The Corner

Sessions on Immigration

Sen. Jeff Sessions, who led the effort to stop the McCain-Kennedy amnesty, spoke today at Heritage, describing the substance of the immigration debate so far in the presidential campaign as “unsatisfying.” To rectify that, he presented a list of 15 specific questions to the candidates to determine their seriousness about fixing immigration. (The video file of his talk is here.) The document is a little long for the Corner, but it’s not online yet and getting past generalities and down to specifics is essential:

REAL IMMIGRATION REFORM

A Roadmap for Demonstrating Presidential Credibility on One of America’s Most Important Issues

I. SECURE THE BORDER

1. Border Fence and National Guard: If elected President, will you secure the border, including completing construction of the 700 mile southern border fence required by the Secure Fence Act, constructing more miles if needed, and keeping the National Guard on the border until it is secured?

□Yes or □ No

2. Border Prosecutions: If elected President, will you deter illegal entry by expanding the already successful Zero Tolerance Prosecution Policy (Operation Streamline) from 3 to all 20 border sectors, and support statutory mandatory minimums for the crimes of illegal entry, reentry, and reentry after deportation for any felony?

□Yes or □ No

3. Control Visa Overstays: If elected President, will you give our immigration system integrity by completing the 10-year past due exit portion of The USVISIT (Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology) system and eliminate other weaknesses in the system so that future visa overstays can be identified?

□Yes or □ No

II. END THE MAGNET AT THE WORKPLACE

4. Enforceable Employer Verification System: If elected President, will you end the jobs magnet by requiring all employers to use the electronic verification system to check the legal status of all employees, reduce fraud by decreasing the number of documents employers must accept to prove legal status, and will you offer cooperating employers a safe harbor?

□Yes or □ No

5. Biometric ID Card For All Non-Citizens: If elected President, will you require a biometric (fingerprint encoded) identification card for all aliens authorized to work?

□Yes or □ No

6. Eliminate Identity Theft: If elected President, will you increase security for legal workers by requiring social security earnings statements to list all employers reporting wages under an individual’s social security number so that fraudulent use of that number can be spotted and will you fight to keep using “no match notices” as evidence that employers knew they were employing an illegal alien under a social security numbe issued to someone else?

□Yes or □ No

III. STATE AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT

7. Form Effective Partnerships: If elected President, will you form effective immigration enforcement partnerships with state and local law enforcement by clarifying their authority to enforce federal immigration laws, deputizing state and local officers in every state (through the 287(g) program), offering a basic training course for all state and local officers, and compensating state and local entities for immigration enforcement related expenses?

□Yes or □ No

8. Federal Response To State And Local Arrests: If elected President, will you promptly evaluate the 27% of prisoners that are non-citizens so that illegal alien criminals can be processed and deported at the end of their sentences, and will you implement a mandatory federal response to state and local law enforcement when they apprehend an illegal alien for a DUI, child abuse crime, or any felony?

□Yes or □ No

9. End Catch and Release: If elected President, will you put an end to the existing policy that allows illegal aliens caught inside our country to be released on bail after their arrest while they await their initial court appearance?

□Yes or □ No

10. List Illegal Aliens In the NCIC: If elected President, will you immediately expand the National Crime Information Center’s (NCIC) Immigration Violators File to include: (A) aliens against whom a final order of removal has been issued; (B) aliens who have signed a voluntary departure agreement; (C) aliens who have overstayed their authorized period of stay; and (D) aliens whose visas have been revoked?

□Yes or □ No

IV. DISCOURAGE SANCTUARIES

11. Deny Federal Funds: If elected President, will you encourage compliance with Federal law by implementing a reduction of at least 10% of discretionary federal grants and highway funds to cities, states, universities, and other entities that undermine Federal law by implementing sanctuary policies, issuing driver’s licenses to illegal aliens, or offering education benefits to illegal aliens (such as in-state tuition) that are not available to all legal residents and citizens?

□Yes or □ No

12. Close Financial Loopholes: If elected President, will you rewrite the Treasury regulations to close the loophole that allows illegal aliens to open U.S. based bank accounts?

□Yes or □ No

V. IMPROVE THE LEGAL IMMIGRATION PROCESS

13. Replace Visa Lottery and Chain Migration with Merit Based Immigration System: If elected President, will you eliminate the visa lottery program and change current preference categories that guarantee automatic entry for aging parents and extended family members and replace it with a system that fairly and objectively evaluates at least 50% of applicants based on characteristics such as education, skills, English ability, and age?

□Yes or □ No

14. Pathway to Citizenship: If elected President, will you take a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens off the table?

□Yes or □ No

15. Seek Necessary Authority: If elected President, will you ask Congress for necessary laws or funds to execute these commitments?

□Yes or □ No

By signing this document, I express to the American people that I understand the challenges of ending illegal immigration, I am personally committed to that goal, and I will take the actions reasonable and necessary to achieve it.

________________________________________________ _____________________

(Signature of Candidate) (Date)

Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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