Remember the Immigration Lies of 2013

| December 26 2013
John Walker

As Republicans and Democrats alike eagerly await the chance to pass immigration reform in the new year, it’s a good idea to remember the propaganda – more succinctly labeled as lies – that clouded the immigration debate of 2013.

Speaker John Boehner and his cohorts in the House Republican leadership – including his favorite ally, Paul Ryan – are ready to tackle immigration reform after they dispense with the budget and debt ceiling early next year. They will raise the issue in another burst of “compromise” that conceals the political reality of the effort.

The real reason for immigration reform enthusiasm in Washington is the reality that there is plenty of good news for everyone. Democrats can hardly wait to sign up millions of new voters; Republicans are eager to prove that they hold no ill will towards immigrants.

The people at FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform) have performed a public service by reminding voters to remember the propaganda that surrounded the immigration debate in 2013. Here are excerpts from FAIR’s list of this year’s immigration reform untruths:

  • Passing amnesty will help Republicans win elections.

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) claimed  that “The only way [the GOP] can get back in good graces with the Hispanic community, in my view, is pass comprehensive immigration reform.”  However, poll after poll has shown that Hispanics vote based on jobs and the economy, not immigration.

  • Insufficient “documentation” is not grounds for deportation.

In December of 2013, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told the Spanish-language network Telemundo that “If somebody is here without sufficient documentation, that is not reason for deportation.”  However, the Immigration and Nationality Act clearly reaches the opposite conclusion.

  • A path to citizenship isn’t amnesty.

Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) is “opposed to amnesty for undocumented immigrants but looks forward to evaluating legislative proposals dealing with earned citizenship,” his spokesman Greg Lemon said. Representative Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) also tried to make the same distinction. Amnesty is defined by Merriam-Webster’s dictionary as “the act of an authority (as a government) by which pardon is granted to a large group of individuals.”

  • Illegal aliens are in the shadows.

On February 24, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) said, “11 million people sit in the twilight, the shadows of America.”  Anyone who has seen what illegal aliens have been up to this year would disagree.  Illegal alien Erika Andiola, who appeared on Time Magazine’s cover, worked for a Member of Congress, has a website, and held press conferences about fighting her mother’s deportation.

  • American workers can’t do jobs that foreign workers can.

An aide to Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said, “There are American workers who, for lack of a better term, can’t cut it.”  Another Rubio aide added that this circumstance “is true for high-skilled workers.”

  • The Senate mass amnesty bill is sitting on House Speaker John Boehner’s desk.

Many Members of Congress called for Boehner to bring the Senate bill to a vote in the House in 2013. One of them, Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said, “right now we have a bipartisan bill that passed the Senate sitting on John Boehner’s desk that he could take up right now.”  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) never sent the bill to the House, a necessary step before the Speaker of the House of Representatives can act.

  • Biden’s ancestors were illegal aliens.

On December 11, 2013, during a streaming chat sponsored by Skype and Bing, Vice President Joe Biden said, “My great-great-grandparents came escaping the famine, and they didn’t all come here legally.” “Not true,” according to Temple Law Professor Jan Ting.  There were no limits on U.S. immigration during the potato famine of the 1840s when Biden’s ancestors left Ireland.

  • Obama never met his illegal alien uncle.

Last year, the White House told the Boston Globe that President Barack Obama had never met his uncle Omar.  Then, this December, Uncle Omar testified that President Obama not only met him, but lived with him in Cambridge when he came to attend Harvard Law.