Baker Vows to Fight Senate's Illegal Alien "Amnesty" Bill
U.S. Rep. Richard Baker, R-Baton Rouge, issued the following statement today on reports of a "deal" reached in the U.S. Senate for "comprehensive immigration reform":
"News reports indicate that members of the Senate claim to have reached a grand bargain' designed to overcome legislative stalemate on illegal immigration. Though I haven't seen the specific bill language yet, from what I can discern from the reports, this bargain shows some deference to overwhelming public opinion in favor of increased border security and tougher enforcement of workplace rules, and stipulates that only after' the administration has shown progress on these two problems would a path to citizenship' process kick in. But even this promise isn't exactly true, as the proposal would grant unlawful residents some form of legal status immediately.
"It is an Orwellian perversion of the rule of law, not to mention a subversion of national sovereignty, to wave away criminal activity by simply declaring that the activity is no longer illegal, and then pronounce that the outcome is just and fair.' This line of reasoning would be just plain silly if it wasn't such an outrage, and I suspect the American people won't find it the least bit funny.
"If the deal sounds familiar, it should. The last time we had comprehensive immigration reform' in 1986, the year before I entered Congress, the American people were likewise told that they would get tougher border and workplace controls in exchange for a one-time amnesty' for the nation's illegal immigrants. Well, the illegal immigrants got their amnesty, but the tougher controls never materialized. The result of that deal is the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants currently residing within our borders. These Senate bargain makers' must think the American people have a short memory to accept the same deal under the phrase path to citizenship,' which is just another way of saying amnesty.'
"I'm not buying it. And I vow to fight this and any other deal' that includes amnesty. If the Senators think border control and workplace enforcement are good ideas -- and they are -- then they should leave it at that. The continuing influx of illegal immigrants to this country is problem number one. Closing access and restricting incentive should be job number one, and only.
"The point is often overlooked, but there is already a legal method for anyone to immigrate to America. It's time-consuming and requires effort, as it should, but it works. When others ignore or flout the law, they commit an unfair act against those who play by the rules and demean what it means to become an American. Their actions should be punished, not rewarded. This is not to say that I am opposed to immigration. Far from it. I am opposed to those who violate the law to come here.
"I am very alarmed about the rising number of illegal immigrants in Louisiana and its effect on our state and local resources. Illegal immigrants have flocked to South Louisiana in search of construction jobs as the state rebuilds after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and this surge is weighing down our already-overburdened health care system and law enforcement agencies. It is imperative that action be taken to thwart the flow of illegal immigrants into our country, and I will continue to support measures that do so, and reject so-called bargains' that will only make the problem worse."