It looks like we might have to get more conservative-Americans to do the job that the GOP-controlled House won’t do.
In what has become a familiar routine, instead of fighting against the heaping pile of immigration deform emanating from the Democrat Senate, House Republicans are looking to tweak it with some honey and sugar in order to inveigle conservatives into eating this excrement sandwich. Whereas Republicans in the Senate outsourced their principles on the issue to Chuck Schumer, some House Republicans are looking to Luis Gutierrez, an even more extreme leftist, for guidance. For months, the House gang of 8, comprised of Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho), Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), John Yarmuth (D-Ky.), Sam Johnson (R-Texas) and John Carter (R-Texas), have been meeting behind closed doors with special interests to iron out a similar deform bill to the Senate’s version. Paul Ryan seems to merit a separate one-on-one relationship with Gutiérrez.
The House gang is beginning to leak some of the details of their plan to the media. Russell Berman of The Hill has the shocking, I mean shocking details:
Democratic sources say Republicans in the House group want to nearly double the maximum number of guest-worker visas, which was set at 200,000 in the Senate bill.
On the path to citizenship, sources briefed on the talks say that the minimum number of years it would take an person living in the U.S. illegally to gain citizenship would be 15 in the House bill, compared to 13 years in the Senate measure. That is because unlike the Senate gang, the House negotiators do not intend to reduce the number of years that a legal permanent resident with a green card must wait before applying for citizenship.
Both bills would create a decade-long provisional legal status for illegal immigrants to work in the U.S., pay back taxes and learn English while the government works to meet benchmarks for securing the southern border. In the Senate bill, illegal immigrants given the provisional legal status must wait 10 years to obtain a green card for permanent status and then another three to apply for citizenship.
Wow – so they are going to immediately grant legal status before there is a parallel commitment and demonstration of enforcement from the administration. It doesn’t matter if you back up the citizenship another two years or another fifty years; as long as they are immediately granted legal status before the fence and visa tracking system are in place, we will continue repeating the same cycle for years to come. The path to benefits and citizenship will obviously be sped up as political pressure mounts every subsequent year.
As for the massive guest worker program, I have no problem with a targeted guest worker program when implemented under the right circumstances and at the right time. Every country has one. The problem is if we implement such a massive program before the exit system is in place, the hundreds of thousands of low-wage temporary workers will never be temporary. Moreover, many of them will have American-born children and stay here forever anyway, collecting benefits on behalf of their children for years to come. They might be hard workers, but the low wages that the Ag industry want to pay them (which is precisely the point of this in the first place) will never lift them above the eligibility threshold for those programs.
Which brings me to another point: when will Republicans finally realize that you can’t have massive amnesty and an expansionist immigration/guest worker policy coupled with the welfare state and unqualified birthright citizenship? One of those elements has got to go if this will ever work.
More broadly, what part of ‘enforcement first’ don’t these people understand? Some might feel it is prudent at some point to grant legal status. But there is no requirement of that in the Constitution. They are, however, required to secure the border and protect our sovereignty. Why are they negotiating with themselves (and the far left) over how much legalization they are willing to offer before there is a parallel commitment from the administration to execute the Secure Fence Act of 2007 and the US-Visit program from 1996 and 2002? It’s real simple: enforce the laws now, and we’ll discuss what to do with those here illegally.
The American people understand this bedrock principle as well. Republicans live and die by polling, yet they must have missed the Fox News poll from yesterday. To the extent that issue polling can ever be accurate and subjective, they asked respondents a pretty innocuous and straightforward question:
Do you favor or oppose requiring completion of new border security measures first — before making other changes to immigration policies?
68 percent are in favor; 22% are opposed. Even 66% of Democrats agree support enforcement first.
Nowhere do we find such a bifurcation between the views of those in the political class and the commonsense of the average citizen as with the issue of illegal immigration. Among the political class, even many prominent conservatives prioritize amnesty over sovereignty. Among the citizenry, however, even many Democrats support the rule of law and national security.
This is just one more example of the political class doing the jobs Americans won’t do.
Cross-posted from The Madison Project