So many conservatives have been dancing around the issue of Senator Marco Rubio's collaboration with Chuck Schumer to pass comprehensive immigration reform.
We have blamed his staff. We have blamed Democrats. We all like and respect the Senator, even if we disagree on this issue. We do not want to blame him for the mess the GOP now finds itself in holding a legislative tiger by the tail.
But having, by virtue of my radio show, listened over and over to those awful pro-immigration reform ads between my monologues, I think we need to stop playing games.
I say this because either Marco Rubio is being played the fool or we are being played the fool by Senator Rubio. He has become the face of support for this legislation and much of the support of the legislation from those on the right has come because of the good will so many of us have for Senator Rubio.
I am in the awkward position of being to the left of the Republican base. I support immigration reform that leaves most non-felon illegal aliens in the United States and provides them a path to legal work, though not citizenship. Citizenship is a step too far – as it unjustly rewards illegal aliens who purposefully chose not to follow our immigration laws.
But, I know a number of illegal aliens and represented a good many of them when I was a lawyer. They, having been unfairly treated by others due to their status, relied on me to redress clear wrongs against them.
These were good, hardworking people who wanted to comply with the law, wanted to work, and wanted to send money home to support families in their native countries. They did not want citizenship. They wanted a paycheck. I am to the left of my readers in supporting their right to stay here and earn a paycheck. I am to the left of my readers in that I oppose mandatory E-Verify. In my mind, no employer should ever have to ask the government if it can or cannot hire a worker.
But I am to the right of the Senate Republicans and Senator Rubio. The solution they propose will do nothing to stem the tide of illegal aliens coming into this country. This law will expand bureaucracy and will, claims to the contrary notwithstanding, expand the welfare state.
What's more, Senate Republicans and Democrats are now collaborating on "improvements" to the legislation that do not actually improve the law, but rather provide cover for various Democrats and Republicans to make sure the votes are there for passage while ensuring those in tough spots can still vote against it and claim they opposed what they really, privately support.
Senator John Cornyn, chief among the Republicans now, is playing that game. He is offering up an amendment that supposedly will secure the border before setting up a pathway to citizenship. His amendment really does not do that, but provides a cover for Republicans to claim the amendment, and the law once the amendment passes, would. In truth, all Senator Cornyn has done is take the vast majority of the Gang of 8’s Title 1 “Border Security” Section, make a few modest revisions and slightly beef up security on the margins. The result is to follow instant legalization with a false impression of security, while maintaining the path to citizenship. Smoke-and-mirrors.
That brings us back to Senator Rubio. Is he being played or is he playing us?
Contrary to the Americans for Conservative Reform advertisement in which he appears, the law does not prohibit illegals from getting benefits. Sure, some welfare benefits will be excluded as will, though it is debatable, Obamacare, but a sizable portion of entitlement benefits actually flow through tax credits in the tax code that these immigrants would get.
Contrary to the advertisement, the law does not secure the border in any meaningful way, in fact the "border security on steroids" as the ad claims does not begin until after the citizenship push starts, hence the pretend effort of John Cornyn now that this has been exposed.
Contrary to the advertisement, the law will grant amnesty — it is a big play for citizenship even before the pretend efforts to secure the border take place. It is the amnesty Senator Rubio opposed in 2010, though in the advertisement he says we have right now "de facto amnesty".
Senator Rubio, you, and I can agree to disagree on the legislation. He is entitled to change his mind. He does not deserve the invective hurled his way, including words like "traitor," but then neither do those who have opposed this legislation and are cast as modern day eugenicists and racists.
The soundbites used in the Americans for Conservative Reform ads occurred before the markup of the legislation. But now we have the legislation before us as it was amended in committee. We should not have the law misrepresented to us in commercials, press conferences, and floor debates by any Senators on either side of the aisle. Sadly, that is what is happening. Yes, Senator Schumer, you know damn well that this law will not stop, but will encourage continued illegal immigration into this country. But you do not care.
I am just shocked, knowing what we now know, that Senator Rubio would continue to support this legislation and that other conservative Senators would too.
This legislation is not the compromise Republicans should sign on to. Republicans in the Senate should stop playing games and vote against the legislation, vote against the Cornyn amendment, and stop giving the Democrats cover to play their own political games with the hopes, ambitions, and lives of immigrants.
This is bad legislation designed to fix a problem it does not fix. No more games; it must be opposed.