Report: Bipartisan Senate group nearing agreement on comprehensive immigration proposal

posted at 5:15 pm on January 25, 2013 by Allahpundit

Who’s in the group? Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin, Bob Menendez, Marco Rubio and, er, Lindsey Graham and McCain. So you know this bill will be solid.

Before you start grumbling, look: The big cave on amnesty is coming. It’s a fait accompli. Make peace with it. Latino voters didn’t cost the GOP the election this time but the demographics are such that that won’t always be true if Republicans continue to lose the group by 70/30 or 75/25 margins. Now is the time to show some goodwill by legalizing millions of illegal immigrants and adding them, eventually, to the voter rolls. Maybe then we’ll only lose 60/40.

Their timetable would aim for a bill to be written by March or April and potentially considered for final passage in the Senate as early as the summer. Proponents believe adoption in the GOP-held House would be made easier with a strong bipartisan vote in the Senate.

The working group’s principles would address stricter border control, better employer verification of workers’ immigration status, new visas for temporary agriculture workers and expanding the number of visas available for skilled engineers. They would also include a call to help young people who were brought to the country illegally as children by their parents become citizens and to normalize the status of the nation’s 11 million illegal immigrants.

But obstacles abound. For instance, Rubio has said he believes immigrants who came to the country illegally should be able to earn a work permit. But he has said they should be required to seek citizenship through existing avenues, and only after those who have come to the country legally.

Democrats and immigration advocates fear that approach could result in wait-times stretching for decades, creating a class of permanent legal residents for whom the benefits of citizenship appear unattainable. They have pushed to create new pathways to citizenship specifically available to those who achieve legal residency as part a reform effort.

It is not yet clear if the Senate group will endorse a mechanism allowing such people to eventually become citizens — something Obama is expected to champion. Schumer said it would be “relatively detailed,” but would not “get down into the weeds.”

A source close to Rubio said he joined the group in December at the request of other members only after they agreed their effort would line up with his own principles for reform, which he outlined in an interview with the Wall Street Journal three weeks ago.

Rubio wants to do this in a series of smaller bills but Democrats don’t like that idea any more than they like the idea of delayed citizenship. Smaller bills might slow the legalization process by making amnesty contingent upon the achievement of quantifiable successes in reducing illegal immigration (which has already shrunk considerably thanks to the recession) and improving workplace enforcement. Mark Krikorian prefers the piecemeal approach too — e.g., a limited DREAM amnesty if and only if e-Verify is fully implemented — but thinks we’re going to get rolled on the citizenship process, even if the Senate ends up opting for Rubio’s “existing avenues” approach:

Also on Levin’s show, Senator Rubio clarified his “path to citizenship.” The illegals would all get amnesty immediately, of course, but they would only have a renewable work visa. After a time, they’d be able to apply for green cards (that could lead to citizenship) only through the existing immigration system by, say, marrying a citizen or what have you. Practically speaking, that would mean millions of the amnestied illegal aliens would remain in that work-visa status for the rest of their lives, creating a strong issue for Democrats: “Vote for us and we’ll end the Jim Crow immigration status the evil Republicans have imposed on you!” We’d lose Hispanic market share with that kind of approach.

Yeah, it’s impossible to imagine this process resulting in a situation where Democrats aren’t still demagoging Republicans over immigration. It’s too useful a weapon for them electorally; even Obama’s rhetoric, which usually sounds semi-exalted even when he’s accusing the GOP of wanting to starve grandma and see kindergarteners get shot, turns more overtly vicious when discussing this subject. The GOP would have to rubber-stamp whatever Democrats proposed in order to get off scot free, and even then some Dems would grumble. You don’t give up a 70/30 advantage with one of the country’s fastest growing demographics lightly. And if that wasn’t enough inducement for Republicans to compromise, recent polls are on Democrats’ side here. CNN found that a majority now think the government’s priority should be finding a way to let illegals become legal residents; a few years ago, that majority prioritized deportation. An AP poll found more than six in 10 Americans now support eventual citizenship for illegals, including 53 percent of Republicans. Even the national exit poll taken on election day found 65 percent support for letting illegals apply at some point for “legal status.” Democrats would love to see the GOP block this, and the Republican leadership knows it.

It’s Friday and we need a laugh so here’s a reminder that McCain pretended to be a border hawk during his 2010 Senate reelection campaign. Exit question: When was the last time a senator on either side held as much sway over his caucus on a major issue as Rubio now does over the GOP on this? It’s impossible to imagine Republicans filibustering a bill if he supports it. He has the power to all but guarantee that something will pass the Senate.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

both parties is a liberal talking point

tomas on January 26, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Throw out the danged traitors.

Why won’t our “leaders” enforce the laws they swore to?

Doesn’t this mean they have violated their oath of office and are thus scofflaws themselves?

Treason doth never prosper,
What’s the reason?
For if it doth prosper,
None dare call it treason
.”

profitsbeard on January 26, 2013 at 11:49 AM

So, they’ve been working on selling us out to the illegals while we’re all watching the big gun control show.

claudius on January 26, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Rubio/obama/McCain style amnesty will add millions more people to obamacare rolls …

http://thehill.com/blogs/healthwatch/health-reform-implementation/279231-immigration-reform-could-add-millions-under-obama-health-law#ixzz2J5kxjSpY

Pork-Chop on January 26, 2013 at 12:05 PM

Which is another reason to get rid of Obamacare.

Illinidiva on January 26, 2013 at 12:21 PM

It’s just against their religion to do it right.

