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Amnesty Moves Forward

By Greg L | 26 June 2007 | National Politics, Illegal Aliens | 30 Comments

Drudge is reporting that the Amnesty Bill moved forward in a 64-35 vote in the Senate this afternoon.

For more on this, see breitbart.  Warner and Webb both voted for considering the amnesty bill.

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  1. Riley, Not O'Reilly said on 26 Jun 2007 at 12:54 pm:
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    Warner AND Webb voted FOR it.

  2. anonymous said on 26 Jun 2007 at 1:02 pm:
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    How can I go about renouncing my US citizenship so I can become an illegal alien?

  3. redawn said on 26 Jun 2007 at 1:27 pm:
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    I am not suprised they voted for it. I have been sending Warner & Webb faxes via., thru www.NumbersUSA.com and getting this gerneric letters that seem to leaning to vote in favor. FOOLS

  4. redawn said on 26 Jun 2007 at 1:28 pm:
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    correction: getting back generic letters…

  5. anonymous said on 26 Jun 2007 at 1:38 pm:
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    Warner is up for re-election in 2008. He doesn’t have my vote.

    I’ll vote for Ham Sandwich.

  6. Jae said on 26 Jun 2007 at 1:41 pm:
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    Well, if anything, maybe our Congressman in the House will listen. At least Frank Wolfe held a Town Hall type meeting via phone last night and took his constituents questions and answered them directly. He also called this bill an Amnesty Bill.

  7. anonymous said on 26 Jun 2007 at 1:43 pm:
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    Is that what that was? I got a message on my answering machine that was a teleconference about immigration–needless to say I wasn’t home for it but I wish I was.

    Can you give a short summary of what was said?

  8. Danny said on 26 Jun 2007 at 2:41 pm:
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    After reding several of the comments on this issue by members of both partys, it strikes me as very odd that none of them actually know what amnesty is. To me this is no different than what was done for those who chose to flee to Canada to avoid the draft during the Vietnam conflict, both illegal immigrants and draft dodgers broke and are breaking the laws of this country and are being told Well, it’s alright if you do that because we the politicians, while ignoring what our constituents are saying will give you free passes so you the illegals can drain resources from those who are legally born or naturalized citizens of this country. Unfortunely one of the senators from my state voted in favor of this nonsense, which is in effect surrendering to the illegals. Maybe the tax-payers of this country need to tell our elected officials, if you want to pay for these illegals to stay, then use your own money, not monies supplied by the natural born or naturalized tax-payers.

  9. Jae said on 26 Jun 2007 at 2:43 pm:
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    Sorry, I don’t remember everything exactly and I didn’t hear the full answer the the immigration question (my connection started in the middle of it) and then they went onto other topics like Darfur, transportation, and education.

    I just remember that he called the Senate bill what it was, an “Amnesty Bill”, we need to enforce the laws we already have, and increase border security. I wish I could give a better summary. I guess I hoped that someone else among the blogs had been involved in the call, but I haven’t seen any mention of it.

  10. can't say... said on 26 Jun 2007 at 3:04 pm:
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    I sent 500 emails at least—faxes…
    The deal is we lost—illegals won!
    I am devastated!
    What is our government doing, and WHY???

    From, the mouth of a babe….
    My 19 year old daughter said “Well mom we might as
    well move to Mexico—cuz the Mexicans are all coming here”.

    My son was killed at the hands of some illegals.

  11. Bababooey said on 26 Jun 2007 at 3:14 pm:
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    Pronunciation: \ˈam-nə-stē\
    Function: noun
    Inflected Form(s): plural -ties
    Etymology: Greek amnēstia forgetfulness, from amnēstos forgotten, from a- + mnasthai to remember — more at mind
    Date: 1580
    : the act of an authority (as a government) by which pardon is granted to a large group of individuals

    Webster’s defines amnesty as follows:

    1. A period during which offenders are exempt from punishment.
    2. A warrant granting release from punishment for an offense.
    3. The formal act of liberating someone.

    S. 1639 is not Amnesty. There will be penalties for those who come out of the shadows. If they pass a strict background check, pay a fine, hold a job, maintain a clean criminal record, and eventually learn English, they will qualify for and maintain a Z visa. If they want to get a green card, they have to do all these things — plus pay an additional fine, go to the back of the line, and return to their country to apply from there. Paying a fine does not sound like exemption from punishment.

    Debate the bill on its merits, not with hyped up disinformation.

  12. anonymous said on 26 Jun 2007 at 3:17 pm:
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    It’s not a fine. It’s an application fee.

