UDATE: James Lileks shares the sentiments of Gates of Vienna. In referring back to his appearance on the Hugh Hewitt show (transcribed here), Mr. Lileks says:
|I was rather exercised, and I have a dim recollection of referring to the Senate as opportunists, boozebags, kluxers and well-oiled weathervanes. Well, if the shoe fits, drive it up their hindquarters. You could say I’m overreacting – well, I dearly hope so.|
We admit to being secretly pleased when the witty and intelligent among us come down on the same side of the issues as we do. It's a warm and fuzzy imprimatur.
If you don’t think Congressional legislation is a hydra-headed monster, worthy of the labors of Herakles, perhaps this latest item will persuade you. Not that Gates of Vienna readers need much convincing.
The Denver Post reports that Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO) has filed a bill seeking to repeal an amendment to the Agricultural Appropriations FY2006.
What do you suppose the Hon. Tancredo wants repealed? Some restriction on food additives? Maybe he’s out to abolish farm subsidies?
Not at all, at all, dear readers. Rep. Tancredo wants to slice off one of the many heads growing out of this appropriations bill. And an ugly head it is indeed.
This particular amendment, SA 1803 to H.R. 2744, which passed by voice vote in late September, which was cleared by Homeland Security, and which was signed by your President, is the creation of Senator Robert Bennett (R-UT). SA 1803 to H.R. 2744 amends the Immigration and Nationality Act.
How’s that for hydra-headed? An agricultural appropriations bill grows a piece of tissue designed to protect illegal aliens by changing the laws on immigration. We’re talking about the Agriculture Department, not the Justice Department. We’re talking about the people who deal with the cows and the corn. What are they doing amending immigration laws?
Here’s the amendment:
|Section 274(a)(1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1324(a)(1) is amended by adding at the end the following: “(C) It is not violation of clauses (ii) or (iii) of subparagraph (A), or of clause (iv) of subparagraph (A) except where a person encourages or induces an alien to come to or enter the United States, for a religious denomination having a bona fide nonprofit, religious organization in the United States, or the agents or officers of such denomination or organization, to encourage, invite, call, allow, or enable an alien who is present in the United States to perform the vocation of a minister or missionary for the denomination or organization in the United States as a volunteer who is not compensated as an employee, notwithstanding the provision of room, board, travel, medical assistance, and other basic living expenses, provided the minister or missionary has been a member of the denomination for at least one year.”|
|A spokesman for the church, Michael Purdy, said the law will allow illegal immigrants to serve as Mormon missionaries, which they previously could not do. “This narrow exception to the immigration act allows people of all faiths to fulfill their religious obligations,” Purdy said.|
On November 16th his office sent out the introduction of H. R. 4321, a bill to repeal Sen. Bennett’s rider to the fiscal appropriation for the Agriculture Department.
|“By repealing this dangerous law, we will send a clear message to terrorists plotting against our country: no church, no synagogue, no mosque, no religious group of any kind will be a safe haven for terrorism in America,” said Tancredo. “Since 2003, federal prosecutors have charged more than 500 suspected terrorists with immigration violations. Shielding radical religious organizations from immigration prosecution may have prevented those terrorists from being brought to justice expeditiously.”|
|Bennett’s provision, Section 796 of H.R. 2744, protects religious organizations from prosecution on immigration charges when the illegal alien is a volunteer for the organization. In addition, Bennett’s amendment specifically allows religious groups to provide “room, board, travel, medical assistance, and other basic living expenses” to illegals.|
For what it’s worth, Sen. Bennett’s amendment had no co-sponsors. Rep. Tancredo, on the other hand, gathered fourteen co-sponsors to repeal the amendment
|made by section 796 of the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006, exempting from harboring sanctions compensation for alien volunteers for certain religious organizations.|
Rep Akin, W. Todd [MO-2]
Rep Foxx, Virginia [NC-5]
Rep Gohmert, Louie [TX-1]
Rep Goode, Virgil H., Jr. [VA-5]
Rep Gutknecht, Gil [MN-1]
Rep Hayworth, J. D. [AZ-5]
Rep Hefley, Joel [CO-5]
Rep Hostettler, John N. [IN-8]
Rep Jones, Walter B., Jr. [NC-3]
Rep King, Steve [IA-5]
Rep Kingston, Jack [GA-1]
Rep Pence, Mike [IN-6]
Rep Weldon, Dave [FL-15]
Rep Westmoreland, Lynn A. [GA-8]
On November 15th, Rep. Tancredo’s bill was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary, chaired by the Hon. F. James Sensenbrenner, Jr. (R-WI). To contact a particular member of the Committee, visit the linked page. Or, you may go to contact page to express your sentiments regarding this bill to repeal an amendment, made by a United States Senator, which undermines our sovereignty.
Whatever your opinion, remember to use temperate language. Vitriolic diatribes may be satisfying to write, but they leave no trace in the minds of the recipients.
If you’re not familiar with the legend of the Hydra, here’s a summary:
|A snake-like monster, living at Lerna in the Argolid, with numerous heads, which Herakles had to destroy as his Second Labour. As fast as the hero cut off one head, another (or two more) grew up in its place. Herakles therefore enlisted the aid of his companion and charioteer Iolaos, who used firebrands to cauterise each stump severed by Herakles, until eventually the monster was slain.|
Cauterize those stumps, boys!
Hat tip: Jeff at Geopolitical Review.