2 years ago

‘That’s amnesty’ — Shelby challenger Jonathan McConnell backs giving tax IDs to illegals

(Audio above: Alabama Senate candidate supports giving illegal immigrants tax ID numbers)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — 33-year-old United States Senate candidate Jonathan McConnell told a local group of grassroots conservatives that plans to remove millions of illegal immigrants from the country are impractical, and he would instead propose giving them “tax ID numbers” so that companies employing them would have a higher tax burden.

A voter attending the monthly meeting of the Rainy Day Patriots Tea Party asked McConnell what he would do with the illegal immigrants already in the country.

“So you issue everybody a tax ID number today, right? And I know you’re not a fan of this,” McConnell said before being interrupted.

“I’m tired of politicians saying that (expelling illegal immigrants already in the country) can’t be done,” replied the questioner, Edward Bowman, who supports Shadrack McGill, another candidate in the race. “It can be done.”

“I’m all about trying,” McConnell interjected. “We’ll try that first, but if it doesn’t work. OK, so let’s try it. I’m all about it. And if we can deport 3 million, and then if that works, then hey…”

The audience member continued to press the issue, saying, “So we issue them a tax ID, so we’re going to give them amnesty is basically what you’re saying.”

“No, no, no,” McConnell insisted. “So you give them a tax ID number, and if anybody is caught paying one – you do it based off the corporations. So if a corporation is using someone illegally. So they’re paying taxes on one, but you also fine them – or not fine them – but you add pretty much double the taxes paid on that one person, you never give them a single benefit, right?”

McConnell’s proposal appears similar to one advanced by the Obama administration, which calls for giving illegal immigrants federal identification numbers.

The IRS said such a plan would allow illegal immigrants to retroactively file tax returns for the previous three years, which would cost American taxpayers roughly $1.7 billion over the next decade.

Senator Jeff Sessions has been a vocal opponent of giving illegal immigrants federal ID numbers, and sponsored legislation prohibiting such an arrangement from taking place under the President’s “executive amnesty” plan.

McConnell’s support for what many conservatives will view as amnesty also reintroduces questions about his maritime security firm’s partnership with a company called Blueseed.

Blueseed’s plan was to station a ship 12 miles off the coast of California and convert it into a tech incubator, providing Silicon Valley with the low-cost immigrant labor they have been lobbying for in Washington.

“If you are outside of the U.S., you’ll have to enter the U.S. first before boarding the Blueseed vessel,” the company explains. “The best way to do this, and to be allowed to legally come to mainland, is to obtain a B1 (business) or B2 (tourist) visa. These visas are easier to obtain because they don’t grant the right to work in the U.S., are usually valid for 10 years … and are often combined into a B1/B2 business/pleasure visa.”

McConnell told Alabama sports website and liberal political blog al.com that his company simply sought to provide Blueseed with security for their vessel, not necessarily support their business model.

“I’m not sure exactly what the purpose of that vessel was,” he said. “Our goal was to provide security for a vessel out in the ocean. We’re in the business of securing ships, so that’s what we end up doing. I stand by my policy on immigration.”

Alabama’s Republican primary is set to take place March 1st.

Update: The full audio of the exchange between Jonathan McConnell and the audience member can be heard in the video above, and the full transcript is below.

AUDIENCE: “It would be cheaper to throw the Mexicans out than keep them here.”

MCCONNELL: “Yes sir. If we could do it. Here’s the thing. I just don’t know anything the federal government does well. If you want to kick them all out, that’s fine. And I would be OK with that. But I don’t see a way. I cannot name anything the federal government does well, besides tax and spend a whole lot of money… So if someone came up with a good plan to kick everybody out, and locate 21 million, and that’s the biggest guess anybody has, 21 million illegal immigrants. If we had that many illegal aliens in the United States and we could locate them all and then kick them out, I’d be all about it. But listen, I’d be for a common sense approach.”

AUDIENCE: “So what are we going to do with the ones that are already here?

MCCONNELL: “OK. So you issue everybody a tax ID number today, right? And I know you’re not a fan of this, but all I’m saying is –”

AUDIENCE: President Eisenhower had a very good program, and it worked. It was Operation Wetback. He started deporting 3 million, and 8 million deported themselves. So it can be done. And I’m tired of politicians saying that it can’t be done. It can be done.

MCCONNELL: “I’m all about trying. We’ll try that first, but if it doesn’t work. OK, so let’s try it. I’m all about it. And if we can deport 3 million, and then if that works, then hey –”

AUDIENCE: So we issue them a tax ID, so we’re going to give them amnesty is basically what you’re saying.

MCCONNELL: “No, I don’t think you give them amnesty at all.”

AUDIENCE: “So we put them in a corner by themselves and say ‘Well, we got illegals here, we’ll just give them tax ID numbers, and that’s it.”

