Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Immigration and the Pro-Life Movement
There has not even been an amnesty bill introduced yet in the US Senate, and key Republican members of the “Gang of Eight” are panicking. An old saying in politics is, if you’re losing an argument, change the subject. In the amnesty debate, if the facts don’t line up on your side, then slander the opponents with lies and challenge their motives and their pedigree. In the past, these types of attacks came from liberals accusing anyone opposed to illegal immigration as “racists.”
Now, according to a front page story in the Washington Post, Grover Norquist, the US Conference and Catholic Bishops, and the National Immigration Forum are leading the attacks. This group is engaged in a systematic effort to discredit the three largest immigration control organizations in DC, The Center for Immigration Studies, Federation for American Immigration Reform, and Numbers USA.
The Center for Immigration Studies and the Federation for American Immigration Reform both do powerful research on immigration problems and are all well-regarded in conservative circles and their scholars and expert staff have testified before literally dozens of congressional hearings.
But the third targeted group, NumbersUSA, is the real nemesis of the open borders lobby because it marches up to the Hill and does battle in the trenches. It has been so effective in using its million plus members to lobby Congress that in both the 2006 and 2007 congressional debates, NumbersUSA played a pivotal role in defeating George Bush and John McCain’s hopes for amnesty. Thus, this month’s smear campaign against NumbersUSA should be seen as a preemptive strike aimed at taking out amnesty’s most effective opponent.
What is the main attack line against the Numbers USA and the other two organizations that oppose both illegal immigration and the huge potholes in our broken immigration system? Their crime is that they are “not part of the conservative movement because” FAIR, Numbers USA, and Center for Immigration Studies have board members who support legalized abortion and environmental conservation.
Yep. That’s the line. Well I have, over the course almost 15 years, worked with all of these groups and especially Numbers USA. Never has that collaboration focused on anything but border security and TRUE immigration reform.
During my years in Congress, I had a 100% rating from National Right to Life and a 99% rating from the American Conservative Union. I’ve been called a lot of things in my political career, but a pro-abortion liberal is not one of them. Nonetheless, I’ve considered myself privileged to work with CIS, FAIR, and Numbers USA.
Just as any Republican with half a brain should be skeptical when someone like Senator John McCain (as in McCain/Kennedy Amnesty Bill) lectures us on immigration issues, they should be just as suspicious when the likes of Grover Norquist, the Catholic Council of Bishops or La Raza put targets on the backs of Numbers USA, FAIR and the Center for Immigration Studies and gets front page coverage in The Washington Post. I can assure you that none of the aforementioned band of brothers are out to protect conservatives
Immigrants must live in Britain for a year before claiming benefits, says welfare minister
The Work and Pensions Secretary said hard-working migrants who paid their taxes and contributed to the economy would be welcome.
But he said he wanted to ensure “our door is shut” to benefit tourists and was engaged in a “big battle” with Brussels to reform the rules on welfare payments to residents from elsewhere in the EU.
Last week the Prime Minister promised to overhaul the system for immigrants to ensure that Britain is not “a soft touch”. Ministers have been in talks over tightening the rules allowing migrants access to social housing, the NHS, benefits and elements of the justice system.
Some Conservative Cabinet members fear that the removal of restrictions for EU migrants from Romania and Bulgaria from 2014 will see many more arrive than expected, putting pressure on housing and public services.
Mr Duncan Smith predicted that ministers would be able to introduce “much tougher” regulations to stop immigrants taking advantage of the welfare system.
“We want people to be able to travel to work but we don’t want them to travel to get benefits,” he told BBC One’s Andrew Marr show.
“It’s locking the door to peoples’ access to benefits simply because they want to come here.”
A high level meeting of officials and Cabinet ministers has already taken place to discuss closing “loopholes”, he said, and further talks are expected.
One key measure he hoped to strengthen will be the “habitual residency test”, which sets out the minimum amount of time for which migrants must live in Britain before they can become eligible for benefits.
The minister said the rules were already “reasonably tight” in Job Centres. However, he was “looking at” further reforms so that individuals will need to show they have a lease on a home “of nine-months to a year, rather than just a matter of months”.
Some benefits may be classified as “contributory”, he said, suggesting that individuals may be entitled to receive payments only if they had paid enough tax and national insurance first.
“These are areas we’re tightening up before this starts next year, and I believe we will be able to tighten this up,” Mr Duncan Smith said.
However, he faces a fight with the EU, which is attempting to prevent Britain applying the residency test to migrants from elsewhere in Europe.
“They’re trying to say we don’t have the right to have any kind of test, so that’s a big battle that I’m having with the Europeans,” Mr Duncan Smith said. Britain is being supported in arguing for new rules by the Dutch and Scandinavians, he added.
The minister said he also wanted to stop immigrants sending UK child benefit payments, which are more generous than the European average, to their families in their home countries.
From next year, 29 million Romanian and Bulgarian citizens will gain the right to move to the UK to work and live under rules allowing EU citizens freedom of movement.
Anti-immigration campaigners are calling on ministers to disclose how many Romanian and Bulgarian migrants they expect to arrive next year when the current restrictions on migration from the two countries are lifted.
Mr Duncan Smith said it was “pointless” attempting to predict the figures after Labour severely underestimated the numbers likely to arrive from eastern Europe after 2004. He said he had no knowledge of any official projections.
“If you look at where there Romanians are coming through at the moment it paints a picture, the majority have gone to Germany and Spain. We are ready, though, to make sure that they can’t come here and claim benefits.”
Posted by jonjayray at 12:15 AM