House leader rejects Senate citizenship program
The House's lead negotiator on immigration yesterday called the Senate legislation passed last week "amnesty" for illegal aliens that his chamber will not accept, setting up a showdown between the House and the Senate, which have passed widely differing bills.In other words, there will be self deprotation, which is the most effective kind because they will be telling others that there is no work for them if they come.
The Senate bill mirrors the House version in its provisions to tighten border security, but includes a "guest-worker" program proposed by President Bush and offers illegals in the United States what proponents call a "path to citizenship."
"The words 'path to citizenship' is a buzzword for amnesty. We ought to be honest, it is amnesty," said Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., Wisconsin Republican and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.
"What the Senate [has done is] throw up their hands, say, 'Give them amnesty' ... and allow them to stay. That's not fair because it gives a reward to a lawbreaker, but it also is unfair to people who are standing in queue to become legal immigrants."
Asked whether he would accept a compromise bill that allows a path to citizenship, Mr. Sensenbrenner responded with a flat "no."
"Amnesty is wrong, and we should not pass it," he said.
He supports the bill passed by the House, which is mostly limited to border enforcement and cracking down on employers who hire illegal aliens.
"What we have to do is first secure the border, and then we have to turn off the magnet that brings more illegal immigrants into our country. Once we do that, and we know it's effective, then we can figure out what to do with the 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants that are already here," he said.
"If we have a workable and effective employer-sanctions program, then I think a lot of the illegal immigrants would simply go back home, because they would no longer be able to work in this country," he said.