The Senate proposal will probably include four main elements: border enforcement, employer enforcement, handling the future flow of legal immigration (including temporary agriculture workers and high-skilled engineers) and a pathway to citizenship for those who entered the nation illegally. Mr. Obama’s approach will largely echo his 2011 immigration “blueprint,” which he first outlined in a speech in El Paso, and calls for a pathway to citizenship for the more than 11 million illegal immigrants already in the country.
Though all members of the Senate group agree that some pathway to legal residency must be a part of the final proposal, they are still divided on what exactly that route should be. Republican lawmakers are urging that border security be tied to a pathway to citizenship and other requirements like having those who entered illegally go to the back of the line behind immigrants already waiting to enter the country legally, paying fines and back-taxes, and learning English.
“You’ve got border security, you’ve got employer verification and you’ve got a temporary worker program that addresses the magnet, so those three things have to go together to address operational control over your border,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, one of the senators mapping out the legislation. “Then you go to the next big thing — the 12 million. How do you deal with the 12 million in a firm, fair way, realizing you can’t put them all in jail and they’re not all going to self-deport?”…
“It’s going far better than any of us expected,” Mr. Schumer said in an interview.
Boehner’s comments suggested action in the House is possible as well. In response to a question, Boehner said it is “time to deal” with changes to immigration law. Republican leaders, long opposed to legal changes that would allow more than 11 million undocumented immigrants to obtain legal residency, are increasingly shifting on the issue. They fear alienating a growing bloc of Latino voters whose opposition could force the party into a permanent minority status.
“There’s a bipartisan group of members who have been meeting for three or four years now,” Boehner told the Ripon Society. “Frankly, I think they basically have an agreement. I’ve not seen the agreement. I don’t know all the pitfalls. But it’s, in my view, the right group of members.”
“My theory was that if these folks could work this out, it’d be a big step in the right direction,” Boehner said, describing the group has one that includes both “hard heads” on the Republican side, as well advocates of immigration reform. “So I would think you’re likely to hear a lot more about immigration reform on the House side soon.”
The birthrate in this country has fallen below the level necessary to sustain the population at the very time that millions of Americans are leaving the workforce and expecting retirement benefits. The nation needs energetic young workers to spur the economy and support an ever-increasing social-welfare burden.
The only alternatives to increased immigration are mounting debts or reduced social services. A practicable system of work-based immigration for both high-skilled and low-skilled immigrants—a system that will include a path to citizenship—will help us meet workforce needs, prevent exportation of jobs to foreign countries and protect against the exploitation of workers…
Most immigrants come here to secure a better life for themselves and their families. They cherish the values of hard work, faith, family, enterprise and patriotism that have made this country great. Meanwhile, many who were lucky enough to have been born here have grown complacent or even disdainful of these values. America’s immigration system should provide opportunities for people who share the country’s core values to become citizens, thereby strengthening the nation as have countless immigrants have before them.
In fact the law-and-order argument, as we have pointed out a few times against immigration reform, has always been among the weakest objections. A system with coyote smugglers, forged paperwork, no enforcement and tax evasion is not law and order by any stretch of the imagination. Moreover, if Rubio is on a roll he might want to explain that the pejorative “amnesty” applies only when there is no consequence for failure to follow the law. That is not what Rubio (who envisions a fine, back taxes, possibly community service and no preferential treatment for citizenship) has been proposing — nor has most every other plan out there. That term is a red herring, indicative of a lazy argument…
It is interesting how a seemingly insoluble problem (e.g. weaning the GOP off immigration exclusionism) melts away if the timing, the messenger, the rollout and the substance of a solution are well considered. Just as the “never agree to any tax hike anywhere, anytime” faded with the realization that the GOP couldn’t stick to that without the White House and Senate, so too there is now a pathway for the GOP to rescue itself and address a major issue.
Comprehensive immigration reform could make millions of people suddenly eligible for assistance under President Obama’s healthcare law, assuming a final deal paves the way for undocumented immigrants to receive papers…
Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.), a member of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said the legalization of undocumented people would benefit hospitals now burdened by uncompensated care.
If nothing changes, undocumented immigrants will be a major share of the uninsured, second only to those who are eligible but do not apply for coverage under the healthcare law in 2014, according to the Urban Institute…
“The bottom line is, these people would be contributing toward their own healthcare and not being dependent. They’d be paying taxes. I’d see that as a plus rather than a negative,” he said.
[Demanding comprehensive reform] is the same argument Jeb’s leftist allies in his amnesty crusade made during their push for Obamacare. Rather than undertake modest, incremental reforms — allowing the purchase of health insurance across state lines, for instance — the Democrats wanted “comprehensive health-care reform,” and we ended up with a 2,000-page doorstop law that we had to pass to learn what it contains. “Comprehensive immigration reform” might as well be called “Obamigration.”…
The authors trot out “The nation needs energetic young workers to spur the economy and support an ever-increasing social-welfare burden.” Uh, immigrants are around twice as likely as the native-born to be poor and use welfare. Among Hispanic immigrants, who represent the lion’s share of the low-skilled workers the op-ed says we need “to support an ever-increasing social-welfare burden,” the majority are on welfare. This isn’t because they’re lazy spongers — fully one-third of immigrant households with a worker present are on welfare. The problem is that a post-industrial, knowledge-based economy doesn’t need additional low-skilled workers. As Milton Friedman famously said, “It’s just obvious you can’t have free immigration and a welfare state.”…
Bush and Bolick end with a fireworks finale of clichés. Immigrants “cherish the values of hard work, faith, family, enterprise and patriotism that have made this country great” and “replenish the American spirit.” While Americans, of course, “have grown complacent or even disdainful of these values.” Immigrants are people like any other, and experience the same temptations and dysfunctions of modernity — illegitimacy, family breakdown, decline of religion, and the rest. Jeb’s objectification of immigrants and antipathy toward the actually-existing American people is repellent but deplorably commonplace among immigration enthusiasts.
The success of the Republican Party in rural areas, exurbs and in the South has come at a cost. Socially conservative voters will resist changing their spots. When, and if, Republican leaders determine that the demands of these voters for “massive resistance” to abortion, contraception and immigration are futile, they will have to decide whether to cut them loose. No matter what happens, social conservatives are unlikely to become Democrats. It may not be too long before they find themselves with a choice of their own: withdraw from party politics or hold their noses and stick with the Republicans.
Two senators at the center of negotiations over comprehensive immigration reform, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said on Sunday that a pathway to citizenship is an essential component of a comprehensive reform bill.
“That has to be also part of it,” McCain told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz on “This Week” when asked whether a pathway to citizenship would be a component of reform. “There’s a new appreciation on both sides of the aisle including, maybe more importantly on the Republican side of the aisle, that we have to enact comprehensive immigration reform.”…
“I’m very pleased with the progress,” McCain said. “It’s not that much different from what we tried to do in 2007.”
Via R.S. McCain:
“Sitting in these meetings with three Democrats and three Republicans, working on this immigration issue has been as encouraging as the rules vote on Thursday night,” Durbin said on “Fox News Sunday”, referencing a bipartisan agreement in the Senate last week to tweak the filibuster rules.
“We are trying to work our way through some very difficult issues but we are committed to working on a comprehensive approach to finally in this country have an immigration law we can live with,” he added.
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