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Posts Tagged ‘immigration’
July 14th, 2014 at 4:42 pm
Illegal Immigration Cleanup Falls on Public Schools

“All politics is local,” goes the saying, and it looks like local public school districts will be the political entities dealing most directly with the surge in illegal immigration when classes begin.

“While politicians spend the summer fighting over how to turn back the tide, school leaders across the country are struggling to absorb a new student population the size of Newark, New Jersey,” reports the Chicago Tribune. “More than 40,000 children, many of them fresh from violent, harrowing journeys, have been released since October to stateside relatives as courts process their cases.”

The issues facing public school personnel include lack of immunizations, emotional distress caused by the trip north and an expected surge in non-English speaking students. The money and manpower required to meet these challenges is immense, but at least as far as local schools are concerned, also worthwhile. No one wants to perpetuate the trauma caused to the children who survive this experience.

It’s important to remember that each child is a person deserving of care and assistance, and one hopes that public officials will work with civil society organizations – including faith-based groups – to help each child heal.

That said, the fallout from the Obama administration’s deliberately poor management of the southern border is a profound object lesson in avoidable tragedy. As usual, the cleanup effort will be done by those that can least afford it.

June 11th, 2014 at 7:34 pm
Surge in Illegal Immigration Triggered by Alleged Fed Govt. ‘Free Passes’

A Border Patrol memo obtained by the Washington Times and referenced today in a Senate hearing identifies the main reason Central American women and children are risking illegal entry into the United States – A guaranteed ‘free pass’ by federal government.

“The immigrants come seeking ‘permisos,’ which apparently are the ‘notices to appear,’ the legal documents given to non-Mexicans caught at the border,” reports the paper. “Those notices officially put the immigrants into deportation proceedings. The immigrants usually are released to await a court date, giving them a chance to fade into the shadows in the interior of the U.S.”

According to the Border Patrol memo, “This information is apparently common knowledge in Central America and is spread by word of mouth and international and local media.” It goes on to say that, “A high percentage of the subjects interviewed stated their family members in the U.S. urged them to travel immediately, because the United States government was only issuing immigration ‘permisos’ until the end of June 2014.”

The only permissive immigration policy I’m aware of that is slated to end this month is President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – or DACA – program.

In my column this week I explain how President Barack Obama’s Deferred Action program impels more illegal immigrants to bring or send for their children, hoping that once here the federal government will expand the de facto amnesty program.

Recently, President Obama announced that he is extending DACA another two years to the end of his presidency. That means we can expect to see increasing numbers of Central American and perhaps other illegal immigrants flooding into the country seeking those promised “permisos” that allow them to drift into the shadows and avoid deportation.

Given enough time to put down roots perhaps they’ll demand to come out of the shadows on a pathway to citizenship.

May 28th, 2014 at 5:33 pm
Texas Tea Party Knocks Off GOP Lt. Gov. in Run-Off

It’s been a tough two years for outgoing Texas Republican Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. First, he lost a bitter U.S. Senate primary fight to Ted Cruz in 2012, and yesterday he was blown out 64-36 percent in a run-off election to maintain his current job. After more than a decade in statewide office, the multi-millionaire Dewhurst is out on the political streets.

None of this was inevitable. Dewhurst was an early favorite in his matchups with Cruz and Patrick; the latter currently serving as a State Senator and formerly as a conservative radio show host. Not long ago Dewhurst was trying to shore up his conservative bona fides by shepherding a Voter ID law over strenuous objections from Democrats. However, even that wasn’t enough to overcome his past support for in-state college tuition for illegal immigrants and other moderate tendencies.

When Ted Cruz challenged Dewhurst for the Senate it was said that the standards for conservatives had to be higher in Texas than most other states. Dan Patrick is perhaps the most outspoken elected conservative in Texas politics right now, with a clear path to becoming one of the most powerful political figures in the state.

In two years, Texas Republicans have selected two deeply committed conservatives to important offices with national reach. Time will tell if Cruz and Patrick make good on their opportunities.

