Oblivious to tough reform proposal, Barone suggests Dems won't include "border-enforcement"


In his May 1 column, Michael Barone falsely claimed Democrats "don't seem to be planning to include" border-enforcement provisions in their plans for immigration reform. In fact, the outline released by Senate Democrats includes extensive enforcement provisions that reportedly "would be more far-reaching than anything in place now" or proposed by the Bush administration

Barone falsely claims Dems aren't planning to include "border-enforcement provisions"

From Barone's May 1 column:

The comprehensive immigration bills considered by the Senate in 2006 and 2007 contained guest-worker and border-enforcement provisions that gained the support of some who would not have supported a legalization-only bill. But this time, the Democrats don't seem to be planning to include such sweeteners.

In fact, immigration reform outline released by Democrats prioritizes border security

Democratic plan sets border security benchmarks that "must be met before action can be taken to adjust the status" of those currently in the U.S. illegally. The "conceptual proposal for immigration reform" recently released by Senate Democrats lists eight border security benchmarks that must be met before the government will adjust the legal status of unauthorized immigrants currently in the U.S.

Democratic plan calls for "Further Fortification of America's Border Enforcement Capability." The plan also calls for "high-tech ground sensors throughout the southern border and for equipping all border patrol officers with the technological capability to respond to activation of the ground sensors in the area they are patrolling." The proposal includes "substantial upgrades" in Border Patrol technology, a new "border patrol auxiliary unit," the "construction of additional ports-of-entry and for the hiring of thousands of new customs and border protection inspectors," and the "implementation of an entry-exit system" to track those overstaying visas. In addition, the plan "provides the Secretary of Homeland Security with the authority to deploy National Guard personnel at our borders when needed." In addition to border security measures, the proposal also calls for, among other things, the creation of "new crimes" for "trafficking and misuse of passports," sanctions on "countries that delay or prevent repatriation of their citizens," increased penalties "for violators of immigration law," and the creation of biometric social security cards for employment verification.

New York Times: Enforcement in Democratic plan "would be more far-reaching than anything in place now - or anything proposed by" President Bush. In an April 30 news analysis, the New York Times stated of the Democrats' immigration reform outline: "The enforcement would be more far-reaching than anything in place now - or anything proposed by the administration of President George W. Bush. It begins with 'zero tolerance' for immigrants trying to enter the country illegally, by tightening border enforcement and by barring them from taking jobs in the United States."

Cornyn: Democratic plan's "emphasis on border enforcement was certainly encouraging." The New York Times reported that Sen. John Conryn (R-TX) "said the 'emphasis on border enforcement was certainly encouraging,' but, he said, Congress should not wait for the whole package to pass before financing new border security measures."

FoxNews.com: "Senate Dem Leaders Take 'Border Security First' Approach to Immigration." An April 28 FoxNews blog post reported that the plan outlined by Senate leaders "sets tough border security standards as a precursor to illegal immigrants finding a pathway to U.S. citizenship" and "contains a number of items not previously in reform bills with a heavy focus on border enforcement as a benchmark."

Wash. Post: Dems' plan "includes a slew of new immigration enforcement measures." The Washington Post posted a news analysis titled, "Senate Democrats' plan highlights nation's shift to the right on immigration," which stated:

The Democrats' legislative "framework" includes a slew of new immigration enforcement measures aimed at U.S. borders and workplaces. It would further expand the 20,000-member Border Patrol; triple fines against U.S. employers that hire illegal immigrants; and, most controversially, require all American workers -- citizens and noncitizens alike -- to get new Social Security cards linked to their fingerprints to ease checks of their work eligibility.

The plan's emphasis on "securing the border first" before taking steps to allow many of an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in the United States to pay fines and apply for legal status was plainly a gesture to Republicans. Even so, no Republican is supporting it, not even Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), who has been working with Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) in bipartisan talks over the issue for months.

Posted In
Immigration, Immigration Reform
New York Post
Michael Barone
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