Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sensenbrenner Bill

                   Sensenbrenner Bill

In one of my other classes we are discussing a particular bill that I found to be pretty interesting The bill has to do with illegal immigrants and making them into criminals.
The Sensenbrenner bill was introduced by James Sensenbrenner, a conservative republican from Milwaukee, on December 6, 2005. The bill stated that any illegal immigrant living becomes a felon or for others to hire or assist such undocumented immigrant. It was created to be a Anti-Terrorism bill but I think it affected the wrong people and the terrorism prevention idea was more of a front to get tougher on illegal immigrants mostly from Mexico.
This bill on top of others have been targeted at illegal immigrants and to speed up deportation and made it even harder to become a legal immigrant. A severe downside of the Sensenbrenner bill is that it would make the illegal immigrants into felons which means that they would be sent to prison to serve time and the United States already has a problem with overcrowding. On top of the issue of overcrowding the court systems are already backed up and this would cause it to get even worse. I think a better solution needs to be found because this would cause more harm than good. Things like the DREAM Act do more good because it actually works with the person instead of against them.

Doing some research online I have found provisions  included in the bill:
·         Requires up to 700 miles (1120 km) of fence along the US-Mexican border at points with the highest number of illegal border crossings. (House Amendment 648, authored by Duncan Hunter (R-CA52)
·         Requires the federal government to take custody of illegal aliens detained by local authorities. This would end the practice of "catch and release", where federal officials sometimes instruct local law enforcement to release detained illegal aliens because resources to prosecute them are not available. It also reimburses local agencies in the 29 counties along the border for costs related to detaining illegal aliens. (Section 607)
·         Mandates employers to verify workers' legal status through electronic means, phased in over several years. Also requires reports to be sent to Congress one and two years after implementation to ensure that it is being used. (Title VII)
·         Requires the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to report to Congress on the number of Other Than Mexicans (OTMs) apprehended and deported and the number of those from states that sponsor terrorism. (Section 409)
·         Formalizes Congressional condemnation of rapes by smugglers along the border and urges Mexico to take immediate action to prevent them. (House Amendment 647, authored by Ginny Brown-Waite)
·         Requires all illegal aliens, before being deported, to pay a fine of $3,000 if they agree to leave voluntarily but do not adhere to the terms of their agreement. The grace period for voluntary departure is shortened to 60 days.
·         Requires DHS to conduct a study on the potential for border fencing on the US-Canada border.
·         Sets the minimum sentence for fraudulent documents at 10 years, fines, or both, with tougher sentencing in cases of aiding drug trafficking and terrorism.
·         Establishes a Fraudulent Documents Center within DHS.
·         Increases penalties for aggravated felonies and various frauds, including marriage fraud and document fraud.
·         Establishes an 18-month deadline for DHS to control the border, with a progress report due one year after enactment of the legislation.
·         Requires criminal record, terrorist watch list clearance, and fraudulent document checks for any illegal immigrant before being granted legal immigration status.
·         Reimburses states for aiding in immigration enforcement.
·         Causes housing of a removed alien to become a felony and sets the minimum prison sentence to three years.
·         Allows deportation of any illegal alien convicted of driving under the influence (DUI).
·         Adds  and human smuggling to the money-laundering statute.
·         Increases penalties for employing illegal workers to $7,500 for first time offenses, $15,000 for second offenses, and $40,000 for all subsequent offenses.
·         Prohibits accepting immigrants from any country which delays or refuses to accept its citizens who are deported from the United States (Section 404)

Discussion Question:
       Do you think the Sensenbrenner bill is structured more towards anti-terrorism or the removal of illegal immigrants in the United States?


  1. I like the immediate reference to the DREAM Act, which is a much more sensible solution than the Sensenbrenner Bill. I am unclear how the bill could have intorduced as an anti-terrorism bill but I do know that some Americans consider illegal immigrants terrorists. The bill directly references Mexicans which distorts the idea of the bill. One point I do like is that the bill targets employers of illegal immigrants. Without jobs, illegal immigration may see an immediate decrease.

  2. I don't think that treating illegal immigrants like felons is going to do much to help the situation. In fact as you pointed out we simply don't have the resources to handle that many new inductees into the federal prison system. However, I do think that illegal immigrants are a problem. We should have laws that punish employers of illegal immigrants, but I also believe that our diversity is what makes us strong. We should make it easier for people to become citizens and start importing labor instead of exporting jobs.

  3. I enjoyed reading this article I had never heard of this bill before so it was a good blog to read however I don't know how effective the bill would be. I do understand that illegal immigrants are a fairly big problem in America but I don't think that turning them into felons is a good solution to that problem. As it was stated in the article, if they become felons then they will be sent to prison making are prisons far more overpopulated then they already are and i just see that causing even more problem then actually preventing them. I do like how the bill punishes employers for hiring illegal immigrants and I also like the idea of fining illegal immigrants a fairly large amount if caught. Other then that i'm not too sure how much good will come from this bill.

  4. This bill definitely feels like it was created under the guise of stopping terrorism, but quickly shifted in favor of those who are serious in anti-immigration. I think that punishing those who are illegal immigrants is a good law though. The exploitation of workers by lower wages and harsher hours is inhumane, and even worse it deters illegals from becoming proper citizens.

  5. I agree with the bulk of these bills proposed if they are used as they are intended, as anti-terrorism and anti drug smuggling. I realize now that i don't agree with any bill calling for immediate deportation of illegal non criminal immigrants. As for employers, its a touchy subject because some buisnesses rely on less than credible workers to maintain. We have crops rotting in Alabama because theirs no one to pick them. We can build walls all we want but people will continue to find ways over and around them.