etraying constituents and taxpayers, the U.S. Senate voted in May to permit illegal aliens to collect Social Security benefits based on past illegal employment, even if they obtained their jobs through fraud or documents stolen from Americans. By doing so, the Senate also approved an amnesty for the use of those fraudulent or stolen documents by the illegals.
"There was a felony they were committing, and now they can't be prosecuted," if the bill becomes law, said Sen. John Ensign, R-NV, who offered an amendment to take those provisions out of the immigration bill. "That sounds like amnesty to me," he said. "It just boggles the mind how people could be against this amendment."
Ensign's amendment was "tabled" by a vote of 50 to 49, which means the Senate voted against considering his amendment.
Immigration advocate Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, who hopes to become the Republican Party's nominee for president in 2008, said illegal aliens have "earned" Social Security benefits, and they should be entitled to receive them after winning the "guestworker" amnesty that the bill confers on them.
"The Ensign amendment would undermine the work of these people by preventing lawfully present immigrant workers from claiming Social Security benefits that they earned before they were authorized to work in our community," he said.
The Senate immigration bill faces considerable opposition in the House, which passed its own version of immigration legislation months ago. As this issue of Middle American News goes to press, House and Senate members were still negotiating how to reconcile the two bills.
Here is the roll call vote on a motion to table the Ensign amendment on May 18. To table the amendment means to prevent the amendment from being voted on directly. A "Yes" vote was in favor of tabling the amendment, a "No" vote was against tabling.
Yes - 50
No - 49
Voting - 1