherous bills that splinter the nation and threaten our safety.
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, South Dakota Democrat, is chief sponsor of S. 2493, the "Uniting Families Act of 2002," a deceptively titled bill to extend amnesty to thousands of illegal aliens under the supposedly "temporary" 245(i) program. As mentioned in this column several times over the past year, this green-card, blue-light special in federal immigration law allows illegal visa overstayers, illegal border-crossers and illegal ship-jumpers to pay a token $1,000 fee and "adjust their status" without leaving the United States to obtain permanent residency and eventual U.S. citizenship.
Mr. Daschle's co-sponsors include fellow liberal Democrats Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, and liberal Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. Another outspoken supporter of amnesty for illegal aliens who cut in front of law-abiding visa applicants: President Bush.
Usually, these alien lawbreakers would be forced to leave the United States, reapply for green cards in their home countries and submit to fresh background checks of their native criminal records. Many would be barred from the United States for up to 10 years for breaking immigration rules. But under 245(i), passed by Congress with bipartisan support, more than half a million illegal foreigners forked over the token fine between 1994 and 1997. According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, the number of illegal aliens gaining legal residence in the United States as a result of such "adjustment of status" has increased eightfold since the 245(i) provision was passed.
Rep. Barney Frank, Massachusetts Democrat, is chief sponsor of another disingenuously titled goodie for illegal aliens: H.R. 1452, the "Family Reunification Act of 2002." The bill seeks to repeal key provisions of the 1996 immigration reform law, which requires the Immigration and Naturalization Service to take criminal alien felons including those convicted of robbery, murder, rape, terrorism and child molestation into custody at the end of their sentence. Mr. Frank's law would release many of these convicts from custody pending interminable deportation hearings and allow already deported criminal aliens to return to the United States to seek cancellation of their deportation orders.
Among Mr. Frank's 45 co-sponsors of his bleeding-heart criminal alien reimportation scheme: left-wing House Democrats Sheila Jackson-Lee of Texas, Barbara Lee, Tom Lantos and Bob Filner of California, Charles Rangel and Jerrold Nadler of New York, Cynthia McKinney of Georgia, John Conyers of Michigan and Jim McDermott of Washington, as well as Republican Lincoln Diaz-Balart of Florida.
Sen. Jeff Bingaman, New Mexico Democrat, has offered S. 2449, the "Federal Responsibility for Immigrant Health Act of 2002," which fails to include a key word in its title. It would siphon federal Medicaid dollars away from citizens to pay for the medical bills of illegal aliens demanding dialysis, chemotherapy, pregnancy-related services, and testing and treatment for communicable diseases. Sens. John McCain, Arizona Republican, and Jon Corzine and Bob Torricelli, both New Jersey Democrats, are co-sponsors.
Sen. Orrin Hatch, Utah Republican, has proposed S. 1291, the obnoxiously titled "Dream" Act, which allows illegal aliens to cut in front of millions of other would-be immigrants who are following the rules in pursuit of the American dream. The bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Maria Cantwell, Washington Democrat, allows all 50 states to subsidize tuition for illegal aliens at public universities, rescinds deportation orders for certain illegal alien students and lets them jump the line for legal residency.
As public officials across the country extol the virtues of citizenship this July Fourth holiday, remember these outrageous bills and their co-sponsors. After the flag-waving and fireworks are over, it's back to business in Congress: Pandering to the illegal alien lobby for ethnic votes while paying lip-service to patriotism.
Just another reminder that the only true allegiance a politician has is to his own re-election.

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