Drum roll…..the long awaited GOP principles on illegal immigration were presented today to the House GOP Conference at their annual [aptly-named] retreat. Sorry to disappoint you but there is nothing new under the sun. Their framework is a mirror image of the Senate “Gang of 8” bill, albeit cloaked in even more deceptive and disingenuous language in order to distract conservatives with shiny objects. Let’s go through some of the text:
- After proposing broad amnesty, the document says that” none of this can happen before specific enforcement triggers have been implemented.” That might sound like it was written by the Tea Party, but in reality every GOP leader has made it clear that enforcement triggers mean something ambiguous after the “probationary” legal status is granted.
- Legalization before amnesty is the key point. Everything else is window dressing. Once they are legalized there is no turning back. There will never be any leverage to implement the universally agreed-upon security measures thereafter. This is beyond Lucy and the football already.
- “There will be no special path to citizenship for individuals who broke our nation’s immigration laws – that would be unfair to those immigrants who have played by the rules and harmful to promoting the rule of law.” This is the big lie. Once legal status is granted before the enforcement is in place and the magnets are removed, they will get citizenship. If there is this much pressure to legalize them when they are totally illegal, there is no way they will permanently reside here without citizenship for more than a year. At that point, Chuck Schumer will push for citizenship. Furthermore, the notion that this is not a special pathway is nonsense. The traditional pathway is in the country of origin. Staying in the country is the special pathway.
- The Dream Act is full amnesty, a disaster and a farce. It is particularly irresponsible to push that without asking for changes to birthright citizenship and the welfare state in exchange. They will be eligible for immediate legal status and citizenship shortly thereafter. These people are largely poor and low-skilled. They would be eligible for the entire array of welfare programs. Moreover, once you have amnesty for “Dreamers” it is defacto amnesty for everyone else because A) they can bring in family members and B) anyone can potentially be eligible, so ICE would have to suspend all deportations to allow illegals a reasonable opportunity to present their case. Sans a proposal to change birthright citizenship first, the Dream Act would expand our anchor baby magnet to an “anchor teenager” phenomenon.
- “One of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents.” Here is another big lie. They claim that we can’t “punish” children nor could we withhold legal status from anyone because it is not humane. Yet, they proceed to claim “we must ensure now that when immigration reform is enacted, there will be a zero tolerance policy for those who cross the border illegally or overstay their visas in the future. “ This is internally incoherent. Once you telegraph the message that as soon as someone successfully comes here illegally and puts down roots, we will not have the stomach to deport them, why would that change during the next cycle? If amnesty for illegal children is a "founding principle," then we have to have a perpetual amnesty for such children in perpetuity. The reality is that unless we implement all enforcement long before any amnesty, we will continue the perennial cycle of open borders and sympathy-driven amnesty. And that is exactly how they want it.
- The best way to solve a problem is to first honestly admit there is a problem. By refusing to call them illegals, and instead opting for euphemisms like “Individuals Living Outside the Rule of Law,” they are showing that there is no commitment to clamp down on illegal immigration in the future.
- There is no mention of a border fence. A physical fence is the only thing proven to work. Also, it is not subject to manipulation or “prosecutorial discretion.” It actually works, and that is why they don’t want it.
- There is no mention of the 800-pound gorilla – the magnets of welfare and unqualified birthright citizenship. The only way to offer an amnesty [after enforcement] without repeating the mistakes of the past is to finally cut off the incentives to come here illegally in the future. All they have to do is come here and drop a baby on American soil. At that point, the baby is an American citizen and can secure welfare on behalf of the family. Additionally, this is the same flaw with any temporary worker program. If they have kids, these workers will never be temporary. Also, the whole idea of a guest worker program is so the special interest lobbies can secure slave wages on behalf of agribusiness. With American-born children they would have the need and the ability to secure welfare payments.
- Finally, it is dangerous and irresponsible to begin pushing any of this before Obama begins to follow the current laws. We are ostensibly advertising for people to come here from across the border and overstay their visas. If there is a long period of time when legal status is offered before the Fence is built and Exit-Entry is put into place, millions more will flood our country. Once deportations are ostensibly halted, there will be no way or desire to sort out those who came later, and God-forbid, actually deport those who came for the free ride.