White House Busts 'Myths' About Immigration Bill

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:32 PM EDT

(CNSNews.com) - Anticipating strong opposition to the Senate's new immigration reform bill, the White House on Friday released a "fact sheet" discussing "ten key myths" about the plan.

The number one myth, according to the White House, involves claims that the plan provides "amnesty" to illegal aliens.

In fact, the White House said, "Amnesty is the forgiveness of an offense without penalty. This proposal is not amnesty because illegal workers must acknowledge that they broke the law, pay a $1,000 fine, and undergo criminal background checks to obtain a Z visa granting temporary legal status," the White House said.

Such claims don't impress Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.), chairman of the Immigration Reform Caucus.

He said the "compromise" plan "will reward 12 million illegal immigrants with a path to citizenship," and "any plan that rewards illegal behavior is amnesty."

Bilbray also suggested the Senate is about to repeat the "failed policies of the past," specifically, the 1986 Immigration and Control Act, which "granted amnesty overnight to more than three million illegal immigrants."

The bill was passed with the promise of implementing border security and employer enforcement provisions that were never adopted, Bilbray said on his website.

But the White House says it's a "fact" that the current compromise bill "addresses every one of the shortcomings" in the 1986 legislation.

Other "myths," according to the White House:

-- The government will not and cannot meet its promise to crack down on the hiring of illegal workers.

-- The bill would cut in half the amount of fence authorized by the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

-- The bill will prompt a rush to the border.

-- The bill will exponentially increase extended-family chain migration.

-- The temporary worker program is bad for American workers.

-- Illegal immigrants will come out of the shadows and onto the welfare rolls.

-- Government agencies will not be able to share information to pursue immigration violators.

The White House also noted that on Monday, the Senate will take a procedural vote on whether to bring the bill to the floor for debate. It won't be a vote on the bill itself -- myth number ten, the White House said.

That answers criticism from senators who say they are being forced to vote on a bill they haven't had time to read.

digg_skin = 'compact'

Subscribe to the free CNSNews.com daily E-Brief.

Send a Letter to the Editor about this article.