The Schumer-Rubio led Gang of Eight continues to argue that "comprehensive immigration reform" is not amnesty because illegal aliens applying for Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status have to pay a stiff penalty — $1,000 (pp. 83-84 of S. 744). A second $1,000 penalty comes into effect when the illegal aliens eventually apply for permanent resident status. (pp. 107-108)
The Gang of Eight emphasizes the terrible hardship that a $1,000 penalty places on illegal aliens applying for RPI status and they do their best to ease the burden by allowing illegal aliens to pay it in installments. At the same time, they conveniently ignore the fact that illegal aliens routinely pay human smugglers and fraudulent document dealers many times more than this:
With net immigration from Mexico near zero, the number who came to the United States since January 2012 is believed to be relatively small, possibly a few hundred thousand. They include Isaac Jimenez, 45, who paid a smuggler $4,800 to guide him across the California desert in August to reunite with his wife and children in Fresno.
About 10 percent of the shelter's deportees speak little or no Spanish, including Salvador Herrera IV, 28, who came to the United States when he was two in the back seat of a car and grew up skateboarding and playing basketball in Long Beach. With a conviction for grand theft auto putting his legal status out of the question, he is considering paying $8,000 for someone else's identity documents to try to return illegally to Southern California.
The Gang further makes a mockery of the $1,000 penalty since it has no relation the crimes committed or to the benefits received in return for their $1,000 payment.
For example, for $1,000, the 75 percent of illegal aliens using fraudulently obtained Social Security numbers get amnesty from Social Security fraud which carries a prison term of up to 10 years and a $250,000 fine — not a bad return on their investment.
Or for $1,000, illegal aliens who are gang bangers, drug dealers, pedophiles, identity thieves, perjurers, and intending terrorists are allowed to buy RPI status just as long as they don't have more than one felony conviction or more than three misdemeanor convictions (p. 62).
Those who have committed felonies, but who have not been convicted, are welcome to stay in spite of assertions to the contrary by Arizona Republican senators John McCain and Jeff Flake.
For $1,000, illegal aliens applying for RPI status get amnesty from all unpaid taxes (pp. 68-69) unless there is an existing tax assessment.
And that's not all.
In order to extend compassion to illegal aliens who routinely commit identity theft in order to get jobs, the Gang of Eight treats their American victims, including a huge number of innocent American children, as collateral damage.
Thus, in return for their $1,000, the compassion-driven Gang of Eight gives illegal aliens who have stolen the identities of Americans new Social Security numbers and clean records while Americans are left to recover their and their children's good names on their own.
But there's still more.
The same $1,000 buys the right for illegal aliens to continue using the stolen identifying information of Americans until they apply for RPI status and get their own, brand-new Social Security numbers — however long that may take. (pp. 78, 91-92)
At the same time, the victims of their identity theft continue to have their good names and their very futures destroyed with the blessing of the United States government that they pay for and that is supposed to protect them.
And as a special bonus, the $1,000 penalty buys pre-paid services for illegal aliens from non-profit groups such as La Raza. These groups will help illegal aliens and their families file their applications, apply for multiple waivers, learn English and civics, and guide them throughout the entire RPI process. (p. 133)
And there's still more.
The one-time penalty of $1,000 comes with a guarantee that Department of Homeland Security employees won't turn applicants over to law enforcement authorities for any of their crimes.
If any government employee violates the Gang's instructions and blows the whistle on illegal-alien crimes, the civil servant will be slapped with a $10,000 fine each time he or she reports a crime found while processing the amnesty applications of illegal aliens.
Thus, for $1,000, illegal aliens get RPI status complete with guaranteed amnesty for RPI purposes from forgery, Social Security fraud, identity theft, perjury on I-9 forms, unpaid taxes, unlawful entry, and other serious crimes that they have committed or are committing.
If the Gang of Eight is indeed looking for a fair and just resolution to the status of illegal aliens, it needs to run the sections of S. 744 that deal with illegal aliens through a paper shredder and start over by putting the interests of American citizens first and illegal aliens second.