  13. PJ said on 26 Jun 2007 at 3:34 pm:
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    Bababooey is the one prreading disinformation!! The Senate Bill (Kennedy-Bush Bill) IS nothing more than amnesty. As soon as it is signed into law, the 12-20 million illegal aliens will be legal. They will not have to do much to get the “Z” visa and they don’t have to pay much of a fine UNLESS they want to be citizens. The background check has to be done in 24 hours so it will not screen out many criminals. They also won’t have to go to the back of the line. It would take all day to say why every piece of this bill is a piece of crap but most Americans already relaize that. Too bad the Senate does not.

    Time to rid VA of Senators Warner and Webb (who totally flip-flopped on this one). Webb campaigned against amnesty and voted against cloture last time and now he is supporting amnesty. He has turned on Virginians like he turned on his staffer who was caught with the Senators gun.

  14. redawn said on 26 Jun 2007 at 3:36 pm:
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    anonymous 3:17,
    Thanks for making me laugh for a sec… You couldn’t have said it better. 5k for a fine and they get to bring there family over too?
    What about the one’s that don’t come forward?

  15. Greg L said on 26 Jun 2007 at 3:37 pm:
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    The amnesty portion of this bill I am concerned most with is the “temporary” status that illegal aliens can apply for, in which the government must complete a background check within 24 hours and then must grant applicants legal status, which they can indefinitely renew. THAT to me is the major amnesty concern.

    The “path to citizenship” includes all sorts of fees and requirements that is debatable as to whether it is amnesty or not, and I tend to believe it is. Those who knowingly violated the law in coming here can apply for citizenship after paying a fine and have their previous unlawful behavior forgiven. From your definition above, the “temporary legal status” is clearly an amnesty, and the “path to citizenship” seems to qualify under the second definition as well.

  16. Riley, Not O'Reilly said on 26 Jun 2007 at 4:22 pm:
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    Check out this Lou Dobbs report on what the Amnesty Bill will cost U.S. taxpayers.


  17. rharrison said on 26 Jun 2007 at 4:31 pm:
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    You all need to calm down - at least for a few more days. Several Senators voted in favor of cloture today simply so the bill could be considered. They were not necessarily expressing their support for the bill itself. The Senate will now consider 24 amendments to the big bill, and then vote to cut off debate on Thursday evening, although that deadline might slip.

    That’s the key vote. There are amendments that will be considered that would make the big bill palatable to some Senators, but no guarantee that those amendments will pass. In fact, those amendments that gather support on one side are likely to cost the bill support on the other side. The prospects for the bill getting 60 votes in support on Thursday are poor.

    Then there is the House, which is even less excited about the bill than the Senate. If the Senate passes their bill, the House will then take up a much different version of the bill. If that passes, which is unlikely, it will be difficult to get two very different bills through the conference committee.

    There is a long way to go before this is a done deal. Today’s vote was important, but it does not suggest the bill is likely to pass.

  18. Bababooey said on 26 Jun 2007 at 4:40 pm:
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    Again, this bill is not amnesty, but now that the debate is on, let’s help make it a better bill because the status quo is de facto amnesty.


  19. Mark W. Weaver said on 26 Jun 2007 at 4:44 pm:
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    I spoke this afternoon (Tuesday) with aides to both Senators. They indicated that the reason the Senators voted YEA (to proceed) was to hear and see what these so called amendments were all about before they make their final decision.

    The aide to Senator Warner informed me that Warner is inclined to vote “NAY” on Thursday. She says he is “Well Aware” of the uproar over this, and that he voted “YEA” today out of respect for his colleagues.

    Keep hammering! There is still hope that this worthless bill will go down in flames!

  20. park'd said on 26 Jun 2007 at 4:51 pm:
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    Instead of paying respect to his colleagues, if I were him I would be more worried about paying respect to his constituents. The people have spoken time and time again and we want enforcement of existing laws and no amnesty. You can tell the Senator’s aides that and ask them to pass it on to the Senator lest he forget who pays his salary and who can fire him in the next election if he sells us out again.

  21. Mark W. Weaver said on 26 Jun 2007 at 4:56 pm:
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    Hey, I’m just reporting what I heard. Don’t shoot the messenger, please. I’m on your side!

  22. citizenofmanassas said on 26 Jun 2007 at 4:59 pm:
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    Consult Blacks law book for what they consider Amnesty. They consider the 1986 immigration “reform” to be amnesty. This is amnesty, even Bush said so himself today. Of course the WH said he misspoke. But, we all know what it is.