April 7th, 2014 at 7:12 pm
Tech Industry May Cut a Deal on Immigration, Killing Gang of Eight Bill

With the Senate’s Gang of Eight bill dead-on-arrival in the House of Representatives, the tech industry may be ready to break ranks and cut a deal.

So far, Silicon Valley – one of the wealthiest segments backing comprehensive immigration reform – has held out hope that their goal of expanding H-1B visas for foreign-born workers will come to fruition when House Republicans finally get around to passing the Senate’s bill.

But with the Gang’s bill looking less and less likely to get even a vote in the House, immigration’s tech supporters are exploring other options. The announcement came in the form of an op-ed published by the leader of Compete America, the industry’s immigration-focused political action committee. In it he called on both houses of Congress to pass the SKILLS Act, which would give Compete everything it wants, but would also leave its members with no real reason to stay in Washington pushing for the rest of the Senate’s bill.

That possibility drew a swift rebuke from Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), who wrote in a letter to Compete America, “I am troubled by recent statements suggesting that some in the technology industry may shift their focus to passage of stand-alone legislation that would only resolve the industry’s concerns.”

The daylight emerging between the tech industry and its comprehensive immigration reform allies presents an opportunity to House Republicans, says Byron York. “If the House were to pass H-1B expansion, the GOP would win support from at least some in the tech world. And Democrats would be standing in the way of admitting more high-skilled workers into this country.”

Liberals like Durbin know that the only way to legalize a controversial pathway to citizenship is to hold hostage popular reforms like expanding the H-1B visa pool. This turn of events may be just what House Republicans need to make that ploy crystal clear.

January 6th, 2014 at 3:53 pm
GOP’s ACA Alternative is Here

I’ll add an Amen to what our friend Quin Hillyer preaches at National Review Online today.

Quin writes convincingly about the opportunity Republicans have to take control of Congress by uniting behind the Obamacare alternative proposed by the House Republican Study Committee (RSC).

The short, snappy piece is worth reading in its entirety, but here I want to draw attention to two points I’m glad Quin made. First, there must be an agreement among the DC GOP leadership to adopt the RSC’s framework for reform. Doing so would commit the party to a conservative version of reform that, as Quin demonstrates, will be an easy sell during the campaign season.

Second, that this strategic decision must be joined to an equally unified agreement to abandon any version of comprehensive immigration reform this year. Just as Obamacare is an internally divisive issue among Democrats, so too is immigration reform among Republicans. In a year where Obamacare is already the dominant issue, there is no reason for Republicans to voluntarily drive a wedge between their members on immigration by reviving an issue that’s currently dead. Instead, GOP leaders should try to divide and conquer the Democrats with votes on Obamacare alternatives they can’t afford to oppose.

Conservatives at the RSC have put forward a viable plan. It’s up to GOP leaders to decide whether they want to spend 2014 defeating Democrats, or fighting their own members.

November 13th, 2013 at 6:05 pm
Boehner Nixes Immigration Deal on Senate Gang’s Bill

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is pulling the plug on the Senate Gang of Eight’s immigration bill.

“We’ve made it clear that we’re going to move on a common sense, step-by-step approach in terms of how we deal with immigration,” said Boehner, according to the Washington Times. “The idea that we’re going to take up a 1,300-page bill that no one had ever read, which is what the Senate did, is not going to happen in the House. And frankly, I’ll make clear we had no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill.”

That last line about having “no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill” might come as a surprise to those who remember the viability of that option prior to freshman Rep. Tom Cotton (R-AR) unleashing a public and private remonstrance against it.

I’m sure there were a lot of factors that went into Boehner’s decision to put the kibosh on the Senate’s version of immigration; not least of which is politics. Immigration reform splits the GOP to the advantage of Democrats. Focusing on all of Obamacare’s failures unites Republicans ahead of the critical 2014 midterm elections.

