The gang of 8 (Senators Chuck Schumer, John McCain, Dick Durbin, Lindsey Graham, Robert Menendez, Marco Rubio, Michael Bennet, and Jeff Flake) has created bipartisan framework for comprehensive immigration review. Here are the four basic ‘legislative pillars’:
- Creates a tough but fair path to citizenship for illegals that is contingent upon securing our borders and tracking whether legal immigrants have left the country when require. (Background checks, pay back taxes and a fine, move to the back of the line after ‘would-be’ legal immigrants, increased border security.)
- Reforms legal immigration to better recognize the things that will help the economy and strengthen American families.
- Makes employment verification more efficient.
- Improves the process for admitting future workers to serve the needs of our economy while still protecting all current and future workers.
Sounds great, right? Cuban-American Republican Senator Marco Rubio joins a bipartisan gang that hashes out their differences, finds common ground, and puts together a package that could quickly be turned into legislation in which everyone wins. Everyone gives a little, everyone wins something!
Well, the legislation does not exist as of yet, so there are a few question marks that need to be answered first.
To start with, one of the best ideas is captured by this portion of the proposal:
“We recognize that Americans living along the Southwest border are key to recognizing and understanding when the border is truly secure. Our legislation will create a commission comprised of governors, attorneys general, and community leaders living along the Southwest border to monitor the progress of securing our border and to make a recommendation regarding when the bill’s security measures outlined in the legislation are completed.”
This sounds great at face value; take Obama and his Arizona-ish ‘we aren’t going to use federal officials to enforce immigration laws and we won’t allow state officials to do that either’ out of the equation by giving governors and attorney generals on a commission the ability to ensure that the borders are secure before reform truly begins. But the problem is that the commission’s recommendation is only advisory, and would not be binding. In other words, the commission could say that the border security is terrible, and President Obama and/or Democrats could continue on with their amnesty-esque immigration reform. (Rubio said late this afternoon on the Ed Morrissey Show that “he is adamant that he will not support a bill that doesn’t guarantee that border and visa enforcement takes place before normalization.”)
As far as the other portions of the legislation could go, there are many questions to be answered at this point. How could our inefficient federal government truly start enforcing visa overstays they are currently failing to enforce? If these illegal immigrants attain ‘probationary legal status,’ will Democrats use the ‘second class citizens’ argument against Republicans to provide more benefits for the newly legal people? The refundable portion of the Child Tax Credit for illegal immigrants already costs $24 billion for only 2.8 million illegals over the next 10 years, so how much more would future programs cost? As of right now, illegal immigrants are ineligible for ObamaCare’s exchanges, Medicaid, and even young illegal immigrants with deferred status (DREAMers) cannot access the laws benefits, but how many millions would immediately become eligible for assistance under Obamacare if this passes? (“Do we want [future legalized immigrants] to go to the exchanges? Absolutely we do…if and when they don’t have healthcare through their employer.” – Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D – Ill.))
There are plenty of questions to be answered, but the reality is that we need some immigration reform. This could potentially work out well as long as conservatives actually get a say in some of this so that they make sure we are getting the right immigrants in the right order in a fair fashion that ensures that revenues will outweigh costs. There is a great opportunity for our country to gain a substantial amount of quality tax revenue from newly legalized immigrant workers that are gainfully employed and contribute to society, but that will not be the case if we just let them in to mooch off of our entitlement system that Democrats are just waiting to expand in order to put more Latino’s on their voter rolls.
John McCain called this the “best chance” they will have to actually reform immigration for years due to the work both parties put into the Senate proposal, but their plan could be in jeopardy. Obama will introduce a proposal today that is expected to have four key points:
…a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., improved border security, an overhaul of the legal immigration system and making it easier for businesses to verify the legal status of workers.
One big point here is that the White House plan is likely not contingent upon securing the border or improving tracking of people in the US on visas. Fox News reports that “Linking citizenship to border security could become a sticking point between the White House and lawmakers.” If Obama wanted to bury Republicans, he would introduce his own plan, allow the Senate to vote on it (where it would likely pass), and then make House Republicans look like the bad guys. The only purpose for doing that – as previously stated – would be to destroy the GOP on the issue, because it certainly would not address the financial or border security issues. A White House source said that Obama was happy for the group of Senators to take the lead on the issue, but I’ll believe that when I see the gang of 8′s legislation introduced because it seems as though Obama is pretty dead set on trying to make Republicans look as bad as he possibly can ahead of the 2014 and 2016 elections.
COMMENT below: What are your thoughts on this? Would you be okay with an amnesty-like approach as long as the border is secure and the government weeds out those who don’t add to society as Republicans want?