There are plenty of obvious reasons to oppose S. 744, the latest “comprehensive immigration reform” or amnesty bill. These reasons include the loss of U.S. sovereignty as borders are gradually erased through planned non-enforcement, the projected expenditure of trillions of taxpayer dollars over the next 25 years for an expansion of entitlement and welfare programs to accommodate illegals beyond current taxpayer-provided “free” medical care and education, and lower wages and higher unemployment for U.S. workers in an increasingly tight job market resulting from an unprecedented influx of millions of illegal immigrants. But what about the disturbing tendency of S. 744 to protect dangerous illegal immigrants, with the predictable consequence of more and more victims of criminal illegal immigrants?
A daughter of a legal immigrant, Maria Espinoza is the founder and director of The Remembrance Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, “created in 2009 to honor and remember Americans who have been killed by illegal aliens.” According to her most recent press release, S. 744 “is a disaster in every possible respect”:
As ICE officers and USCIS officers have warned us, this bill will legalize dangerous aliens who have been in and out of prison, who have been previously deported, who have lied to authorities, who have proven they care nothing about our laws, and who have failed to appear in court. This bill also makes it impossible to deport virtually anybody in the future — guaranteeing criminals will take advantage of S. 744 to remain in the country and never leave. It will put innocent civilians in more danger, and it will allow criminal gangs to continue preying upon the innocent.
Our federal legislators seem to have deliberately ignored the dangerous implications of the deliberate relaxation of current law enforcement in S. 744, especially for the victims of criminal illegals. According to Espinoza,
Their bill also completely ignores our interior enforcement needs. It allows for the dangerous sanctuary city policies to continue to operate, it provides no resources for our ICE officers and border patrol agents; and it, in fact, handcuffs our ICE officers from doing their jobs. Any responsible immigration bill would empower ICE officers and all law enforcement — and assist them in protecting our families.
Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) agrees that this bill effectively federalizes law enforcement in favor of criminal illegal immigrants:
Not only does the Gang of Eight’s bill allow the Secretary of Homeland Security to decide for herself whether weak, undefined enforcement measures (“[border security] triggers”) are met, but it grants her unprecedented discretion in determining whether an alien is allowed to enter the country, whether future illegal aliens can be removed from the country, and who is eligible for amnesty in the bill. The net effect of these waivers and discretionary authority is to permanently hamstring and undermine law enforcement and create a new, endless bureaucracy surrounding immigration proceedings. These provisions, carefully crafted by special interest immigration attorneys, serve only one purpose: to weaken current law and make future enforcement impossible.
For instance, this bill would allow the Secretary to overlook convictions for crimes related to gang activity, child abuse, domestic violence, and drunk driving in determining whether an individual is eligible for admission to the country if the person’s admission serves “humanitarian purposes,” “ensure[s] family unity,” or is in the “public interest.” These standards are so broad as to render most current legal restrictions meaningless.
After identifying a series of S. 744 provisions that effectively gut current laws protecting us from dangerous illegal aliens, Senator Sessions summarizes his assessment of the bill with an eye-opening hypothetical example of the kind of miscarriage of justice that would be possible under S. 744:
Rather than enhance border security and ensure future enforcement of the law, S. 744 rewards illegal aliens with criminal records, and creates an incentive for people to illegally enter the United States in the future. In essence, if S. 744 passes as currently drafted, the following scenario is not at all unlikely: An individual who has previously been convicted of a crime and subsequently removed from the United States illegally crosses the border at one of the six sectors not addressed by S. 744. The United States Border Patrol apprehends that individual, and rather than simply expediently removing him from the United States, places that individual into removal proceedings before an Immigration Judge. The Immigration Judge appoints an attorney for the alien at taxpayer expense. The attorney assists the alien in demonstrating that any future removal would cause mere “hardship” to a qualifying relative. The Immigration Judge terminates the case and permits the individual to stay in the United States — presumably indefinitely.
Senator Sessions concludes, “Quite opposite from creating the ‘toughest’ enforcement in history as the proposal's sponsors promised, this legislation would devastate enforcement and officer morale and disastrously undermine the rule of law for years to come.”
In her press release, Espinoza accuses the authors of S. 744 of working “hand-in-hand with rich businessmen and amnesty advocates while never once considering the rights of the victims of illegal alien violence. Their decisions to provide amnesty to criminal aliens — including gang members — is a slap in the face to every single victim of illegal alien violence.” She concludes, “Congress needs to shred this bill and go back to the drawing board with American families as their priority. They need to listen to the victims of illegal alien violence. If they don’t, there will continue to be thousands more victims as a result of this bill."