  23. Maureen Wood said on 26 Jun 2007 at 5:15 pm:
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    I called both Senators. A no vote today could have ended this whole mess. I still do not understand the reason we are still debating any of this. This bill, and yes, Bababooey, most people agree that this amounts to amnesty, does nothing but diminish the quality of life for the average American.

    Our government thinks that they will be able to process 12-20 million illegals in just a few days? They must be nuts! They can’t even get American citizens passports to them in a timely manner. I know someone that was going to Cancun and couldn’t because even after 2 months his passport never came!

    I sat at a trial yesterday that lasted 5 minutes. The ILLEGAL ALIEN was charged with murder and criminal gang participation. He pleaded to a misdemeanor assault and battery and his detainer to ICE was taken off of him. Do you honestly believe that this illegal alien has a right to be in this country? There are many more of these people running around that will soon be eligible to become LEGAL.

    KEEP THE PHONES, FAXES and EMAILS going. Webbs mailbox was full when I called. That’s the best thing that could happen.

  24. The Patriot said on 26 Jun 2007 at 5:53 pm:
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    If these people become “legal” they and their anchors (and those they will mass produce for even more benefits) will bankrupt our social services system (welfare, WIC, foodstamps, social security, medical, education, etc.). These individuals take much more than they put into the system (if they put anything into the system). We will be paying for it! Attrition people…we need attrition solutions.

  25. Anonymous said on 26 Jun 2007 at 8:06 pm:
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    “the government must complete a background check within 24 hours…”

    Um, yeah, the last time I checked, they can’t even clear up the passport backlog - my sister waited four months for her expedited passport, for which she paid the additional fee. How are they going to handle this mess? Even if any part of this was a good idea, it’s never going to be done the way its laid out.

    I know I am only stating the obvious here….

  26. anon said on 26 Jun 2007 at 9:38 pm:
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    If anyone thinks that there will actually BE a fine levied and collected, they are delusional. It might be in the bill, but it will never happen.

    And yeah, SURE the government is going to succeed in doing a background check in 24 hours. They couldn’t even get passports done for already legal citizens in 90 days. How in the hades are they going to do a comprehensive background check in 24 hours. Again, delusional.

  27. Patty said on 26 Jun 2007 at 10:40 pm:
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    Do you have your head in the sand or are you an illegal alien?

    Illegal alien presence in this county is costing us several million a year. Our exec. identified 3 million and it doesn’t include schooling or health services. So that number is an under estimate.

    The bill is amnesty. Anytime a law is broken but it isn’t enforced on the individual or group of individuals, that is amnesty.

    All those aliens when they get legal status will end up on welfare or these new programs that are starting up to help save them from foreclosure. All these at tax payer expense.

  28. disgusted LEGAL citizen said on 26 Jun 2007 at 11:38 pm:
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    can’t say,

    in reply to “What is our government doing and why?”, there’s this:

    “Along with the Ford and Soros-funded American Civil Liberties Union, two organizations suing state and local governments attempting to control illegal immigration are the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and La Raza (Spanish for “The Race”). The former is heavily funded by the Ford, Rockefeller and Tides foundations, as well as by the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, the Bank of America, General Motors and the Levi Strauss Foundation. Big La Raza donors include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford and Rockefeller foundations, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the J.P. Morgan Chase Foundation, the John and Catherine MacArthur Foundation, the Bank of America and the William Randolph Hearst Foundations.”

    from “How We Got Here: Foundations Fund Open Borders Agenda”

    required reading for us all!!

  29. Concerned Black Man! said on 27 Jun 2007 at 7:27 am:
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    Only thing I’m for is sending all 12 million illegals back home. Immigration is fine so as long as it’s done LEGALLY!

    Anything else is unacceptable.

  30. Bababooey said on 27 Jun 2007 at 9:25 am:
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    28-Mile Virtual Fence is Rising Along the Border”
    June 26, 2007

    By Randal C. Archibold
    SASABE, Ariz. — If the effort to catch people illegally crossing the border here in the southern Arizona desert is a cat-and-mouse struggle, the Homeland Security Department says it has a smarter cat.

    It comes in the form of nine nearly 100-foot-tall towers with radar, high-definition cameras and other equipment rising from the mesquite and lava fields around this tiny town.

    Known as Project 28, for the 28 miles of border that the towers will scan, the so-called virtual fence forms the backbone of the Secure Border Initiative, known as SBInet, a multibillion-dollar mix of technology, manpower and fencing intended to control illegal border crossings.

    If successful, hundreds of such towers could dot the 6,000 miles of the Mexican and Canadian borders.

