Congressman Gallegly introduces illegal immigration package

January 10, 2007
Santa Paula News

Congressman Elton Gallegly (R-Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties) today introduced six bills to fight illegal immigration in the United States.

Congressman Elton Gallegly (R-Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties) today introduced six bills to fight illegal immigration in the United States.“A top priority for this new Congress and any Congress, for that matter, should be to reduce the high levels of illegal immigrants entering this nation,” Gallegly said when introducing the bills. “This is a problem that goes directly to our responsibilities as a sovereign nation to secure our borders and enforce our laws.”Gallegly’s bills are designed to remove incentives for immigrants to enter the United States illegally, bring fairness to federal immigration laws, and close loopholes illegal immigrants use to flout U.S. laws.Two of Gallegly’s bills address the crux of the illegal immigration problem: jobs.To get a job, a person must provide his employer with a Social Security number. Illegal immigrants often provide fictitious Social Security numbers, many times adopting the identity of a hardworking American who is unaware his identity has been stolen until he is refused a loan or contacted by an irate creditor. In fact, Social Security sent 8 million notices to workers whose names and Social Security numbers didn’t match in 2002 and 9.6 million notices to workers in 2005. But other than sending the notices, the Social Security Administration has failed to act.Gallegly’s Identity Theft Notification Act of 2007 would require the Social Security Administration to investigate if it receives W-2 forms with the same Social Security number but different addresses. If the Social Security Administration finds evidence of fraudulent activity, it is required to notify not only the Department of Homeland Security, but also the legal possessor of the Social Security number. This will enable innocent people to take steps to protect their credit, identity and good name.In addition, Gallegly’s Employment Eligibility Verification and Anti-Identity Theft Act would require workers to resolve discrepancies if their names and Social Security numbers do not match. Employers would have to terminate workers who do not resolve discrepancies. The Social Security Administration also would be required to notify the Department of Homeland Security so it can investigate whether a crime has been committed.
Gallegly’s third bill also removes a major incentive for people to come to this country illegally.Gallegly’s Citizenship Reform Act of 2007 would bring U.S. laws into line with virtually every other nation by requiring that at least one parent be a citizen or permanent resident for a child to automatically become a citizen.Additionally, Gallegly introduced a bill that will make current U.S. immigration law fairer. Under current law, an illegal immigrant who leaves the country faces a bar of up to three years if he has been in the country illegally for more than six months, and a 10-year bar if he has been here illegally for more than a year. However, if an illegal immigrant never leaves the country but applies to adjust his status, he faces no re-entry prohibitions. This is fundamentally unfair. Gallegly’s legislation provides that all illegal immigrants face the same penalty - even if they are eligible for a change in status.Finally, Gallegly introduced two bills that would criminalize actions common among illegal immigrants.Many illegal immigrants who are apprehended and agree to voluntarily depart either fail to leave or leave only to return. Gallegly’s bill would make it a felony, with a mandatory one-year jail sentence, for illegal immigrants to agree to leave and then either fail to leave or return illegally.The sixth bill would make it a felony, with a mandatory one-year jail sentence, when illegal immigrants ignore the law and refuse to appear in court when ordered. This bill would eliminate the “get out of jail free card” illegal immigrants receive when they are given a notice to appear and then disappear into society.

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