Amnesty Dead But Won`t Lie Down – Sneaks Into Sensenbrenner`s Immigration Bill

Don`t blink. The next major
immigration bill in Congress may pass the House of
Representatives before you know it.

The "Border
Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration
Control Act of 2005"—
H.R. 4437 [PDF]—was
introduced on December 6 by

James Sensenbrenner
, Jr. (R-Wisconsin),
Chairman of the House Committee on the Judiciary. The
committee promptly approved the bill two
days later on December 8.

H.R. 4437 is expected to be
considered by the full House

this week
—specifically on Thursday, according to the
immigration reform group

Numbers USA
. The bill currently has 22 cosponsors.

First of all, H.R. 4437 is
amnesty-free. No new

"guest workers"

"temporary workers"

are in sight.

But that does not necessarily
prevent the Senate from adding an

illegal alien amnesty
plan to their version of the
bill, and forcing the issue behind closed doors at a
House-Senate conference committee where dangerous

come with the territory.

4437 has some excellent immigration law enforcement
provisions, including some of the offerings from the

TRUE Enforcement
bill (H.R.
)—the amnesty-free

"border fence bill"
introduced by Congressmen
Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and

Virgil Goode

In fact, certain sections of H.R.
4437 incorporate some but not all of the much-needed
amendments to the Immigration and Nationality that I`ve
been writing about in my ongoing


Unfortunately, the news is not all

  • Section 407—Section
    235(b) Expedited Removal
    —H.R. 4437 undercuts the
    laws already on the books by scaling back the
    expedited removal authority granted (but never
    implemented) by Congress in 1996. The bill allows
    the summary removal of illegal aliens found within
    100 miles of a land border within 14 days of entry.
    But in 1996 Congress previously authorized the
    removal of any alien found anywhere in the U.S.
    within 2 years of entry!

And there`s one part of the bill
that really caught my attention—"Title VII,
Employment Eligibility Verification."

Sections 701 through 707 of H.R.
4437 set up a curious plan which appears to revive the
shamelessly-unenforced employer sanctions provisions of
Immigration Act Section 247.

But there`s a catch. The
employers don`t actually have to fire the illegal aliens


other entity has received a final nonverification
regarding an individual, the person or entity may
terminate employment of the individual
(or decline
to recruit or refer the individual). If the person or
entity does not terminate employment of the individual
or proceeds to recruit or refer the individual, the
person or entity shall notify the Secretary of Homeland
Security of such fact through the verification system or
in such other manner as the Secretary may specify.

So there you have it—may
terminate employment of the individual
. . . the
smoking gun of non-enforcement.

As currently written, the
employer-friendly H.R. 4437 doesn`t say "shall
the illegal alien`s employment.
There`s also no mention about what is going to happen to
the illegal aliens who attempt to seek employment and
are discovered by the verification system. Nothing
saying that the employer "shall immediately

the nearest Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) office
about the illegal alien`s presence."
That would be
too good to be true.

In fact, when employers use the new
employment verification system, they can do so virtually
risk-free. Section 701 of the bill, which amends
Immigration Act Section 274A(b)(7)(J), states that "[n]o
person or entity shall be civilly or criminally liable
for any action taken in good faith reliance on
information provided through the employment eligibility
verification mechanism . . ."

So H.R. 4437 sees to it that
employers are immunized from any criminal or
immigration law liability, including Immigration Act
Section 274 felony prosecutions, civil RICO violations,
immigration-related discrimination against U.S. workers.

A VDARE.COM reader who tipped me
off to the lurking danger of the bill`s toothless
employer sanctions enforcement had this to say via

"Remember that the amnesty lobby`s main argument is that
if we know who the illegals are, there is no need to
remove them, very bad criminals and terrorists excepted.
Under Sensenbrenners` system, if employers register
their employees with DHS, they are not required
to terminate workers without lawful status.

bottom line:

illegals continue working,

legal protections
and experiencing

, and the employers continue to hire
illegal aliens, with almost no risk. With the status quo
maintained, Congress would likely find an amnesty
guestworker bill that legalizes the status of all
workers registered with the system very attractive.
This is a devilishly clever move."

So with the DHS having no
employer sanctions enforcement program
to speak of
in effect now, what makes us believe that the federal
government will enforce any of the new requirements in
H.R. 4437 either?

When a non-verified illegal alien
is recorded in the system, the DHS will know which
companies they are coming from (through the data trail
of requests in the system itself).

But there`s also an assumption with
the bill here that employers will actually use
the H.R. 4437 verification system! Why wouldn`t

unscrupulous illegal alien-hiring outfits
just keep
employing the illegals

without using the verification system
at all . . . since they don`t give a damn whether the
aliens are illegal in the first place? 

The VDARE.COM reader also addressed
the employer sanctions aspect of the bill:

is still a rebuttable presumption of violation of

[Immigration Act section] 274A, but given the current
non-existent enforcement regime, what Sensenbrenner is
proposing is essentially a giant bureaucratic safe
harbor bill that lets employers continue to hire

the only remaining liability will be an administrative
civil penalty action, and everyone knows DHS abandoned

civil penalty process
years ago—this year only two
companies in the entire U.S. were fined for 274A
violations. Thus—effectively, Sensenbrenner sets up a de
facto illegal worker parole program. The employers can
keep the illegals on the payroll, with only a very
theoretical risk of administrative fines. And for 90% of
businesses—i.e. for employers will payrolls under 60
workers—the maximum fines are scaled back 40 to 60%.
Instead of employer sanctions, we have an intermediate
preparatory program to prescreen aliens for a follow-on

guestworker amnesty.

remember, for all workers except those on federal
contracts and sensitive infrastructure, nothing will
change for six years!"

From reading the bill myself, I
have no reason to dispute the reader`s impressions.

Specifically, Section 703 of the
bill creates a timeframe where all employers won`t be
obliged to use the system—to verify whether their
employees are illegal or not—until six years
after enactment of the bill. Only companies dealing with

"critical infrastructure,"





nuclear energy facilities
, etc., will be required to
use the system…after three years.

So for now, and for the next six
years, the status quo of pie-in-the-sky fictionalized
employer sanctions "enforcement" will continue.

And if H.R. 4437 becomes the law of
the land, the DHS might someday even have a database
chock full of future "guest workers"—and a list
of "willing workers" and "willing employers"—just
waiting for the next amnesty.

ABOUT Juan Mann:

Juan Mann
an attorney and the proprietor of
He writes a weekly column for
contributes to Michelle Malkin`s

Immigration BLOG