When Jim DeMint delivered his farewell speech in the Senate, he touched on a salient point that is often lost in the raucous of political discourse. The entrenchment of political interests and allegiances has often made commonsense ideas that transcend political ideology impossible to implement. Nowhere is this more evident than with the push to hold national security hostage for mass amnesty.
We have a wide open border, through which crossings have tripled amidst the push for amnesty. We have no way of tracking those who overstay their visas. We now know that the third suspect in the Boston bombing was a young student from Kazakhstan who violated the terms of his student visa and was let back into the country without a new one. In 2002, Congress created the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), which required those visa recipients from countries that represent a security risk to register with an ICE office and report regularly about their plans. That system would have exposed this terror risk, yet it was essentially abolished by Obama’s DHS in 2011. Why is that system not restored immediately? Moreover, why do we let these people into the country in the first place?
These are all questions that We the People – both Democrat and Republican – care about. Yet these are the issues that are being glossed over in the current debate over immigration. Isn’t it commonsense that before we embark on any massive immigration expansion, we protect America first? National security might not be the ephemeral aspect of immigration – one which attracts a plethora of special interest money – but shouldn’t that be the priority of any elected official?
Even those who are sympathetic to amnesty must admit that it doesn’t have to be done this month. It could wait another few years until we implement comprehensive security. Yet, the policies that protect and benefit We the People are not represented in Washington. The illegal immigrants have Big Business, Big Ag, Big Labor, Big Environment, Big Ethnic, Big Religion, and Big Media shilling and inveigling others on their behalf. Border and immigration security-related policies have no lobby, and in fact, are vociferously opposed by the aforementioned coalition.
It’s funny when you listen to these people discuss the issue, they always refer to the legalization for illegals as the centerpiece to “immigration reform.” Senator Rubio wrote in today’s Journal, “there are those who will never support immigration reform no matter what changes we make.” Therein lies the problem. Immigration reform is fixing what is broken. What is broken is our lack of security and our legal immigration system which lets in so many people who are a public charge, while encumbering those who will benefit the country with red tape and high fees. There is actually broad consensus to offer reforms to those problems. Legalizing illegals might be a necessary evil for some at the right time, but it does not represent “reform” in any sense, and it certainly should not be used as a bargaining chip to hold the requisite security measures hostage.
So who is going to stand up for We the People and protect America first?
There will be a number of security-related amendments offered in the Senate Judiciary Committee next week and on the floor throughout the next month. But they will all be voted down, and many of those Senators will support the final bill irrespective of its deleterious effects on our budget, civil society, and national security. The fix is in. They have the votes. Senator Rubio is now admitting that the bill is flawed, and is challenging conservatives to offer positive solutions. Senators Cruz and Paul will offer a number of good amendments, and he will undoubtedly vote for some of them. But will he vote down the final bill if those amendments fail?
The Republican members on the House Homeland Security and Judiciary committees have the opportunity to stand with We the People and protect America first before awarding illegals and special interests. Will they rise to the occasion?
Ultimately, we must be our own lobbyists. We must make it clear to our representatives that if they don’t put our security first, we will not make their reelection a priority. Many Republicans hail from conservative districts with a potent Big Ag force. We must make it clear to these members that we are stronger than the special interests, and demand that they protect America first.