Whatever the weight given to individual factors, it’s good to see House Republicans opting for unity over division. On both issues, the conservative perspective wins.

September 23rd, 2013 at 5:31 pm
Senate Immigration Bill to Help Illegals Convicted of Other Crimes

Here’s the immigration reform version of “we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it.”

Speaking to attendees at the Congressional Black Caucus’s annual conference, Esther Olavarria, the White House’s director of immigration reform, highlighted some provisions of the Senate’s bill that she would like the public to ignore.

Making it easier for illegal immigrants convicted of crimes to stay in the country got special attention.

In Olavarria’s telling, the Senate bill reverses a 1996 law that says any criminal conviction can serve as the basis for deportation. The new language would exempt convictions followed by a suspended sentence, meaning that deportation would not be an option if the offender gets probation instead of jail time.

Bear in mind, the conviction referred to is for a crime separate from illegally entering the country.

Thus, if passed, the Senate bill would not only excuse the foundational illegality of unlawfully entering the country, it would further protect from prosecution those who have been convicted, but not yet served jail time.

But if you haven’t heard about this controversial change in law, Olavarria explains why.

“We haven’t played [them] up because we want to be able to maintain them as we go through the legislative process,” she told the conference attendees. “The bill has a number of other important provisions that have stayed under the radar, and we’d actually like to keep them under the radar.”

That’s because the White House knows it can’t win an open and honest debate about granting illegal immigrants not one, but (at least) two free passes when it comes to breaking the law.

This subterfuge is yet another reason to scrap the Senate’s bill and start over.

H/T: The Daily Caller

September 20th, 2013 at 12:06 pm
Pro-Amnesty Activists Besiege White House

How’s this for gratitude?

A group of pro-amnesty activists chained themselves to the White House fence this week demanding that President Barack Obama stop deporting an estimated 1,000 illegal immigrants a day, reports USA Today.

The chain gang members are affiliated with the National Day Labor Organizing Network. Their specific demand is pretty breathtaking, even by liberal standards.

From their radical perspective, President Obama “has the power to reduce deportations, the legal authority to expand deferred action, and the political obligation to lead the national debate through bold action.” “Unless the President alters course, he risks cementing his legacy as having presided over the most anti-immigrant administration in history,” NDLON’s executive director said in a statement to the Washington Post.

Remember, this is the same president who unilaterally implemented the DREAM Act last summer through executive order, even though the bill has never been passed by Congress. By presidential fiat, up to 1.6 million illegal immigrants will not be deported as required by law.

But NDLON wants more. They claim that despite any explicit statutory or constitutional authority the president has the power to expand deferred action to all illegal immigrants, effectively granting amnesty to 11 million people.

To his credit, President Obama says it can’t be done. Doing so “would be ignoring the law in a way that would be very difficult to defend legally,” Obama told an interviewer on Telemundo.

Much like the administration’s decision last week not to grant an ObamaCare waiver to certain unions, the president’s refusal to double-down on lawless amnesty is an encouraging sign that some measure of respect for the rule of law is emerging at the White House.

Let’s see if it lasts.

August 22nd, 2013 at 5:14 pm
Rubio to House GOP: ‘Obama Will Legalize Immigrants If Senate Bill Not Passed’

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is using an interesting tactic to get House Republicans to pass his immigration reform bill – Scare them with threats of a lawless presidency.

“I believe this president will be tempted, if nothing happens in Congress, he will be tempted to issue an executive order as he did for the DREAM Act kids a year ago, where he basically legalizes 11 million people by the sign of a pen,” the presumptive 2016 presidential candidate told a Florida radio station last week.

In effect, Rubio is telling House Republicans – opponents of his pathway to citizenship plan for illegal immigrants – that unless they pass the Senate Gang of Eight’s bad bill President Barack Obama will enlarge his controversial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Brought to life last year via executive order, Obama directed immigration agents to put illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children at the bottom of the deportation list. The policy also makes available temporary work visas to those covered.

