"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both." ~ Benjamin Franklin

A Response from Senator Harkin

>> Friday, June 10, 2005

A few weeks ago I wrote to Senator Harkin (D) asking for his stance on illegal immigration and the millions of dollars spent to provide medical care, welfare, jail space and attorneys to said "immigrants". Here is the response he sent me (approximately 6 weeks later):

June 10, 2005

Mrs. Jody (last name removed) (city), IA 50021

Dear Jody:

Thank you for contacting me. I am always glad to hear from you.

I appreciate knowing your views on the need to reform our immigration laws. My mother was an immigrant to this country, and I am proud to be a first generation American. Each generation of immigrants has enriched our nation both culturally and economically.

The United States has always been a beacon of hope for many around the world seeking refuge from oppressive regimes, and so I support the traditional U.S. policy of providing political asylum to those fleeing such regimes. Additionally, I am supportive of immigration reform proposals that would bring just and meaningful change to current immigration laws.

In early 2004, President Bush proposed changes to current immigration laws. I commend the President for taking up this important issue, but his proposal falls short of addressing the needs of our citizens. The Administration's plan, which has yet to be formally introduced in Congress, creates a new temporary worker program that will, in my view, fail to meet the plan's stated goal – to reduce the number of undocumented workers. The plan does not provide details on sufficient workplace protections for foreign workers participating in the new program. Nor does it provide strong labor protections for U.S. workers potentially affected by the new plan. Finally, the President's proposal contains no comprehensive way for our immigration services to deal with the 5.5 million people who are currently experiencing long delays in receiving their legally entitled immigration benefits.

Additionally, the White House has blocked other immigration reform measures that enjoy vast bipartisan Congressional support, as well as backing from labor and business organizations. Most notably are the DREAM Act and the AgJobs bill, which allow for a path to citizenship provided that immigrants adhere to U.S. laws and contribute to society by either working in agriculture, serving in the armed forces, or furthering their education. Passage of these two bills would be an important step toward much needed immigration reform. I am hopeful that President Bush will review his current position and support legislation that lives up to his promise to make immigration reform more "rationale and humane."

Again, thanks for sharing your views with me. Please don't hesitate to let me know how you feel on any issue that concerns you.


Tom Harkin
United States Senator

I don't know about you, but I don't feel like he really answered my questions.

So, here is the response I sent:

Dear Senator:

While I appreciate your reply to my inquiry concerning illegal immigration I would respectfully like to point out that you did not answer my question. Your response focused on those immigrants entering the United States legally. I would like to know your status on illegal immigrants.

Millions upon millions of tax dollars are spent providing health care, welfare, jail space and attorneys fees to non-citizens; many who cross our borders on foot hoping not to get caught. This is where my concern lies.

I would like to know your views on strengthening our borders. I want your thoughts on removing illegal immigrants from the United States. I would like to understand why these people have almost more freedoms in the United States than actual citizens.

While I have nothing but the utmost respect for those entering the United States after having endured the tedious process of filing the mountains of paperwork required to enter this country legally I can not really say the same for those who crawl through a hole in an unguarded fence.


Jody L. (last name removed)
(city), IA

Maybe I'll send the same questions to our other Senator and see what kind of response I get...

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