During a discussion with Bill Bennett on Bennett’s radio show, Morning in America, Senator Jeff Flake said that as long as illegal aliens have not committed any crimes other than entering the United State illegally that they will be eligible for legal status.
This is consistent with what Senator John McCain had said on CBS This Morning just a day earlier.
If they actually meant what they said, it would be a major change from previous comprehensive reform efforts which only denied legal status to a relatively small number of illegal aliens who had been convicted of serious crimes.
By using the term “committed,” McCain and Flake make it impossible for most illegal aliens to qualify for legal status since illegal aliens routinely commit multiple, job-related felonies. For example, according to the Social Security Actuary three quarters (75%) of the estimated eleven million illegal aliens in the United States use illegally obtained Social Security numbers. This is a federal crime (felony Social Security fraud) and would, therefore disqualify illegal aliens from legal status.
In addition, illegal aliens routinely commit perjury on I-9 forms which is another federal felony. They also commit felony identity theft and forgery.
All of these crimes will be discovered when illegal aliens applying for legal status submit documents to show previous employment, payment of taxes, etc. And once discovered, they will render the perpetrators ineligible for legal status based on McCain’s and Flake’s statements.
A request for comment from Flake’s press office went unanswered; however, it would be surprising if this position holds since it will disqualify the vast majority of illegal aliens from gaining legal status.
Therefore, look for Flake and McCain to clarify their statements or to simply to change the term used from committed to convicted in the future.
And look for a comprehensive reform bill that only denies legal status to illegal aliens who have been convicted of the most serious crimes.
Based on the 2007 comprehensive immigration reform bill (section 604), this year’s effort can be expected to contain a provision granting amnesty to illegal aliens from crimes that they have committed but not been convicted of for the purpose of granting legal status.
Comprehensive immigration reform will also most likely prohibit federal employees who discover the commission of crimes while processing applications from reporting them and it will impose a fine of $10,000 on a federal employee who reports a crime committed by an illegal alien applying for legal status.
Finally, look for this year’s comprehensive immigration reform bill to also grant amnesty to employers who submit paperwork supporting an illegal alien’s application for legal status just as section 605 in the 2007 bill did. The employers will be exempt from prosecution for crimes they committed including failure to collect and submit payroll taxes, knowingly hiring illegal aliens, etc.