But Rubio, a University of Miami law school graduate and former Speaker of the Florida House, has his eyes on the wrong target.

For one thing, not even the liberal academics that provided cover for the president’s unilateral and unprecedented action think Obama has the power to defer action on every illegal immigrant.

“The justifications for DACA made clear that this is not a situation where the president can reduce overall enforcement of immigration laws. He can just redirect it in certain ways,” former principal deputy attorney general and current University of Virginia law professor David A. Martin told the Washington Post.

And even if President Obama did decide not to enforce any immigration laws, why is his lawlessness an argument against Republicans? Wouldn’t the proper response to an expanded abuse of presidential power be to oppose the president?

Yet it seems like Rubio is giving Obama a pass while preemptively blaming House Republicans for future bad acts the president may commit.

Only in a place like Washington does that kind of logic make sense. If Rubio really believes that the President of the United States won’t be constrained by the separation of powers and the rule of law, then the object of his anger should be directed at the White House, not Republicans in the House of Representatives.

August 16th, 2013 at 6:05 pm
That Pesky Denominator
Posted by Troy Senik Print

Here’s the thing about all that money we spend on immigration enforcement: we don’t know if any of it actually works. From Fox News:

Despite Washington spending billions of taxpayer dollars on efforts to secure the U.S.-Mexico border, two internal government reports reveal there is no clear way of gauging whether any of it is actually working.

Backing up reporting from Fox News earlier this year, the reports from the Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Research Service show the Department of Homeland Security lacks an accurate barometer to measure the success of ramped-up efforts to curtail illegal crossings.

Wasteful, inefficient government at work again? Well, not really.

“Apprehensions data are imperfect indicators of illegal flows because they exclude two important groups when it comes to unauthorized migration: aliens who successfully enter and remain in the United States … and aliens who are deterred from entering the United States,” Marc Rosenblum, immigration policy specialist at CRS, wrote in his May report. “Thus, analysts do not know if a decline in apprehensions is an indicator of successful enforcement, because fewer people are attempting to enter, or of enforcement failures, because more of them are succeeding.”

The report said recent drops in illegal immigration can likely be attributed to a combination of enforcement and the economic downturn in the U.S., “though the precise share of the decline attributable to enforcement is unknown.”

In other words, to borrow from Donald Rumsfeld, we’re dealing with a “known unknown.” That is, by definition, the only data we have is on people that we’ve stopped. The ones who get through obviously don’t get counted. So we known the numerator with no idea as to the size of the denominator.

There isn’t really a policy fix to this problem. Stepping up enforcement may reduce the number of illegals that get through, but we’ll never be able to do more than make rough estimates as to how much of the overall attempted inflow they represent.

Thus, the lesson here isn’t so much that you can’t trust government to do it’s job (though you can generally take that as a given); It’s that you should take any claims about dramatic successes in securing the border with about 10,000 grains of salt. The statistics always look good when you get to record all your successes without reference to your failures.

August 9th, 2013 at 10:45 am
Video: A Town Hall Agenda
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

From issues like ObamaCare to immigration to the ongoing administration scandals, CFIF’s Renee Giachino discusses several questions that should be put to Members of Congress at town hall meetings during the August recess.

July 18th, 2013 at 12:55 pm
On Immigration, Rubio Seems to Lack Conviction

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is surprisingly mum about whether House Republicans should pass, amend or kill his signature legislative achievement this year: Comprehensive immigration reform that legalizes up to 11 million illegal immigrants before securing the border.

According to an interview with Politico, Rubio said the House GOP deserves “the time and space… to come up with their ideas about how to reform immigration – and I hope they will – but that’s up to them.” But while Rubio obviously wants to create some distance between himself and a bill that his conservative base hates, now is precisely the time to put his influence to work if he really believes that his immigration reform is the right thing to do.

As Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a co-author with Rubio on the bill says, “If he’s got some influence in the House, now is a good time to use it.”

