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    PA - Congressional candidates talk about immigration

    BORYS KRAWCZENIUK, STAFF WRITER
    Published: October 26, 2014

    The candidates for the three local congressional seats agree Congress needs to act to secure the nation’s borders to keep Americans safe from terrorists and criminals as part of comprehensive reform of immigration law.

    They disagree on whether securing the borders should mean a pathway to citizenship for more than 11 million undocumented immigrants already here.

    Whoever wins the seats in the Nov. 4 election could face a vote on the divisive issue in the next two years.

    The Democrat-led Senate passed a reform bill last year 68-32 with the backing of 14 Republican senators, but the Republican-led House rejected it without a vote. House Republicans haven’t passed their own comprehensive bill, but will face pressure to pass one before the 2016 presidential election.

    Otherwise, they could relive 2012, when President Barack Obama, a Democrat, won the Latino vote in 2012 by a whopping 71 percent to 27 percent, largely because many Latinos thought Republicans blocked their family members’ path to legal status.

    The Senate bill, which would cost an estimated $46.3 billion to implement, would give undocumented immigrants a 13-year pathway to citizenship and forbid deporting anyone eligible for something known as “provisional immigrant status.” They would be eligible if they have not been convicted of a felony or three or more misdemeanors, stay employed and pay their taxes, application fees and a $1,000 penalty. They would not be eligible for Social Security, Medicaid, food stamps or healthcare reform benefits.

    None of the provisional immigrants could apply for permanent residence status until after the Department of Homeland Security certifies that a “Southern Border Security Strategy” is up and running, 700 miles of fencing along the border with Mexico is complete, more than 38,000 border agents (twice as many as now) are on the job and a mandatory electronic immigration status verification system for employers is in place.

    Legalizing the undocumented immigrants would boost tax revenues and reduce the nation’s budget deficit’s an average of $13.5 billion a year for the first 10 years and $60 billion a year in the decade after that, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

    The candidates differ sharply on the bill.

    10th Congressional District

    U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, a Republican from Lycoming Twp. in Lycoming County, has a bottom line on immigration reform.

    “Whatever it takes” money-wise to secure the borders, Mr. Marino said. “I know it’s a lot of money (in the Senate bill). I don’t know if that’s enough, but the Senate bill does nothing of substance to send back the illegals (who) we know are here, and it does nothing to process the individuals (who) have been ticketed to come back but don’t show up.”

    An estimated 40 percent of the 11 million undocumented immigrants are here because they’re legally obtained visas expired.

    Republicans like Mr. Marino routinely call for cracking down, noting most of the Sept. 11 terrorists stayed in the U.S. on expired visas. The Obama administration counters that it is deporting illegal immigrants in record numbers.

    Mr. Marino also wants troops to guard the border and a ban on aid to countries that do nothing to help block their citizens from illegally emigrating to the U.S.

    One of Mr. Marino’s election opponents, Democrat Scott Brion of Jackson Twp. in Lycoming County, said the Senate bill is a good start because Republicans haven’t offered a real alternative. He likes its mandatory electronic verification system, the lengthy pathway to citizenship and that “we instantly extend(s) the life of Medicare and Social Security” because of increased payroll tax collections.

    “If the Republicans can’t come up with a better way to address the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country, then we need to just proceed with the best plan we have in place,” he said.

    Arguments for securing the border before offering a way to citizenship have weakened, he said.

    “We have been deporting more people than we ever have before, and it’s just not working,” he said.

    Mr. Brion also favors more visas for highly skilled workers.

    So does independent candidate Nick Troiano of Williamsport, who said the status quo can’t continue with the threat of Islamic State terrorists looming.

    The Senate bill is “a framework for immigration reform that I support” and doing nothing means “de facto amnesty,” Mr. Troiano said.

    “The border is not secure, our visa system is backlogged and backwards, and we have 11.5 million undocumented immigrants here who are living in the shadows and not all are paying taxes,” he said.

    11th Congressional District

    Rep. Lou Barletta, a Republican from Hazleton known for fighting illegal immigration as the city’s mayor, said the Senate bill falls short, though he favors electronic verification and more border agents and fencing.

    He favors passing an immigration bill that focuses solely on securing the border. Tying that to a pathway to citizenship only encourages more “illegal border crossings,” he said.

    Mr. Barletta wants the governors of the border states and then Congress to certify the border secure rather than the secretary of Homeland Security.

    “I don’t want anybody grading their own test papers,” as he put it.

    His biggest concern is background checks because Homeland Security isn’t planning to interview undocumented immigrants face to face, which will lead to fraud. The answer is adding staff to homeland security to ensure proper background checks, he said.

    Mr. Barletta’s opposition, Democratic candidate Andy Ostrowski of Susquehanna Twp. in Dauphin County, called for comprehensive reform that includes a study of how many people cross the border illegally, where and how, reform of the visa system and figuring out what to do without violating anyone’s civil rights.

    “I mean we’re talking about this issue as if the Susquehanna River is the Rio Grande River (that separates the U.S. and Mexico), and that’s not the case,” he said.

    17th Congressional District

    U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright, a Democrat from Moosic, said he might vote for the Senate bill “if it came down to only that or nothing, but deporting 11 million people from our shores is not an option.”

    “I’m not in favor of amnesty,” but the Senate bill is not amnesty, he said.

    “The reason we have to do a tough but fair path to citizenship is I want to make taxpayers of these people,” he said. “We have a chance to strengthen our national treasury, reduce our deficits and also buttress our Social Security and Medicare systems because these are people who are here to work.”

    Mr. Cartwright’s opponent, David Moylan, a Republican from South Manheim Twp. and the Schuylkill County coroner, favors a reform proposal advocated by the American Legion, one of the nation’s leading veterans associations.

    The proposal calls for many of the Senate bill’s provisions, but also deployment of troops where necessary, cooperation among law enforcement at all levels of government, a temporary workers program and more effective screening and tracking of foreign visitors.

    Mr. Moylan said he’s ambivalent about the Senate bill, though he agrees with many of its provisions.

    “My fear is that if we don’t have a sealed border and if we start offering amnesty, I mean we’re a giant candy story up here (and) there’s going to be another wave (of undocumented immigrants) coming in,” he said.

    Mr. Moylan also favors a double-layered, two-story fence from Texas to California.

    http://thetimes-tribune.com/news/con...tion-1.1777553
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    Otherwise, they could relive 2012, when President Barack Obama, a Democrat, won the Latino vote in 2012 by a whopping 71 percent to 27 percent, largely because many Latinos thought Republicans blocked their family members’ path to legal status.
    This statement is false. And the way it appears as an accepted fact in the article instead of someone's quote shows the bias of the author BORYS KRAWCZENIUK.

    Democrat Presidential candidates usually receive 65% of the Hispanic vote on average and those statistics go back way before the current debates on immigration reform amnesty legislation.

    The only reason Obama got 71% is because so many illegal aliens are now voting in American elections and Republicans will never turn those votes their way.

    W
    imblest and Newmexican like this.
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  3. #3
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    This article has led us to endorse David Moylan...

    http://www.alipac.us/f35/doc-david-m...0/#post1442964
    Join our efforts to Secure America's Borders and End Illegal Immigration by Joining ALIPAC's E-Mail Alerts network (CLICK HERE)

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