Assemblyman says ‘No’ to rewarding lawbreakers
Assemblyman Greg Ball (R, C, I – Patterson), a candidate in New York’s 19th congressional district, took an unofficial tour of the U.S.-Mexico Border today with officers of the United States National Border Patrol Council during a trip to Texas, in what he says are part of his ongoing effort to improve border security.
During the tour, Ball gave his analysis of the so-called ‘Obamacare’ health reform bill HR 3200, citing figures from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that say 5.6 million illegal aliens may receive health coverage under the plan, which is supported by Ball’s opponent.
“The strain of the black market economy has forced hospitals to close and further burdened already struggling taxpayers. Some in Congress are now talking about a multi trillion dollar expansion by government into healthcare a system that will invariably be marked by waste, fraud, and abuse,” Ball said. “Our Congress swore a solemn oath to protect and defend the United States and to represent taxpaying, law abiding Americans and the last thing working families can afford right now is nationalized healthcare for illegal aliens.”
According to Congressman Steve King of Iowa, the CBO projects that in 2019, 8.5 million of the 14.1 million illegal aliens not already on Medicare in the United States will not have health insurance, and up to 5.6 million would receive taxpayer-funded coverage under the government health care plan proposed by President Obama and supported by Congressional Democrats. The CBO also projects the House plan would add over a trillion dollars to the national debt through record deficit spending in that same period.
“Beyond all the theatrics of the current debate, the House proposals clearly fail to verify the immigration status of those who receive health benefits,” Ball added. “Illegal aliens already place an extraordinary burden on our faltering healthcare system, especially local hospitals, and for this Congress to formalize that broken relationship is patently absurd.”
While Nevada Congressman Dean Heller offered an amendment to exclude illegal aliens from national health coverage by using existing databases created years ago to root out entitlement fraud, the House Ways and Means Committee defeated the measure in a 23-18 party line vote last week.
According to Ball, this is not the first time his opponent has supported a move to open the door to taxpayer-funded health benefits for illegal aliens. Ball said that in 2007, his opponent voted in favor of the house version of SCHIP reauthorization, HR 3162, which relaxed state regulations requiring proof of citizenship for those seeking government sponsored children’s healthcare. (Roll Call Vote #787, 8/1/07)
Ball’s opponent, who has in the past told the Journal News that “our goal should be that all immigration is legal,” has also voted to allow the government to sue companies that require employees to speak English (Roll Call Vote #734, 7/26/08), against full funding for the construction of a border fence (Roll Call Vote #490, 6/15/07) and to impose what Ball says are multiple bureaucratic obstacles to continuing to build the fence (Roll Call Vote #476, 6/15/07), which Ball toured earlier today.
“In 2009 the only part of the Texas border that is secure is the El Paso sector, as the border fence is working there as it was properly built as a double fence as congress specified,” said Shannon McGauley, President of the Texas Minuteman. “Unfortunately, Arizona, California, New Mexico and most of Texas have only an old rusting barbed wire fence, which only stops livestock as people and trucks go right through it. The double fence voted for and funded by congress has only been partially built, and our nation desperately needs to finish the fence that was voted for and funded, and then do the same on our northern border.”
Ball noted his opponent voted against a measure that would have prohibited federal funds from being used for the employment or housing of illegal aliens, (Roll Call Vote #814, 8/2/07) and criticized his opponent for voting against legislation that would authorize electronic surveillance of suspected foreign terrorists (Roll Call Vote #437, 6/20/08).
“Our porous borders allow millions of people to enter the United States illegally every year,” said T.J. Bonner, the president of the National Border Patrol Council, which represents 17,000 front-line Border Patrol employees. “Anyone who believes that all of them are simply looking for work is sadly mistaken. More than ten percent of those who are caught by the Border Patrol have prior non-immigration arrests, including serious felonies like armed robbery, rape and murder. It would be foolish to think that terrorists have not also exploited the weaknesses of our failed immigration system and await an opportune moment to carry out another deadly attack.”
“Needless to say, immigration enforcement and reform has been a hot button issue, voiced by many people in Orange County,” said Orange County Sheriff Carl DuBois, who last year hosted a regional 287(g) summit with Ball. “I cannot emphasize enough how Assemblyman Greg Ball has been an ardent advocate at the forefront of this issue. He continues to take proactive measures to hold our Federal representatives accountable.”
“We appreciate that Assemblyman Greg Ball is doing everything in his power to help law enforcement in Putnam County work with officials from Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE),” said Putnam County Sheriff Donald B. Smith, who says his department has forged a model program in reporting illegal aliens who commit criminal offenses to ICE. “Unfortunately, without more action at the national level to secure our nation’s borders, much of the work we do at the local level has been in vain because many of the criminal illegal aliens return to this country after being deported multiple times.”
“A recent arrest in the Village of Brewster illustrates this fact when a man, who was deported for the first time in May 2002, was deported a second time in October 2007 after spending 15 days in the Putnam County Correctional Facility for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and then was deported again in December of 2008 upon his release from the Westchester County Jail where he had been sentenced to serve 90 days upon conviction for an assault in Mt. Kisco,” Smith added. “That same individual was arrested again on July 21, 2009 for trespassing in a Brewster home. This illustrates a simple and indisputable fact that without real action being taken at the national level of government to secure our nation’s borders, these criminal illegal aliens are merely being sent for a spin through a revolving door.”
“This is the same congressman who voted to eliminate funding for immigration checks for employees at high risk sites, prevent stronger penalties for smuggling of illegal aliens, and cut funds for a biometric identification system for illegal aliens and terrorists captured at sea,” Ball said. “How are we to believe he is on the right side of this issue when he is busy supporting a government takeover of our healthcare system that would provide taxpayer funded health benefits for illegal aliens?”
Ball said he was very concerned by his opponent’s votes favoring cities that deliberately harbor illegal immigrants (Roll Call Vote #485, 6/15/07), which, in one such instance, Ball says, his opponent cast the deciding vote against punishing so-called “sanctuary cities” in 2008, in a motion which failed 210-210 that would have denied tax exemptions to sanctuary states and cities who refuse to cooperate with federal authorities on immigration matters.
“I just came back from a conference in Lake Placid where there were representatives from the Department of Homeland Security,” said Dutchess County Sheriff Adrian Anderson. “The Sheriff’s Department, first responders and DHS are all working together to combat the problem of illegal immigration. Thanks to efforts from Assemblyman Ball, all agencies are working closely to support one another.”
Ball made reference to a past vote by his opponent against a measure that would have prohibited funds from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security from being distributed to states and localities that have “sanctuary policies” in place that prohibit or inhibit communications between federal and state and local authorities (H. Amdt. 294), an amendment which eventually passed the House by a vote of 234 to 189.
“Interestingly, the section of the Immigration and Nationality Act that enumerates the various categories of aliens who should be excluded from the United States and contains such categories as aliens engaged in terrorism, aliens who have been convicted of felonies, aliens who have committed war crimes, et cetera, begins with aliens who are suffering from communicable diseases,” said Michael Cutler, when asked about the Obamacare proposal currently before the House of Representatives.
Cutler, a thirty year veteran ICE agent who has previously collaborated with Anderson, Ball, DuBois and Smith in regional homeland security protocol and strategy conferences, added that “our elected representatives all have one thing in common: they have taken an oath to protect our nation and our citizens. To offer health insurance to millions of illegal aliens represents an outrageous betrayal to the citizens of our nation.”