That Rubio is refusing to gives the strong impression that much of his support for the Senate’s version of immigration reform is more about politics than policy. Now that his 2016 presidential aspirations look endangered because of his stance on immigration, the rising conservative is looking to bolster his image by talking about fiscal responsibility and social issues.

But the problem remains that his performance on immigration – for the bill when it seems to help him, against or at least ambivalent toward it when it hurts – indicates his most important criteria is whether a particular stance propels him closer to the White House.

That’s a fine way to operate if one is a paid consultant looking for any advantage to climb the ladder, but it’s the exact opposite of what people expect from a statesman. Rubio helped pass and craft the Senate’s immigration bill, so he either needs to defend it to the death or disown it for principled reasons. Enough calculating. Make a decision and own it.

July 9th, 2013 at 1:33 pm
ObamaCare’s Impact on Immigration Reform

The best indicator of what someone will do tomorrow is what they’re doing today.

Applying this principle to the Obama administration’s abuse of power regarding the implementation of ObamaCare, key members of the House GOP see no reason to expect a different outcome with comprehensive immigration reform.

Conn Carroll summarizes the growing sentiment:

“They have shown no respect for traditional Constitutional separation of powers,” Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., told National Review’s John Fund about the impact of the ObamaCare delays on the immigration debate, “and that makes it difficult to pass laws where the fear is that they will simply ignore the parts they don’t like.”

Carroll goes on to write that, “Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, who is on the House Judiciary Committee and had been a member of a bipartisan group working on immigration reform, echoed Roe’s concerns on Meet the Press. ‘In fact, if you look at this ObamaCare debacle that they have right now, this administration is actually deciding when and where to actually enforce the law. And that’s what some of us in the House are concerned about. If you give to this administration the authority to decide when they’re going to enforce the law, how they’re going to enforce the law… what’s going to happen is that we’re going to give legalization to 11 million people and Janet Napolitano is going to come to Congress and tell us that the border is already secure and nothing else needs to happen.’”

That’s exactly right. Members of Congress can negotiate all they want among themselves about a pathway to citizenship, security triggers and the like, but unless there is a change in the current president’s management style, all such agreements and understandings are worthless. As President Obama clearly showed by suspending enforcement of ObamaCare’s employer mandate last week, the law as written is merely a starting point for executive policy making.

June 28th, 2013 at 2:04 pm
Passed in Senate, Gang’s Immigration Reform Will Die in the House

After the bipartisan back-slapping subsides, the Senators who passed the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform bill yesterday know one thing for sure – the House Republicans will ignore it.

In place of the ‘comprehensive’ scheme favored by the Senate, the House GOP is already making progress in passing piecemeal legislation that tackles specific immigration issues.

And, unlike the backroom deals used by the Senate Gang and its supporters, the House process is using an open and transparent committee process, reports National Review.

Last week, [House Immigration Committee Chairman Bob] Goodlatte approved two bills out of committee, an interior enforcement bill and an agricultural guest-worker program. This week, he is moving one bill to expand E-Verify nationwide and to reform the high-skill-visa system.

Breaking up a big issue like immigration reform into its constituent parts is the clearest and best way to solve problems. Focusing on specific policies and programs allows Members of Congress – and, just as importantly, the American public – to get their head around the main goal and the means to achieve it.

Kudos to the House GOP for treating the American people, and immigration reform, with the attention and respect they deserve.

June 25th, 2013 at 6:26 pm
Left & Right Agree: Immigration Bill Hurts Workers

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has been telling anyone who will listen that the immigration reform bill set to pass the U.S. Senate will hurt low-skill and entry-level workers. Flood the market with millions of cheap labor, and the results will be a dip in wages and a scarcity of jobs.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) agrees. This week Sanders, the Socialist who caucuses with Democrats in the Senate, got the Gang of Eight and their allies to include a program that will fund summer jobs for American youths (ages 16-24) displaced by the wave of legalized immigrants once the reform becomes law.

Cost to taxpayers: $1.5 billion over two years.

