Kris Kobach, a professor of law at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, writes in the New York Post about some legislative tricks that are an insult to the ideal of transperancy — a core principle of democracy. Some highlights:
How do you slip legislative poison past a U.S. senator? Bury it on page 302 of a bill. [....]
With a few exceptions, today's immigration judges (who serve for life) are dedicated to enforcing the law, and they do a difficult job well. This bill forces all immigration judges to step down after serving seven years — and restricts replacements to attorneys with at least five years' experience practicing immigration law.
Virtually the only lawyers who'll meet that requirement are attorneys who represent aliens in the immigration courts — who tend to be some of the nation's most liberal lawyers, and who are certainly unlikely as a class to be fond of enforcing immigration laws.
It gets worse. Immigration judges are now appointed by the attorney general — whose job it is to see to it that laws are enforced. The Senate bill gives that power to a separate bureaucrat, albeit one directly appointed by the president, making immigration courts more susceptible to leftward polarization.
The second nasty surprise? Just before the committee approved the bill on the evening of March 27, Sen. Richard Durbin (D—Ill.) offered the "DREAM Act" as an amendment. It passed on a voice vote.
The DREAM Act is a nightmare. It repeals a 1996 law that prohibits state universities from offering in—state tuition rates to illegal aliens. The principle, of course, is that no illegal alien should be entitled to receive a taxpayer—subsidized benefit that out—of—state U.S. citizens can't get. But the committee's bill allows illegals to be treated better than those U.S. citizens on tuition. [....]
The third nasty surprise lies in what the bill fails to do. The measure envisions a massive amnesty for illegal aliens now in the country — but doesn't give the Citizenship and Immigration Service (CIS) the personnel or infrastructure to implement the amnesty.
Ed Lasky 6 8 06