What do we want?
When do we want it?
We want it before we give amnesty to the illegal immigrants already living in the United States. Otherwise we will be inviting more illegal immigrants to take advantage of the system.
Throughout the senate’s immigration reform discussions, and the subsequent 68-32 passage of the bill on June 27, 2013, Sen. Paul has been clear about his stance on immigration reform: The border has to be secure before anything else is enacted.
Why? Well, if you give amnesty to all the illegal immigrants currently living in the United States, but do not stop the flow of undocumented workers crossing the border, you’ll face the exact same problem years from now: Millions of working illegal immigrants with no possible path to citizenship. So once again, the government will have to step in and find a solution. It’s setting a precedent (amnesty) without actually fixing the problem (illegal immigrants crossing the border).
Sen. Paul’s solution was an amendment to the discussed bill called the “Trust But Verify Act.” The amendment would have made reform contingent upon a handful of demands:
The “Trust But Verify Act” was voted down 61-37, as senate democrats and seven senate republicans voted against it. In addition, immigration reform has to include expanded legal immigration and additional work visas, or the country will once again find itself in a re-run, discussing the same issues years from now. This means letting market forces determine the amount of work visas rather than settling on a predetermined number – or decreasing the available number, as the Gang of Eight bill does with agricultural worker visas.
It’s simply supply and demand. We’ll bring it down to a small scale. Let’s say 100 immigrants want to come into the United States to work. There are 40 work visas available. What do you think the 60 immigrants who don’t get those legal work visas will do? They’ll enter the country anyway, illegally, and find work (and it won’t be that difficult if that fence is still not completed).
That happens for a number of years on a large scale, and once again the country will find itself back at square one – the same square we’re all stuck in right now, seemingly unable to take the necessary steps to get us out of this predicament.
Sen. Paul introduced two additional amendments to try to solve this problem. The first would have prevented non-citizens who are currently in the country on work visas from receiving welfare benefits. The second would have removed the work visa caps in the Gang of Eight’s bill, and eliminated the wage requirements that endanger the bill’s success.
The amendments would have done these things – if they hadn’t been voted down.
Sen. Paul was one of 32 senators to vote against the immigration reform bill when it was passed on June 27.
In Sen. Paul’s own words, via a column published on Politico just before the vote:
“If we’re going to fix our broken borders and overhaul the system, the House will have to lead the way; the Senate version has simply failed to address our immigration problem with any competence.”
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