I’m going back and forth on whether Rudy is “blowing smoke” on the immigration bill or not. On the one hand, as Liz Mair notes, the bill does contain biometric ID cards. It contains a touchback provision. It does provide for some information gathering about who is here. Giuliani has supported past versions of McCain-Kennedy that either did not have such elements or did not go as far as the current bill. Why the concern now, other than politics?
On the other hand, the bill’s requirement that criminal/terrorist background checks for Z visa applicants be completed by the next business day does seem to make it easy for people to slip through the cracks. Given that perhaps 40 percent of illegal immigrants actually enter legally but then overstay their visas, there is no guarantee Z visa-holders will even pursue the path to citizenship. Some critics still think the tamper-proof card and employment verification sections are too weak. The security triggers aren’t very demanding.
Giuliani could be looking for an excuse to oppose the bill without flip-flopping on earned citizenship. Or he could really be concerned about how tough the security provisions are. It all comes down to technical issues — which is why Giuliani is emphasizing the bill’s complexity.
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