    But glitches with the radar and cameras have forced the project to miss its June 13 starting date, just as Congress focuses anew on border security in the Senate measure to overhaul immigration law.

    Officials at the Homeland Security Department insist that Boeing, which has a $67 million contract to develop the project and others, will soon put it back on track, though they are not providing a new completion date.

    Boeing referred requests for comment to the department.

    “We are making good progress,” the executive director of the border program, Gregory Giddens, said.

    Democrats in Congress are questioning why the problems were not disclosed at a hearing on the project on June 7. It was only afterward, in communication to Congressional staff members, that the delays came to light.

    “The department’s failure to be forthcoming and the repeatedly slipping project deadlines not only impede Congress’ ability to provide appropriate oversight of the SBInet program, but also undermine the department’s credibility with respect to this initiative,” Representatives Bennie G. Thompson of Mississippi, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Loretta Sanchez of California, chairwoman of a border subcommittee, both Democrats, wrote in a letter on June 19 to the department.

    In a report in February, the Government Accountability Office warned that Congress needed to keep a tight rein on the program, because, it said, “SBInet runs the risk of not delivering promised capabilities and benefits on time and within budget.”

    Officials estimate total cost of the initiative through 2011 at $7.6 billion. The accountability office has suggested that figure is too low.

    Boeing won the contract, which includes $20 million for Project 28, in September and has undertaken it with a sense of urgency, Mr. Giddens said, adding that he would prefer a delay over starting the project with malfunctioning equipment.

    Rather than develop new technology, Boeing took existing cameras, sensors, radar and other equipment and bundled them into a system that although not technologically novel is unlike anything the Border Patrol now uses.

    The cameras, set off by radar, are to beam high-quality images of targets miles away to field commanders and agents, making it possible to determine almost instantly whether they are watching a family outing or a group of illegal immigrants.

    The information is to flow over a high-speed wireless network into laptops in dozens of Border Patrol vehicles that, in theory, would respond quicker and more efficiently to breaches than they do now.

    “We are living the dividing line between the old Border Patrol and the new patrol of the future,” said David Aguilar, chief of the Border Patrol.

    “It will not only detect, but identify what the incursion is,” Mr. Aguilar added, a step up from the existing ground sensors, fence cameras and footprint tracking that can lead to “false positives.”

    With much of the 2,000-mile-long Mexican border a wilderness of plains, plunging ravines and soaring craggy hills, officials consider virtual fencing a pragmatic improvement to far-flung agents and physical fences — 88 miles now have primary fencing — that illegal immigrants knock down, bore through and slip over and under.

    The towers are ringed with a six-foot-tall chain-link fence, and the Border Patrol can warn people away through a loudspeaker. Private guards are at the towers now.

    On Thursday morning at a tower north of here, a reporter and a photographer walked right up to the tower, observing and photographing it for several minutes with no guard in sight.

    Mr. Aguilar said he was not concerned about such access, speculating that no threat was discerned or the cameras were not turned on then.

    Residents near the towers have raised concerns, questioning why most towers are miles from the border and whether they will allow unscrupulous agents to peer into their bedrooms.

    “We don’t live in clusters,” said Roger Beal, who runs a grocery store in the isolated town of Arivaca, the site of a tower and about 10 miles from the border. “The homes here are not 10 feet apart. People value their privacy here, and we are just not used to being observed. Do it at the border. This isn’t it.”

    Mr. Aguilar, the Border Patrol chief, said: “We are members of the community. We recognize their sensitivity. But we feel confident our officers are going to follow policy and common sense. Can I guarantee you nothing is going to happen? No, we are all human.”

    Although the towers are in a region with heavy traffic in smuggling, Boeing chose to place them close to existing roads and away from the most rugged terrain to help captures.

    Mr. Aguilar said the towers did not need to be right on the border, suggesting that traffickers would find it difficult to move their routes undetected in the rough terrain even if they figured out the locations of the towers. The expected locations have been published in a public environmental assessment.

    The virtual fence is one piece of a flurry of border enforcement. The Border Patrol said it was on pace to hire thousands of agents, with the goal of a total of 18,000 by the end of 2008, up from just under 12,000 in 2006, when President Bush announced the push.

    In addition, officials expect to have 370 miles of physical fencing by the end of next year. Drug seizures are increasing, and arrests for illegal immigration have dropped since last summer, when the National Guard arrived to supplement agents.

    Though scholars say an array of factors, including economic and social trends in Latin America and the vagaries of the drug trade could explain the trends, Mr. Aguilar said they vindicated the stricter enforcement.

    After the system is fully functioning, he said, “the net will be very, very tight.”

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