The “SAVE Act” was introduced in November 2007 by Reps. Heath Shuler (D-NC) and Brian Bilbray (R-CA). A companion bill (S. 2368) has been introduced in the Senate by Sens. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA). The “SAVE Act” is an immigration enforcement-only package that would dramatically expand the error-ridden Basic Pilot electronic employment verification system and make a number of harsh and unnecessary changes to current law . The Basic Pilot system is currently used by only 30,000 employers, but would expand to cover over 6 million employers in just four years – roughly a 20,000 percent increase. Beyond that, the bill seeks to increase the Border Patrol and spend more resources on the southern border, codify recently withdrawn DHS regulations related to the Social Security Administration “no match” letters, expand local police responsibilities to include immigration enforcement, and a number of other enforcement measures. Absent from the bill are any provisions that would address the more than 12 million people in the US without status.
The immigration debate has become divisive and hate-filled to a degree that undermines Christian and civic values. Christians have a responsibility to bring our core values of love, mercy and justice back into the debate, to unite our communities, to bridge deepening divides, and to be a source of healing and reconciliation.
As the debate over illegal immigration continues to rage, some pundits and policymakers are claiming that unauthorized immigrants do not pay taxes and rely heavily on government benefits. Neither of these claims is borne out by the facts. Undocumented men have work force participation rates that are higher than other workers, and all undocumented immigrants are ineligible for most government services, but pay taxes as workers, consumers, and residents.
Across the country, states and localities are grappling with the problem of illegal immigration, and scores of communities are considering the role their police department might play in helping the federal government enforce immigration laws.