I've said that I think the recently passed immigration bill was bad law because it gave illegals amnesty. That was probably a mischaracterization.

As our viewers have pointed out to me, the bill allows people whose visa time has run out and who would otherwise have to return home, to stay in the country, file for another visa and then enter again on a new visa.

So the idea behind the bill was to save people the disruption of leaving their homes here in this country to back to their country of origin, only to start the visa process over again. The argument for the bill is that these people did nothing wrong, the INS just hadn't gotten to their paperwork before their visas expired.

Okay. Granted. But here's what the bill also does:

It codifies in statute — that is, it writes in stone — the visa dodges that have been used by many people who stretch out their stay in the U.S. The INS gets wrapped up in its own rules and paperwork, so the system gets clogged and you end up with this huge backlog.

If you're here on a 90-day tourist visa and get busted for an overstay, you can request a hearing and get another six months... and then extend that again for 18 months.

That's just one example. This new law makes it possible for a person who does such a thing to say: I am now here totally legally, and no one can touch me until the INS gets my paperwork straightened out... which could be months and months and months.

True. INS inefficiencies should not be the reason legitimate people are sent away, but the new system is custom made for terrorist sleeper cells. They can play this game out for years.

And by the way... what is a 90-day tourist visa? Who runs around the U.S. as a tourist for three months? A working class guy from Yemen? Where does he get that kind of money?

This system is absurd. Tourists spend two weeks, three weeks, a month... not three months.

I'm still against the bill, even if it wasn't an amnesty. It makes INS incompetence a legal reason for a visa violator to stay.

That's My Word.

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