The Sanders program is one of the price-spiking changes made by the Corker-Hoeven amendment to the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill.

Besides the cost, including the provision undermines the Gang’s argument that legalizing 11 million people won’t have a negative impact on current legal workers.

If this bill becomes law, it’s almost certain that this won’t be Congress’ last attempt to spend its way out of an unemployment problem it is choosing to create.

H/T: Byron York

June 24th, 2013 at 3:05 pm
Rand Stands Firm on Border Security

As the U.S. Senate votes today on the Corker-Hoeven amendment – a last-minute attempt by moderate Republicans to create the veneer of bipartisanship on the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill – Rand Paul is fast-becoming the voice and face of conservative opposition.

Late last week the Senate rejected Paul’s ‘Trust But Verify’ amendment that would have required annual votes by Congress to decide whether the southern border is secure. As written, the Gang’s bill punts the hard decisions about security to the Department of Homeland Security, the same bureaucracy implementing “deferred action” on over 1 million illegal immigrants.

With the Senate refusing to accept responsibility for securing the border, Paul is a solid No vote on the Gang’s version of immigration reform. And for good reason. As the Kentucky Republican noted on CNN, the Gang’s bill is “dead on arrival” in the GOP-led House of Representatives.

My guess is that adoption today of Corker-Hoeven – if it happens – won’t change Paul’s or any other conservative’s support because the slap-dash amendment is little more than a grab-bag of promises that can easily be nullified by DHS. As with most immigration proposals, there are no real teeth when it comes to enforcement.

By contrast, Paul’s ‘Trust But Verify’ amendment makes a systemic change in immigration policy by getting Congress back in the game on border security. Putting politicians on record about the state of the border will force them to focus on the metrics necessary to make such a decision. And since a voting record is the most direct way to measure a legislator’s performance in office, you can bet that a series of border security votes will be one of the key factors in future elections.

This kind of accountability is exactly what the Constitution envisions for Members of Congress. Rand Paul is right to steer clear of deceptive attempts by the Gang and Corker-Hoeven to sound tough on the border while in reality shirking responsibility.

June 21st, 2013 at 1:47 pm
More Senate Chicanery on Border Security

Yesterday Republican Senators Bob Corker of Tennessee and John Hoeven of North Dakota announced that the bipartisan Gang of Eight is willing to accept their new border security amendment to the controversial immigration proposal.

The key elements of the Corker-Hoeven amendment are that (1) it provides for 20,000 additional Border Patrol agents, and (2) calls for completion of the 700 mile border fence, according to the Washington Post.

Though the Corker-Hoeven amendment was made public after my column touting Rand Paul’s border security fix was submitted, the points I made in the Paul piece are still relevant.

First, Corker-Hoeven repeats the delegation game that lets Congress claim credit for ‘doing something’ while in fact shifting responsibility for border security to an executive agency.  Here, the two things Congress does are spending an estimated $30 billion to increase Border Patrol personnel, and passing a third law to build a border fence that is already required by statutes passed in 1996 and 2006.

So far as I can tell, all Corker-Hoeven does is increase the budget deficit and pass a toothless resolution to do something that is almost 20 years past due.

Second, Corker-Hoeven does nothing to increase Congress’ participation in deciding how to secure the border. It’s easy to pass a huge increase in spending without specifying how to recruit and train 20,000 new federal law enforcement officers. Real reform would focus on increasing frontline discretion, not just manpower, as Paul calls for in allowing immigration judges more leeway in deportation hearings.

And don’t get me started on the border fence. For Corker-Hoeven to have any integrity, it would need to complete the unfinished 700 mile fence and then extend or reinforce it. Otherwise, all the amendment does is put a happy face on a complete failure by the federal government to follow its own laws.

I encourage CFIF readers to check out Rand Paul’s ‘Trust But Verify’ amendment to see what is, in my opinion, the most reasonable approach to border security that is currently available. A one-page PDF summary of his amendment is here, and an interview expanding on Paul’s idea can be found here.

