Quotes of the day

posted at 8:41 pm on April 26, 2013 by Allahpundit

The [Gang of Eight] bill would … exempt wide swaths of people currently counted against immigration caps from any limits: The spouses and children of legal permanent residents would be allowed to come to the country on an unlimited basis, for example.

Thus, some combination of, perhaps, 7 million DREAMers, agricultural workers, and the newly legalized family members of current US citizens will be able to petition for their family members, further swelling legal immigration by an indeterminate amount.

And beginning five years after the bill is enacted, the Senate measure would create a new “merit based” immigration category with 125,000 initial visas (a figure that could rise to as many as 250,000 over time) that includes a path to a green card and citizenship, adding more than half a million potential new permanent US residents before the decade is out…

When immigration skeptics like Sessions and Roy Beck, the head of Numbers USA, add up the figures, they see a 50 percent increase in US immigration on an annual basis and as many as 20 million more new green cards within the next dozen years than would otherwise be authorized – and perhaps as many as 30 million more, according to a Republican aide.

***

[T]he road to permanent resident status that Rubio said would take a decade will take only five years for currently illegal immigrants who have done some work in agriculture. How many are there? Pro-reform congressional sources suggest the number could be 700,000 on the low end and 1.1 million on the high end. Congressional sources skeptical of reform say the number would be higher. No one seems to know with any certainty.

Then there is the other fast track, for the Dreamers. The Gang of Eight bill creates a special category for immigrants who came to the United States illegally before age 16. That applies equally to illegal immigrants who today are, say, 19 years old, or those who are 49 years old, or older…

Like agricultural workers, it is not entirely clear how many currently illegal immigrants and family members would be involved in the Dream fast track, but the total number could be in the millions — a significant portion of the estimated 11 million immigrants in the country illegally today.

***

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., a veteran of the last immigration fight, seems best prepared to counter the Gang of Eight. Just 15 minutes before the group’s press conference to unveil its bill last week, Sessions and Sen. David Vitter, R-La., held one of their own, featuring several law-enforcement officials and the head of the union for Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to criticize the bill as amnesty over enforcement.

Sessions has also warned about the effect that legalization and more visas might have on employment opportunities and wages for American workers, which is an angle that one of the biggest advocacy groups calling for lower immigration levels will pursue as it tries to drum up public opposition to the bill.

Roy Beck, president of Numbers USA, said his group plans to concentrate its messaging on Alaska, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania, hoping that voters will help push the senators in those states to oppose the bill.

Our plan is that it does not get out of the Senate, and we still feel fairly confident of that. It’s a big battle,” he said.

***

My thought is, maybe we should consider admitting immigrants who can succeed in America, rather than deadbeats.

But we’re not allowed to “discriminate” in favor of immigrants who would be good for America. Instead of helping America, our immigration policies are designed to help other countries solve their internal problems by shipping their losers to us.

The problem isn’t just illegal immigration. I would rather have doctors and engineers sneaking into the country than legally arriving ditch-diggers.

Teddy Kennedy’s 1965 immigration act so dramatically altered the kinds of immigrants America admits that, since 1969, about 85 percent of legal immigrants have come from the Third World. They bring Third World levels of poverty, fertility, illegitimacy and domestic violence with them. When they can’t make it in America, they simply go on welfare and sometimes strike out at Americans.

***

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the following, both within my native first-in-the-nation caucus state of Iowa, as well as from my nationally-syndicated radio audience:

* “Rubio has gone establishment. He’s dead to me.”

* “Rubio is being played by the ruling class. He’s clearly not ready.”

* “My love affair with Rubio is over. I’ll never vote for him.”

* “Rubio is off my list for 2016.”…

[P]olitically he is allowing himself to be branded as another big government GOP sell-out, because he and his associates are struggling to make the case to conservatives it is what’s best for the country and not what’s best for the big government Democrats. The comments by Conant and the actions of some on his staff to scheme against the Heritage Foundation, maybe the most respected think tank in the entire conservative movement, only reinforces that skepticism. The amount of political capital Rubio has wasted already in this effort is incalculable. I hope he really believes in this legislation, because it might cost him the presidency.

***

“Immigration, broadly speaking, pits the elite versus the public as much as the Right against the Left,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, who spoke at a hearing on the Senate bill earlier this week. “It’s the church hierarchies versus the people in the pews, the union organizations as opposed to the union members, big business as opposed to small business. It’s no surprise that the Republicans supporting this thing are the ones with ties to the Chamber of Commerce, not ordinary voters.”…

“The only people in the room behind closed doors was congressional staff, big business, big labor, Silicon Valley, and a whole long line of special-interest groups,” said Rosemary Jenks, a spokeswoman for NumbersUSA, which favors more limits on immigration. “It’s very clear this bill wasn’t written to serve national interests but special interests, including the senators’ own special interests, with absolutely zero regard for unemployed American workers and taxpayers.”

***

“What eight people decide isn’t going to be the be-all, end-all for the House,” Goodlatte says. “It may be an indicator of where you can find some common ground, but the House, because it’s a Republican majority, will take a more conservative approach.”…

“I tell them that we’re going to break this all down into pieces that are more digestible,” he says. “We’re going to have a lot of hearings, and we’re going to turn this into separate bills. We’ll do an agricultural-workers bill, then an E-Verify bill, and then after the recess, we’ll maybe do some more. But it’s all a work in progress.”

A vague deadline, piecemeal legislation, and months of town-hall meetings, however, are what the proponents of comprehensive immigration reform fear most. There is growing concern by allies of the Gang of Eight that volatile summertime confrontations with constituents could make many House Republicans uneasy.

Goodlatte has little patience for such hand-wringing. As a former immigration attorney who has been in the House for two decades, he says doing things his way — a slow burn — is the only viable option.

***

I think it comes down to this. What kind of person do you want to be? Do you want to focus on the hopes and aspirations of the future, or dwell on fear and negativity? — to desperately clinging to the status quo? Do you believe that America has a bright dawn ahead, or that we must manage its decline?

Kemp was known for his cheery optimism. So was Reagan. In fact, conservatism didn’t really take off until Kemp and Reagan teamed up. And if you look at today’s most rhetorically inspiring conservatives, is it any wonder you find people like Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Paul Ryan — both champions of immigration reform?

The most vociferous opponents tend to be pundits and talk radio hosts, who don’t need to win a majority to be successful, and who have entirely different incentives.

I suspect this isn’t a coincidence.

***

Via RCP.


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