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Many political commentators are feigning surprise at the large number of waivers, exemptions and “unreviewable discretion” written into the Senate’s 844-page amnesty bill. No one should be surprised: No amnesty bill in history has ever had its enforcement provisions implemented after the amnesty was granted.
The debate over the Gang of Eight amnesty bill, S.744, has centered on the weak border security provisions, but in truth, that is almost a distraction. Enforcement problems permeate every aspect of the amnesty bill.
The first Senate committee hearing on the amnesty bill should serve as a wake-up call for Sen. Rubio. All amendments aimed at setting honest enforcement “triggers” were voted down. Rubio has been promising the conservative critics of the bill that “its weaknesses will be fixed.” Well, evidently not.
It turns out that the other members of his “gang” have no interest in fixing the bill. Sens. Jeff Flake and Lindsey Graham voted with Sen. Schumer and other Democrats to scuttle any strengthening of the bill’s border security features. So much for the Gang of Eight’s willingness to help Rubio keep his promises for genuine, enforceable border security guarantees.
But why is any of this a surprise to anyone? The reality is that no amnesty bill acceptable to Democrats and President Obama will have meaningful enforcement provisions – not on border security, not on employer sanctions, not on our five million visa overstays, not on any significant problem the bill is supposed to “fix” in our “broken immigration system.”
The scenario being played out in the Senate was entirely predictable. Thus far, the bill is following the 2006 pattern to a tee. The Senate will pass a very bad amnesty bill with near-unanimous Democrat votes and a dozen Republican votes and will then be hailed as “a great bipartisan achievement.” The bill will then go to the House.
What will happen when the Senate amnesty bill goes to the Republican-controlled House? If the House Republican leadership has its way, the Senate bill will be taken up and amended and then passed. But this will not happen if the House follows “regular order” and first gives consideration to House-sponsored immigration reform bills originating in House committees.
The only open question is what those House bills will look like, and the first question House conservatives will ask is this: If the bills do not take enforcement seriously, why should we take the bills seriously?
That question has no answer. No amnesty bill ever takes enforcement seriously. Why? Because the amnesty sought by Democrats and the Republican open-borders lobby lies not simply in the granting of legal status to a fixed number of currently illegal aliens. The amnesty they want lies in creating a legal path for additional millions of illegal aliens to join them in gaining that legal status over the next 20 years.
So, no amnesty bill acceptable to Democrats and President Obama will ever contain meaningful enforcement provisions that limit the rewards of legal status or actually secure the border against successive waves of illegal aliens.
If the debate over “triggers” for border security were only a debate about how many low-skilled Mexican and Guatemalan laborers we can tolerate crossing our borders, then that alone would be a serious issue to be debated and resolved. But border security involves far more than the future wages for the landscape crew at Lindsey Graham’s private golf course. Border security involves our national security and our national sovereignty.
Members of Congress need to be reminded that while 95 percent of illegal aliens entering the country across our southwest border are from Mexico and Central America, 5 percent are from other places –like Pakistan, Yemen, Vietnam, Iran, China, Russia, Cuba and Egypt. Maybe Sen. Flake does not care that over the decade 2000 to 2010, more than 150,000 individuals from countries other than Mexico entered our country, individuals whose true identities remain unknown. And if he doesn’t care, probably other Americans do.
The attitude of the Gang of Eight sponsors of the Senate amnesty bill as revealed in the first round of committee hearings is, well, “Enforcement? We don’t need no stinking border enforcement!” We can understand why the Mexican government thinks in those terms. What is alarming is how many elected U.S. senators and representatives think the same way.
Concerned about the impact of illegal aliens on the United States? Don’t miss Tom Tancredo’s book, “In Mortal Danger: The Battle for America’s Border and Security” — and with your purchase get a free copy of “Minutemen: The Battle to Secure America’s Borders”!