Every time they do something Comprehensive, we the People will get all the the Hensive, and they the Government will do none of the Compre!

jaydee_007 on January 26, 2013 at 12:28 PM

Now is the time to show some goodwill by legalizing millions of illegal immigrants and adding them, eventually, to the voter rolls. Maybe then we’ll only lose 60/40.

Because 1986 worked out so well for the GOP.

Physics Geek on January 26, 2013 at 3:14 PM

The milquetoast GOP will just as soon sell us down the river as the libs. Then regret their action–see Boehner(from The Hill):

In a private speech to the Ripon Society on Tuesday, Boehner said that he should have taken a different course after the November election by immediately demanding that the Senate produce a bill to avert the worst parts of a combination of tax increases and spending cuts that were due to hit on Jan. 1.

Instead, Boehner delivered a formal speech at the Capitol on the day after President Obama won a second term, in which he offered a major Republican concession – new tax revenue as part of a broader fiscal deal.

“Looking back, what I should have done the day after the election was to make it clear the House has passed a bill to extend all of the current tax rates, the House has passed a bill to replace the sequester with cuts in mandatory spending, and the Senate ought to do its work,” Boehner said. “We’re ready, able and willing to work with the Senate as soon as they produce a bill. It should have been what I said. You know, again, hindsight is 20-20.”

Boenher even has Hillary mimicking him (did you see her “What difference, at this point, does it make?”- moment at the Bengazi hearing?) Meh.

socalcon on January 26, 2013 at 3:54 PM

…and how few will actually do so? And how few legal Hispanics vote, anyway?
 
urban elitist
on January 25, 2013 at 7:28 PM

and the enormous majority will be below-average civic contributors at best when they are citizens,
 
rogerb on January 26, 2013 at 7:24 AM

That’s a stereotype, and a racist one at that. The same thing that was said of my poor Irish ancestors.
 
urban elitist on January 26, 2013 at 8:47 AM

 
Holy.
 
Cow.
 
You didn’t realize I was summarizing your post, did you?
 
This is the part where people laugh at you. Reread it if you need to:
 
http://hotair.com/archives/2013/01/25/report-bipartisan-senate-group-nearing-agreement-on-comprehensive-immigration-proposal/comment-page-2/#comment-6673130
 
Good job confirming what I said about your racist stereotype, though. Your ancestors would be proud.
 

That’s a stereotype, and a racist one at that.

 
Yep, which was why I drew attention to what you said.
 
Hilarious and nicely done.

rogerb on January 26, 2013 at 6:46 PM

rogerb on January 26, 2013 at 6:46 PM

…spme old friends of yours showed up at the Palin thread today!

KOOLAID2 on January 26, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Let’s just hand over the keys to gate. Last Gringo out, please turn off the lights.

Big John on January 26, 2013 at 11:07 PM

…and how few will actually do so? And how few legal Hispanics vote, anyway?
 
urban elitist on January 25, 2013 at 7:28 PM

That’s a stereotype, and a racist one at that. The same thing that was said of my poor Irish ancestors.
 
urban elitist on January 26, 2013 at 8:47 AM

 
I should say thanks for making the trial run of QOTT such a success. I’d posted the idea jokingly to laugh at more ever-present and always comical (D) hypocrisy, but never in my wildest dreams did I think the progressive poster wouldn’t realize the words were his own and lash out about how racist his mindset was.
 
The Irish ancestors part was my favorite, btw. So you say bigots thought very few legal Irish would participate in civic duties like voting?
 

…and how few will actually do so? And how few legal Hispanics vote, anyway?
 
urban elitist on January 25, 2013 at 7:28 PM

 
Hilarious. Again, well done.
 
I’ll give you credit for helping me start the idea if it catches on. Congratulations again, and best of luck with future wins.

rogerb on January 27, 2013 at 7:43 AM

There is plenty of opportunity for conservative leadership to torpedo this … but that’s the problem, isn’t it?

Rubio had better ready his parachute because no conservative wants to see him standing next to Schumer or McCain for any reason.

virgo on January 27, 2013 at 1:08 PM

Immigration reform is very easy, illegals would have 30 days to be out of country. After 30 days when caught, held in custody until there are enough for a aircraft full, flown to illegals country capital and deplaned. All expensives from this would be taken from foreign aid to that country at $1.00 expense would result in $100.00 taken from that countries aid.

gDavid on January 27, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Still trashing McCain I see. Had we elected him in 08 the country wouldn’t be on the verge of collapse. “My side” just can’t learn a lesson though…

V7_Sport on January 27, 2013 at 8:08 PM

Still trashing McCain I see. Had we elected him in 08 the country wouldn’t be on the verge of collapse. “My side” just can’t learn a lesson though…

V7_Sport on January 27, 2013 at 8:08 PM

We can agree on this, but a ham-sandwich would also have managed the economy better than the present schoolboy emperor.

McCain is known to have terrible judgment and so should not be put in a leadership situation a minute longer than necessary. Smart politicians, seeing him coming down the street should definitely call a cab.

virgo on January 28, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Why would I trash a blockhead like McCain who really likes seeing himself on TV every GD chance he gets? The same McCain who announced publicly that he was pulling out of MO during the 2008 race against the Obama. That Feingold-McCain dude. That fine senator who wants us in every war possible. That McCain who can’t fly a plane so well. Why trash him?

Sherman1864 on January 29, 2013 at 12:22 AM

McCain-Feingold. HA loves this guy! He must be in four of the photos on the top
page!!

Sherman1864 on January 29, 2013 at 12:26 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3