EDITOR OF REDSTATE
I Don’t Like Marco Rubio’s Plan
There. I said it.
You’d be surprised how long it has taken to say this. I’ve let multiple friends vet the various drafts of posts I’ve written on this and they all wind up arguing with each other over the details. Is it amnesty or isn’t it? Should we give a path to citizenship or not? We are getting in the weeds when the basics will do.
I think this plan is warmed over McCain-Kennedy and will do nothing to solve the problem. I say this as someone to the left of much of the readership here at RedState and the conservative base.
The GOP was smart to put Marco Rubio as the face of the plan because many of us like him personally, support him still, and consequently don’t want to seem critical.
But the plan makes the actual problem of immigration more difficult to solve.
The McCain-Graham+Rubio/Flake reworked proposal released yesterday is another example of wrongheadedness: The senators would increase the scope of government instead of liberty, make normalization contingent upon border security (which just sets up another fight between interest groups on the border — Republican says it’s not secure, Democrat says it is, etc.), and create employer provisions which 1) forces employers to prove a negative and 2) turns them into criminals if they can’t. Oh, I’m sure that won’t result in any profiling at all.
On the specific plan, for lack of legislation, it is clearly written by a group of men who seemingly love government, but do not love free markets, small businesses, or individuals. It is a plan based on faith in government, not free enterprise or the American people.
The plan creates several policy fictions to hide behind.
The first policy fiction is a secure border. The White House will claim the border is secure. The Republicans will claim it is not. The border will never be made impenetrable and we will proceed down this distracting, argumentative line to no end.
The second policy fiction is premised on the “jobs Americans won’t do” which is more accurately described as “jobs Americans won’t do at that price point.” Employers must prove that no American could be found to do the job the illegal alien would otherwise do. This is impossible, absurd, and turns employers to liars in the pursuit of running their business. The aggrieved can turn on the employers and potentially cost them all sorts of civil and criminal penalties.
The most significant policy fiction is premised on the idea of reform. The plan does nothing to address the black market for unskilled, low cost migrant work. It does nothing to deal with the long delays in the present immigration system. It does nothing to actually solve our immigration problems, but hides behind the construct of “comprehensive” reform. Along the way, it potentially adds more people to already overwhelmed entitlement programs, but then that too is another kicked can.
The desire to “just do something” overwhelms Washington too much. This immigration plan gives orgasmic relief to that desire, but in all the hype and show does nothing to address the real needs of employers and the hopes and dreams of those still longing to come to United States whose wait will now most likely be extended and grow even more complex.
Immigration is an issue that keeps hispanic voters from trusting the GOP. Many call it a “gateway” issue. I get that. But pandering in the name of a solution does not actually fix the problem. This is just another policy debate the Democrats can use to get the GOP to fight itself. The GOP should pivot to actually fixing the immigration problem, not just addressing the here and now.