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Press Release

Forbes Opposes Amnesty Legislation
Washington, D.C., September 6, 2007
Contact: Stephanie Nigro (202) 225-6365

Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04) voiced his strong opposition to the legislation under consideration by the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, Refugees, Border Security, and International Law today. H.R. 1645, the Security Through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy Act of 2007 (STRIVE), would provide virtual amnesty for illegal immigrants in the United States.

“I am strongly opposed to the STRIVE Act because I believe the measure is little more than amnesty for the 12 million illegal immigrants that are currently in this country. By erasing penalties for those who break the law, this bill shows an utter disregard for the laws that govern this country,” said Forbes. “I am firmly committed to the belief that American citizenship is and must continue to be a privilege, and one reserved for those that enter our country legally.

The STRIVE legislation would provide a pathway to citizenship for the nation’s illegal aliens, requiring little more than a few easy steps along the route to gaining legal status in the United States. This is along the lines of the 1986 amnesty legislation which resulted in many instances of fraud, with illegal aliens using falsified records and other materials to gain citizenship.

“The United States is a nation of immigrants, and we must preserve legal channels to enter the United States for those who truly want to take advantage of the immense opportunities that this country can provide for those who have the American dream in their heart. However, my constituents have repeatedly told me, and I personally believe, that this does not include granting blanket citizenship to illegal aliens,” Forbes said. “I will continue to work to impose meaningful and just immigration reform in this Congress because it is a priority for me, for the Fourth District of Virginia, and for the United States.

Key reasons Congressman Forbes opposes the STRIVE Act are:

  • The bill provides amnesty and a guaranteed path to citizenship for most of the 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. First, illegal immigrants become “conditional non-immigrants,” and then after six years of work in the U.S. they and their spouses and children – regardless of legal/illegal status - can become permanent residents.
  • Illegal immigrants who seek amnesty do not have to pay back taxes owed for any period before they became “conditional non-immigrants.” Amnesty recipients will also receive Social Security benefits based on their work done while in the United States illegally.
  • The bill requires American taxpayers to fund grants to private organizations to help illegal immigrants apply for amnesty and once illegal immigrants are granted amnesty and become citizens, they become eligible for billions of dollars in welfare and public assistance.
  • Under the bill, employers are absolved of any civil or criminal tax liability related to the prior employment of illegal aliens seeking amnesty.

Congressman Forbes serves on the House Judiciary Committee, the House Judiciary Immigration Subcommittee and the House Immigration Reform Caucus. To learn more about Congressman Forbes’ work on immigration, visit: http://forbes.house.gov/issues/immigration.htm.


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