The decision to abandon the requirement that a certain level of border security must be achieved, rather than a certain amount of resources devoted to the problem, appears to be yet another victory for the Gang of Eight immigration reform bill’s authors. Democrats on the Gang have opposed so-called “hard triggers” from the very beginning, and it appears they have defeated another attempt to put one in the bill. Whether the new increase in Border Patrol agents — another move opposed by Democrats on the Gang — will compensate for the removal of the trigger will be a key theme of the coming debate.

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When asked by Breitbart News, … both [Corker and Hoeven] conceded that Gang of Eight members were involved in writing the measure.

“The entire ‘Gang’ has been involved–and, I might add, is still involved. All of our offices have been like switchboard operators for the last ten days and all of the ‘Gang’ has been involved and very helpful and in particular on the other side of the aisle Senator Schumer and Senator Menendez have been very active, ” Sen. Corker said.

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Senator Schumer: (2:56 PM)

Spoke on the Hoeven/Corker border security amendment.
The border surge is breathtaking in its size and scope. It will freeway an unprecedented number of boots on the ground and drones in the air, double the size of the border patrol from its current level to over 40,000. It will finish the job of completing the fence along the entire 700-mile stretch of the southwest border. And it will enumerate on a sector-by-sector basis lists of cutting edge tools and equipment that will boost surveillance and apprehension, including surveillance and towers and drones. In other words, it calls for a breath taking show of force … It not only calls for finishing a literal fence it will create a virtual human fence of border patrol agents. Under the border surge, the border patrol will have the capacity to deploy an armed agent 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to stand guard every thousand feet all the way from San Diego, California, to Brownsville, Texas. We came you were with this idea of the border surge Wednesday morning after the CBO report was released. My colleague from Texas asked why not a week ago? We didn’t have the CBO report. We didn’t know we had the dollars. We have them now. And we still keep to our goal of not costing the treasury a nickel. The CBO report was a true game changer. It gave us the budgetary flexibility to consider massive new investments in border security that we didn’t think we could previously afford. The surge shows the commitment to border security that our colleagues have been asking for.”

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Cruz went on to explain how the Gang of Eight bill “repeats the exact same pattern of 1986.”

“The amendment that has been proposed today does the same thing,” Cruz said. “It starts with legalization and it promises border security some time in the future. Like the famed character wimpy from Popeye, ‘I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.’”…

“Washington is very, very good at Kabuki theater,” Cruz said. “A great many things in this town are stage-managed. From the outset, in my opinion, it was clear that the managers of this bill were going to, near the end of the Senate process, allow an amendment that would at least purport to increase border security, that would be a fig leaf and allow everyone to say ‘Hosanna! Hosanna! The border has been secured! Now let’s all come on board with this gigantic bill.’”

Cruz added that “seeing an amendment today that does that is not surprise to anyone who’s been watching this process unfold.”

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“The 90 percent is gone,” a Senate aide tells Byron York. “In its stead is the doubling of the Border Patrol,” to around 20,000 … A few points: a) This is an LBJ-style Big Liberalism solution. We’re going to throw manpower at the problem, Vietnam-style, while creating the very thing (amnesty, and the near-certainty of future amnesties) that will keep drawing desperate foreigners to keep coming. is General Westmoreland still alive to direct the effort? b) More border patrol agents will do little to stop the problem of people overstaying their visas–especially people brought into the country under the new, allegedly temporary ‘”guestworker” programs who decide to not go back home. The recent CBO report suggests this will be the biggest sluice of illegal immigrants in the future ; c) I’m not so sure of that last point, since the border itself is likely to remain pretty porous, as it is now in South Texas. Mark Krikorian notes it maytake a decade to train 20,000 new agents. Meanwhile the border fence, which unlike agents won’t require raises and pensions into eternity, can be blocked by the same forces that blocked it last time Congress promised to build it. …

But I guess the ICE union is happy!

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The Tea Party seems to oppose the Senate Gang of Eight’s legislation with the same vehemence that it directed at the Affordable Care Act. Now, it’s important to bear in mind that generalizing about the Tea Party is incredibly fraught, given the movement’s size, amorphousness, and ideological diversity. But I asked a number of tea-party leaders if it was appropriate to say “the Tea Party opposes the Senate Gang of Eight immigration proposal,” and consistently heard that it was…

Niger Innis, who also spoke at the press conference, told reporters afterward that Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) did a terrible job in the bill’s negotiations.

He got his butt handed to him, and you can put that on the record,” Innis said.

Michael Johns, who helped start the tea-party movement, told me earlier that tea-party opposition to the bill is near-universal.

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The new epic amendment adds nothing whatsoever. It’s a painfully transparent attempt to give senators additional linguistic ammunition to fool their constituents. It’s simply more boob bait for the Bubbas.

To appreciate just how insultingly meaningless the “tough border security” amendment is, consider that it promises to build a 700 mile fence along the 1930- mile southern border—the same fence already mandated by the Secure Fence Act of 2006; the same fence which, to date, has only 36.3 miles of double-layered fencing–prompting President Obama to proclaim that border security is “now basically complete.” How many times does congress have to pass the exact same requirement before it’s actually done?

Regardless of where you stand on immigration reform, the endless and multiplying efforts of our elected representatives to hoodwink the American people should infuriate you. Senators seem utterly undeterred by the fact that trust in government today is at a nadir. They remain intent on doubling down on duplicity.

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[S]ome of the pro-reform forces aren’t even pretending that the language in the bill is being offered in good faith.

It’s this “good faith” part which is so worrisome to anyone who like immigration in general, but is ill-at-ease with this bill. Because everywhere you look on the pro-reform side, you see people operating in what does not look like good faith at all.

Strip away all questions about policy merit and wisdom and just focus on the raw politics here for a moment. It makes you wonder how Republicans could ever get themselves suckered into voting for such a thing.

But then again, the Republican party signs on with stupid all the time.

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“Let me be clear about one thing: America needs to secure our borders and reform our immigration laws, but immigration reform must – and I mean, must – be grounded in real border security,” Boehner, R-Ohio, said today during a news conference at the Capitol. “That’s what the American people believe, and it’s the principle that this House majority will insist upon.”…

“Regardless of what the Senate does, the House is going to work its will,” Boehner said. “The committees are doing their work. I’ve met with the Hispanic Caucus yesterday. I’ve talked to members on both sides of the aisle extensively about this issue.”

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Speaking Wednesday night with Fox News’s Sean Hannity, Rubio said he understands why conservatives are skeptical of immigration reform.

“Look, it’s obvious I didn’t do this for political gain. This is not something that’s going to gain me any parades. People are frustrated, and I do understand it. What I hope they understand is that I studied this issue carefully for almost two years and I concluded that what we have in place right now is a disaster,” Rubio said.

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Via the Daily Caller.

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Sen. Rand Paul plans to support a filibuster of the Senate immigration bill unless it grants Congress more border security oversight, the Kentucky Republican said on Thursday…

Paul said he “can’t imagine” that proponents of the immigration bill will succeed in persuading him to support the final bill if more border security amendments are rejected.

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