Response from Congresswoman Herseth-Sandlin

I had sent a letter to Congresswoman Herseth-Sandlin urging her to make sure the E-Verify citizen check system requirement got added back into the non-stimulus bill.

As I had said in previous posts, the E-Verify was in the original House bill H.R. 1, but was not included in the Senate bill as Sen. “Dirty” Harry Reid would not allow a vote on the amendment to make sure there was a system in place to make sure all jobs & outgoing funds under the non-stimulus package would go to American Citizens and not illegal aliens.

Here is her typical political response that leaves me even more frustrated and angry than I was when I originally wrote to her. I have x’d out my e-mail address, I already get enough hate mail the way it is.

From:Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin []
Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 1:43 PM
Subject:[Norton AntiSpam] Reply from Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin


Dear Linda:


Thank you for contacting me to share your concerns about immigration policy. 


As you know, the issue of immigration is one that is extremely controversial in Washington. The United States of America is a nation of immigrants, but we are also a nation of laws.  The people of South Dakota hold a wide range of views on immigration, but one thing that we all seem to agree on is that the current system is broken.  I value your input as these issues continue to be considered.


In October, 2007, The U.S. Senate voted on whether to fully consider a version of the DREAM Act. This legislation, subject to a set of requirements, would authorize an adjustment of legal status for some children of illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. before they were sixteen years old.  Forty-four senators voted against proceeding to the bill and fifty-two senators voted in favor of proceeding.  Under Senate rules, this means the legislation was eight votes short of the number needed to proceed further.  Earlier in 2007, a number of senators negotiated an agreement on immigration reform, but the Senate was unable to pass a final bill.  The U.S. House of Representatives is not scheduled to consider any bill similar to the DREAM Act or the Senate immigration reform legislation.


I am pleased to let you know that during the House of Representatives’ consideration of the Fiscal Year 2008 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill last year, the House adopted with bipartisan support an amendment I introduced to eliminate funding for the visa lottery program under the Immigration and Nationality Act. The purpose of my amendment is to make the administration of our immigration laws more consistent and fair.


I led the effort on this amendment because I believe strongly that national security is too important to allow institutional randomness in our immigration policy.  The visa lottery injects a level of unnecessary and irresponsible uncertainty into the immigration process. My amendment is a practical provision that will make our nation safer.  In the previous Congress, when the House considered an immigration reform bill, the House adopted a similar amendment I introduced to eliminate the visa lottery program from the Immigration and Nationality Act, and I am pleased to have led this successful effort once again in the 110th Congress.


As you may know, the House and the Senate passed separate immigration reform bills during the previous Congress.  On December 16, 2005, the House approved the Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act (H.R. 4437) by a vote of 239 to 182.  I supported this legislation because it is designed to prevent illegal immigration by tightening our borders and reestablishing respect for our immigration laws.


The Senate passed the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act (S. 2611) by a vote of 62 to 36 on May 25, 2006.  The last Congress did not reconcile the differences between the House and Senate immigration reform bills in a conference committee.


In September 2006, however, the Congress enacted legislation that I supported that adds criminal penalties for the construction of illegal tunnels under the U.S. border and increases penalties for using such tunnels for human smuggling.  I also supported legislation the Congress passed to construct a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border and enhance technological surveillance of the border.


Because of the importance of keeping our nation safe, I am optimistic that broader immigration reform is possible.  I will keep your comments in mind as immigration legislation is considered in both houses of Congress.


Thanks again for contacting me.  If I can be of further assistance, please do not hesitate to let me know.



Stephanie Herseth Sandlin
Member of Congress


Time for some Sewing Therapy…I’ll post vote updates later



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