Good ideas are out there when it comes to border security. Corker-Hoeven isn’t one of them.

June 4th, 2013 at 2:36 pm
Rubio Sending Mixed Messages on Immigration Reform

So, will he or won’t be vote for his Gang of Eight’s version of comprehensive immigration reform?

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is starting to sound like a politician who knows he miscalculated on the public’s support for a legalization first approach to fixing America’s broken immigration system.

Consider these two statements from the Florida lawmaker as quoted by The Hill:

“There will have to be improvements [to the Gang’s bill],” Rubio said [after the Senate Judiciary Committee approved it without substantial changes]. “Because the good thing is the American people, the vast majority of them throughout the political spectrum, have clearly said that they are prepared to responsibly deal with those that are here illegally, but they are only willing to do so if we can take measures that ensure that this problem will never happen again in the future. And so, if we can make sure we put in place enforcement mechanisms and a guest worker program that ensures this will never happen again in the future, we’re going to have responsible immigration reform. And if we don’t have that, then we won’t have immigration reform.”

But on Monday of this week, Rubio is sounding a different tune when explaining to a constituent why reform couldn’t be piecemeal as Republicans in the House of Representatives want:

“I give you my word, that if this issue becomes one of those old-fashioned Washington issues where they start horse trading, one part of it for another part of it,” Rubio said in a video response to a constituent’s concern. “If each of these are not dealt with as separate issues even though they are dealt with in one bill, then I won’t be able to support that anymore.”

The problem with immigration though is that it is complex because it is all interwoven,” Rubio said. “It’s all related to each other. It’s literally impossible to do one part without doing the other.”

So, which is it? Is immigration reform as the Gang envisions it in need of major changes to make it acceptable to the House, or is it a done deal that can’t be amended?

I suspect the answer for Rubio is both. The Gang’s bill as-is does not secure the border first, and therefore – among many other serious problems – will be dead on arrival when it hits the House, as it should be. The problem for Rubio, though, is that he is one of the Gang members, making him a co-author of everything that’s in the bill.  To walk away from it now, without any big changes, would indicate that his real problem with the bill is that it’s not popular. What conservatives want instead is for him to oppose it because, as written, it’s wrong on the merits.

Personally, I like Marco Rubio and hope he can find an honorable way to disassociate himself from the Gang of Eight, so that he can be a Senate champion for immigration reform that puts security and enforcement before amnesty.

It’ll be tough, but it’s worth the effort.

May 10th, 2013 at 11:07 am
Video: On Immigration, We Can’t Trust Washington
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In this week’s Freedom Minute, CFIF’s Renee Giachino discusses the loopholes and false promises in the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill and why the politicians in Washington are not and should not be trusted on border security.

 

May 9th, 2013 at 1:50 pm
Poll: Gun Control & Immigration Not in Top Ten Most Important Issues to Americans

A new Gallup poll provides more proof that the liberal fixation on gun control and immigration reform isn’t even on the Top Ten list of the most important issues for Americans:

As you know, there are many different issues on which Congress and the president can focus their time and attention. Please tell me if you think, at this time, Congress and the president should make each of the following a top priority, a high priority, a medium priority, a low priority, or not a priority at all. How about -- [RANDOM ORDER]? May 2013 results

This suggests to me that one way to inject issues 1-10 into the deliberations about gun control and immigration is for Republicans in Congress to ask rhetorically, “Why are we discussing restricting guns and legalizing illegal immigrants when 1) 86 percent of Americans want us help create jobs and help the economy grow, 2) 81 percent want us to make the government work more efficiently and fix our schools, and 3) 77 percent want us to address the financial problems with Social Security and Medicare?”

Rather than letting Democrats pick the two issues that most divide Republicans, GOP members of Congress should be picking issues that divide the opposition. Any of Gallup’s Top Ten are natural strong points for Republicans, and especially conservatives. All they need to do is pick one and start reframing the debate.

Now.