MCCONNELL: “No, no, no. So you give them a tax ID number, and if anybody is caught paying one – you do it based off the corporations. So if a corporation is using someone illegally. So they’re paying taxes on one, but you also fine them – or not fine them – but you add pretty much double the taxes paid on that one person, you never give them a single benefit, right? So let’s say it’s a roofer that normally would pay an illegal alien $15 an hour cash under the table. You issue them a tax ID number, and now they’re still going to pay the FICA that everybody else pays, so $15 an hour, plus 17 and a half percent, and then we’re going to tack another 50 percent on top of that. Because it’s an illegal alien, right? So they shouldn’t be here in the first place. They’re never going to be entitled to any benefits at all. And they’re not going to, ever, be entitled to any benefits or citizenship. So now you’ve disincentivized the use of that labor because now it’s not any cheaper to use that labor at all. But the other thing about it too, is now if someone is caught using someone and paying them under the table, then hey, $25,000 first time you get caught doing it, $50,000 the next time, $75,000 the next time.”

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13 hours ago

Alabama wins private property rights case against Obama-era regulations

In a victory for private property rights this week, the federal government agreed to reconsider rules adopted during the Obama-era that unreasonably restrict the freedom of Americans to use their land.

“We are encouraged that the Trump administration has agreed to revisit these rules, which threaten property owners’ rights to use any land that the federal government could dream that an endangered species might ever inhabit,” Alabama Attorney General Marshall said in a statement.

Why this matters: Under these rules, unelected federal bureaucrats could designate a piece of private property as “critical habitat” for an endangered species even if the land doesn’t contain that particular species and, moreover, doesn’t even contain some of the features needed to support that species. Use of the land would then be severely limited. 


The details:

— The state filed a lawsuit, Alabama v. National Marine Fisheries Service, in November of 2016 challenging the rules, calling them “an unlawful federal overreach.”

— Nearly 20 other states joined the lawsuit, along with four large trade associations.

— The settlement forces federal agencies to submit revised rules for public review within 60 days and retains our freedom to file another lawsuit if their new rules are as excessive as the old ones.

@jpepperbryars is the editor of Yellowhammer News and the author of American Warfighter

13 hours ago

Jeff Sessions is right to sue California for ignoring federal immigration laws

America may be a country of immigrants, but it’s also a country of laws. No one is exempt from those laws regardless of what some local officials in sanctuary cities may think.

As you may have seen on the news recently, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently announced a lawsuit against the State of California for failure to completely cooperate with federal immigration enforcement officers.  I stand with AG Sessions’ decision.

From the mayors and local politicians disregarding federal immigration law to the illegal immigrants they are prioritizing over American citizens, it’s about time we hold these lawless individuals accountable.


The “leaders” in these cities are violating their oath of office and the Constitution.  They should be immediately removed from their positions and the illegal immigrants they are protecting should be deported. Period.

I agree with President Trump that we need to strengthen our borders.  We should build the wall and we should continue to support law enforcement’s crackdown on violent foreign gangs like MS-13.

These efforts mean nothing though if illegal immigrants and criminals can continue to seek refuge in some of our country’s largest cities.

It boils down to fairness, safety and what it means to be a sovereign nation.

A country without borders is hardly a country at all. I’m fed up with seeing the tax dollars from hard-working families across East Alabama go to cities who snub their nose at the very ideals that make America great.  Congress should withhold funding from sanctuary cities that refuse to uphold federal law.

President Trump has proven his tough stance on illegal immigration is much more than just campaign rhetoric. He has already done so much to curtail our illegal immigration crisis but he can’t do it alone.

Elected officials – from the state and local level to Members of Congress – must do their part.

And if they refuse, then they aren’t fit for public service.

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers is a Republican from Saks.

(Image:U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Flickr)

15 hours ago

WATCH: Cam Newton’s leadership message resonates with Boy Scouts

When Cam Newton speaks, people listen.

The Carolina Panthers quarterback had the full attention of the audience at the 11th annual American Values Luncheon.

Boy Scouts were among attendees that filled the meeting room at the North Exhibition Hall of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex.


Auburn head football coach Gus Malzahn joined Newton during a question and answer session. Famous for leading the Auburn Tigers to the 2010 National Championship under Malzahn’s leadership, Newton’s talk followed in the tradition of several other football greats, including Nick Saban, Shaquille O’Neal and Bo Jackson.

Dr. James Andrews, Dr. Jesse Lewis Sr. and Jimmy Rane were honored at the luncheon for their contributions to the community.

Newton shared his life experiences and lessons learned.

(Courtesy Alabama News Center)

15 hours ago

Celtic Pride! Joel Blankenship shares his Irish roots with The Ford Faction

Joel Blankenship makes his weekly return to The Ford Faction to talk the St. Patrick’s Day parade held in Birmingham and what the holiday means to him.  Joel mentions the law that can be passed to put Police K9’s in schools to help sniff out guns or drugs.  He provides feedback on what this could mean for schools and how it will benefit the need for police K9’s.

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Presents The Ford Faction podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

16 hours ago

VIDEO: Alabama Rep. Roby thanks Air Force secretary for decision to bring F-35s to Montgomery

U.S. Representative Martha Roby participated in a defense appropriations subcommittee hearing this week where she expressed her appreciation to Secretary Heather Wilson for the Air Force’s decision to base F-35 Joint Strike Fighters at Dannelly Field in Montgomery.

Roby also discussed other military-related programs in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District, including helicopter training at Fort Rucker near Enterprise and the professional education programs at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery.

(Image: Representative Martha Roby/YouTube)