Making Matters Worse: The Immigration Reform Act of 2007
Under the Senate’s proposed reform bill, the fine for entering or attempting to enter the U.S. illegally will be “not less than $50 or more than $250 for each such entry”. There are greater penalties for illegal parking and jaywalking.
New Jersey mandates a $250 fine for the first offense for parking in handicapped space without a special vehicle identification card. Subsequent offenses require a fine of at least $250 and up to 90 days of community service. (See N.J.S.A. 39:4-197(3)(c)). Jaywalking will get you a $100 fine in New York and one for $114 in California.
The Senate plan for the estimated 12 to 20 million illegal aliens living in the U.S. is also extremely favorable to the pro-illegal immigrant camp. Of course you wouldn’t know it listening to those complaining about the bill’s “impossibly tough standards” and the hardship it would bring “to an already overburdened and underappreciated community”. It’s doubtful these folks have read the actual bill.
New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez was a lead negotiator of the Immigration Reform Act of 2007. He now he says opposes it.
Menendez, of Hudson County, said he and most members of Congress "all support fines for those who broke the law," but called the amount of the fines "prohibitive."Menendez is referring to the $1,000 charge illegal aliens will pay to obtain a Z card and the $4,000 fee for a green card. What the Senator doesn’t mention is that under the proposed legislation, fines and penalties for entering the country illegally and any liability for back income and payroll taxes are wiped away with the payment of a $1,000 fee for a four-year, renewable “Z” visa. The fee for a second four-year Z card is $500 and can be renewed indefinitely. A green card is strictly optional and won’t be available for eight years.
Call this process what you will, but the past is forgiven. The price for legal status going forward is $250 per year for the first four years and then $125 per year thereafter. Flexible payment terms are even available.
The bill requires the government to establish procedures allowing for the payment of 80 percent of “z” and green card “penalties” through an installment payment plan. That’s $200 down, the balance in low, low monthly payments. Just imagine the mandatory ads in the five required languages - Crazy Uncle Sam: His prices are insaaane!"
So are his standards. To qualify for a Z card, all an alien need do is fill out an application; claim to have lived in the U.S. illegally before Jan. 1, 2007, plunk down $200 and get on the filing fee payment plan. A probationary Z card, with all benefits, is then issued until such time the government gets around to completing a background check. Unlike immigration visa’s, a medical exam will not be required for a “Z” or green card for the illegal alien population.
Renewals for a second four-year period will require an applicant, 18 years of age or older, “to demonstrate an attempt to gain an understanding of the English language” and “knowledge of United States civics”. The language requirement is satisfied by “enrollment in or placement on a waiting list for English classes”. The civics prerequisite is satisfied by taking the naturalization test. Passing the test is not necessary to qualify for renewal.
Z card holders can ultimately apply for a green card -- but not until the government clears a backlog of more than 5 million current green card applicants, which will take eight years. Processing 10 to 20 million Z Card applications, on top of 400 to 600 thousand new merit based Y visas, will undoubtedly overwhelm the system.
We could go on with a laundry list of problems with this bill, but the real point is no bill is better than this “comprehensive” mess. The immigration issue is too important to be rammed down the throats of Americans without an open and honest debate.
The other day Fred Thompson said: “there’s an old saying in Washington that, in dealing with any tough issue, half the politicians hope that citizens don’t understand it while the other half fear that people actually do. This kind of thinking was apparent with the “comprehensive” immigration reform bill that the U.S. Senate and the White House negotiated yesterday.” Man, was he right!