News Release

Senate Bill’s Path to Citizenship a “Myth”

ABC News states: “President Obama: Path to Citizenship ‘Needs to Be’ in Immigration Bill.” The Wall Street Journal writes: “President Barack Obama on Tuesday said overhauling the immigration system should be considered as a complete package in Congress, which is at odds with how House Republicans want to approach immigration legislation, and said it didn’t make sense to try to change the system without giving illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. … House Republicans have settled on taking the immigration issue in pieces rather than vote on the comprehensive legislation passed by the Senate. … Lawmakers of both parties who helped craft immigration legislation that passed the Senate have said they want Mr. Obama to play an active role in the debate. Sens. John McCain (R., Ariz.) and Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.), both members of the Senate ‘Gang of Eight’ that helped win passage of the bill in the Senate, met with Mr. Obama at the White House last week to discuss immigration.”

MAEGAN ORTIZ, mamitamala at gmail.com, @mamitamala
Los Angeles-based independent media maker and organizer, Ortiz, who contributes to a number of media outlets, said today: “The problem with looking at the Senate bill as the template the House of Representatives should work from is that it assumes that the Senate bill is a comprehensive solution. Even before the addition of the Corker-Hoeven amendment that puts billions of dollars for ‘boots on the ground’ and surveillance technology on the already militarized Mexico U.S. border, the Senate bill ties eventual access to citizenship on security triggers. The much touted path to citizenship for the 11 million individuals without papers is a myth.

“Because of this and because of the additional hurdles for people to legalize, including exorbitant fees, waiting periods, and denial of access to safety net programs including social security that many immigrants have already paid into, more and more immigrant-based organizations and immigrants have come out rejecting the Senate bill and the piecemeal approach the House is set on taking. While the Obama administration continues to take the Spanish language airwaves and social media pushing reform and its benefits, the President and his mouthpieces, including Cecilia Munoz, continue to blatantly lie, saying that administrative relief is outside of executive purview. In the meantime, deportations and detentions, already at record highs, continue.

“The only communities that benefit from the reform on the table are military contractors and private prison corporations with ties to the Senate ‘Gang of Eight,’ including Senator ‘Biometric Chuck’ Schumer. While the focus is how reform, any reform, would help Republicans gain clout with the Latino community, lost in the discussion is how the Democrats were and continue to be all too willing to create and sell a bill that sets up not just immigrants but all people on both sides of the border to become further victimized by a surveillance state and militarization that will lead to more lives lost, either as human fodder for the prison industrial complex or as dead bodies as migrants continue to exercise their human right to movement for economic and personal reasons tied to the global economy.”

Background: Sen. Schumer favors: “A biometric-based employer verification system — with tough enforcement and auditing using a fraud-proof social security card.” See from Salon: “Hidden in Immigration Reform, Vast Biometrics Plan.”