Sasse, McHenry Bills Target Amnesty Payouts | Commentary

Posted March 27, 2015 at 10:00am

By Jenny Beth Martin  

For conservatives concerned with America’s sovereignty and border security, there have been some setbacks since November. President Barack Obama ignored the wave election that overwhelmingly rejected his and his party’s stance on illegal immigration, and enacted a lawless amnesty scheme by fiat. Congressional Republicans, rewarded with historic majorities for standing up to his radical agenda on the campaign trail, promptly assumed their favored stance – the fetal position.  

During 2014’s lame duck session, Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., talked a tough game, but then punted on first down. A chance to use the purse strings as an emerging Congressional majority was muffed, so afraid were the Speaker and Majority Leader-designate that they’d be construed as extreme by the Beltway media. So they funded all of the government at the level the president wanted through September, except for Homeland Security. Then they caved again, and gave the president what he wanted on that, too. Amnesty is the new, bipartisan thing.  

On the ground, at the border, the president’s reckless policies are being played out in real time. Sadly, the future looks bleak, if House and Senate leadership are effective political measuring sticks. I doubt that even my friend Agent Chris Cabrera’s testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee will affect the GOP Establishment’s yearning for a stream of cheap, unskilled labor from down south. Other than Judge Hanen’s ruling that at least temporarily froze the president’s lawless scheme in place, it’s been several months’ worth of capitulation.  

And it wasn’t enough for Obama to grant legal status to the criminals who’ve broken our laws to come here; he wants to line their pockets courtesy of the American taxpayers, too. That’s why IRS Commissioner John Koskinen announced the IRS’s latest interpretation of the law, which, in his view, will allow illegal immigrant beneficiaries of the president’s deferred deportation programs to collect up to $24,000 per family from the Earned Income Tax Credit – call them “amnesty bonuses.” Our government wants to write checks to non-citizens who have no respect for our laws.  

Fortunately, there’s hope.  

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., and Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, R-N.C., have introduced legislation that, while not stopping the flow of illegal aliens into the Republic, will at least gut Obama’s incentive program. Sasse’s bill (S. 748), the Amnesty Bonuses Elimination Act, will prohibit the issuance of Social Security numbers (SSNs) to any illegal alien granted deferred action on deportation. Without an SSN, an illegal alien can’t cash in.  

“Washington shouldn’t give special treatment to illegal aliens. This used to be bipartisan, common sense,” Sasse says. “In 1996, when President Clinton and Speaker Gingrich worked to reform welfare, Congress made Social Security Numbers a prerequisite for the EITC precisely to make sure that benefits did not go to individuals who broke the law.”  

A good point, and one echoed by his House colleague. McHenry’s legislation (H.R. 1249), the No Free Rides Act, largely mirror’s Sasse’s. “The EITC is a tool meant to help American and legal resident families who are struggling to make ends meet,” says McHenry, “not those who have broken the law and abused the system.”  

The president is rewarding bad behavior, and doing it brazenly. And it’s hard to blame him, when he’s kicked sand in McConnell’s and Boehner’s faces so often with no consequence.  

Fighting amnesty for illegal aliens will be a drawn-out war for conservatives, what with so many in the GOP Establishment enabling or encouraging Obama’s assault on the nation’s laws and Constitution. Fortunately, though, there are some leaders in Washington willing to carry the fight to the opposition, even incrementally. Sasse and McHenry are doing their part, and we should all call our individual senators and congressmen and ask them to support these bills.  

There are no free rides. Eliminate the amnesty bonuses.  

Jenny Beth Martin is co-founder of Tea Party Patriots.

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.