Billy House and Susan Carroll, Arizona Republic (Phoenix), September 29, 2005
Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz., plans to introduce today a sweeping immigration enforcement bill that would create a new national Social Security card, crack down on employers who hired undocumented workers and bring a moratorium on immigrant visas for Mexican citizens.
Although the provisions of the bill were well-received by some proponents of greater immigration control, they were widely assailed by immigration attorneys, advocates for undocumented immigrants and privacy watchdogs.
The Enforcement First Immigration Act of 2005 laces together in one package new and old proposals.
It represents what Hayworth and other U.S. House conservatives hope will be their signature core principles in any immigration reform bill agreed upon by Congress.
“The hope is that my model of enforcement will be a blueprint where the majority . . . can come together,” Hayworth said of the 113-page bill he plans to detail today at a Capitol Hill news conference.
Hayworth joins several other Arizonans in producing his own major legislation targeting immigration reform, a key issue for their state, which is the gateway for most of the illegal immigration into the United States.
Some provisions echoed a bill by Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., that calls for 10,000 more Border Patrol agents, adds Customs and Border Protection officers at ports of entry and expands detention space for undocumented immigrants.
But Hayworth’s bill, unlike other immigration legislation introduced this session, would reduce the number of visas available, particularly for Mexican citizens.
It includes provisions that historically have proved controversial, such as putting the military on the border, ending automatic citizenship for babies born on U.S. soil and authorizing an estimated 700,000 state and local law enforcement officers to enforce immigration law.
The proposed legislation also would make voting in a foreign election without approval from the secretary of State a felony.
The bill will have strong backing from the anti-illegal immigration lobby and may have a chance given the “sentiment in the House,” said Ira Mehlman, a Los Angeles-based spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which lobbies for reductions in immigration.
“These bills are always difficult, but I think the level of public discontent with mass immigration and the fact that it is now spread all across the country works in the favor of getting this support that it needs,” he said.
Mary Lou Pickel and Eunice Moscoso, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, September 29, 2005
Although revoking the birthright guarantee is not likely to be part of Congress’ immigration reform agenda this fall, there are increasing signs lawmakers are thinking about altering a privilege grounded in common law and the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.
The proposals come in a post-9/11 time of increasing suspicion toward illegal immigrants. Several bills have been introduced.
Rep. Nathan Deal (R-Ga.) wants to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to limit automatic citizenship at birth to children of U.S. citizens and lawful residents. Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) introduced a constitutional amendment that also would limit birthright citizenship. Such an amendment would require ratification by three-fourths of the states.
A proposal by Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), who heads a 90-member caucus pushing to tighten immigration laws, would deny citizenship to U.S.-born children of temporary immigrant workers.
Tancredo said the provision is vital because temporary workers would not want to leave after their visas expire if their children are U.S. citizens, or so-called anchor babies.