Obama is trying to hide unpopular provisions in the Senate’s immigration bill that would allow immigrant criminals to stay in the country and would increase the inflow of low-skill refugees from war-torn countries, says a top White House official.
“The bill has a number of other important provisions that have stayed under the radar, and we’d actually like to keep them under the radar,” said Esther Olavarria, the White House’s director of immigration reform.
“We haven’t played [them] up because we want to be able to maintain them as we go through the legislative process,” she told about 50 attendees at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s annual conference, on Sept. 19.
Olavarria described the sections in the Senate bill that she’s trying to hide from the public and the GOP. The first section reverses parts of the 1996 immigration reform, which allowed law-enforcement authorities to deport long-term residents who have committed crimes.
The Senate bill “redefines ‘convictions,’ it redefines ‘sentences,’ to make it more realistic, so individuals who get suspended sentences would not be found inadmissible or deportable under these new provisions,” she told the attendees.
The liberal pre-1996 rule “was a very good provision,” and its revival in the Senate bill will “allow long-time residents who committed minor crimes to be able to stay here,” she said.
By accepting criminals and increasing the inflow of poor refugees, “they’re putting non-citizens in a higher position than native Americans,” said D.A. King, who runs the Dustin Inman Society, which seeks to reduce the annual inflow of legal immigrants.
This means all those illegals will get to work over the 22 legal citizens, provided these illegals want to work in the first place.
Olavarria also suggested that the GOP leadership in the House, led by House Speaker John Boehner, may help pass an bill to increase immigration, despite opposition from the base and the possibility that immigrants will eventually vote for Democratic politicians.
But if any legislation were to pass in the House, Boehner will be able to schedule a joint bill-writing conference with Democratic Senators. In turn, Boehner will be able to bring that joint bill to the House floor, where it would be approved by nearly all Democratic legislators and become law despite overwhelming disapproval from GOP legislators.
The number of minor or major crimes committed by illegal immigrants, and the number of American victims is high but uncertain, partly because the federal and state governments do not keep close track. The number of illegals who would be shielded from deportation, or be allowed to become citizens because of the rule-change, is also unclear.
But the bill is even more rotten as there’s a provision that includes a section that offers a “path to citizenship” to illegal immigrants convicted twice of drunk driving. Only drivers who have been caught drunk more than two times would be excluded, according to the bill. In a July debate, Democrats defeated a more stringent rule proposed by Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn.
Olavarria also said she wishes to hide sections in the bill that will boost immigration of refugees.
One of the secret bill changes, said Olavarria, “will allow more groups [of people] to be identified as refugees and come into the country under that program.”
The Senate bill also allows people who have been staying in the United States for more than a year to apply for a refugee visa.
I wonder, if she’s trying to keep this quiet, why is she speaking out?