Rubio on new immigration amendment: “A dramatic improvement on border security”

posted at 11:21 am on June 20, 2013 by Allahpundit

He was on Fox News a few minutes ago as I’m writing this to tout the new Corker/Hoeven plan that Ed wrote about earlier. No video yet, but both Byron York and Elise Foley quote him similarly. Rubio’s spent the last few weeks searching for an amendment that will tighten the border but not tighten it so much that Democrats will walk away from the Gang of Eight bill. And now, it seems, he’s found it:

The GOP gets lots more Border Patrol officers, high-tech surveillance equipment for watching the border, full implementation of E-Verify, and 700 miles of fencing that Congress already authorized seven years ago. What do Democrats get? It’s what they don’t get. Instead of the biometric entry/exit system that Republicans wanted to help crack down on visa overstays, we’ll have a lower-tech biographic system instead. And more importantly, the “triggers” for enforcement will be soft:

But — and this is big – the provision sought by conservatives such as John Cornyn, that 90 percent apprehension be achieved as a “hard trigger” is no longer in the deal as a precondition for citizenship. As the Times puts it: “Republicans agreed to make the 90 percent figure a goal rather than a requirement.” The key is that additional Republicans beyond the gang of eight — such as Bob Corker and John Hoeven — appear prepared to accept this.

Leading immigration advocate Frank Sharry, who was briefed on the emerging deal, tells me Dems successfully beat back Republican demands for inclusion of the 90 percent “hard trigger.” And so Sharry’s group, America’s Voice, can support the deal, albeit reluctantly.

“The deal is ridiculous from a policy point of view — it’s excessive and wasteful,” Sharry tells me. “But from a political point of view, if it brings 10 or 11 Senate Republican votes, we’ll probably will be able to live with it.” Sharry says this is because the current triggers in the emerging compromise are “doable and achievable.”

Democrats still get probationary legalization for illegals right away. That’s their core demand because, once some form of legalization is granted, political pressure will inevitably build to grant them full citizenship regardless of the state of the border. The only real leverage border hawks have in getting the left to follow through on the bill’s enforcement provisions is to demand that any form of legalization be suspended until security targets are met. Corker/Hoeven doesn’t require that; in fact, it apparently relaxes the requirements for the second stage of the legalization process too, i.e. the path to citizenship, by not absolutely requiring 90 percent apprehension before illegals start gaining eligibility for green cards. That’s the sort of compromise Rubio’s been looking for — something that improves border security on paper but doesn’t apply too much pressure to the other side to make that security a reality. He prefers to see a weak bill pass than to stand on principle for true border-security triggers. Remember that the next time you hear him say that he’s doing this because it’s good policy, not good politics.

A few random thoughts. One: This is all about gaining Republican votes, not building a well-crafted bill. The effect on border security of adding 20,000 more Border Patrol agents is, as far as I know, a total question mark. (With more guest workers allowed in under the bill and a comparatively weak system for detecting visa overstays, more border agents might not reduce the number of illegals in the U.S. dramatically.) We could gain some idea by holding hearings, but neither party in the pro-amnesty camp gives a wet fart about the actual policy effects here. The security measures in Corker/Hoeven are designed purely to make the bill look tougher so that wary Senate Republicans feel safer voting yes. It’s already working. Two: Needless to say, the CBO score that everyone was oohing and aahing over two days ago will have to be completely redone. The bill will obviously cost more now with tens of thousands of BP officers on the federal payroll. Their presence on the border will presumably reduce the forecast for new illegal immigration by some (smallish) degree, which means all the other economic effects in the bill will change. The whole point of the CBO study was that illegals will help reduce the deficit on balance (in the near term) because they’ll bring economic growth to America. Does that still hold true if there are fewer illegals coming across the border over the next 10 years?

Three: If — if — you trust House Republicans to demand border security before any form of legalization, then having the Senate pass this thing with Republican support isn’t a terrible outcome. The consolation prize for Democrats if the bill fails is demagoging the GOP for being anti-Latino, which might help them with turnout in the midterms next year. If 20 Senate Republicans vote for the Gang of Eight bill, that argument is harder to make. Suddenly it becomes a message about House Republicans specifically, and House Republicans have much less to fear in their small red districts than GOP senators do. The big question mark right now isn’t how Corker/Hoeven plays in the Senate, it’s how it plays in the House. Will GOPers who’ve been talking tough lately suddenly go soft?

Exit question via Conn Carroll: CBO estimated that, of the estimated 11.5 million illegals currently in the U.S., only eight million or so would qualify for the initial probationary legalization under the Gang’s bill. What happens to the other 3.5 million?

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air


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.


Trackback URL


Comment pages: 1 2 3

Border security is a large part but not the only problem with this bill. Chain immigration, the bring in of relatives could add 30 million plus citizens of Mexico to the US. About 1/4 of Mexico population. I doubt if they will be engineers and doctors. The CBO, granted not so accurate and only can look by law 10 years out, sees 7 million illegals remaining in the county down the road. If not already happening, with this bill we may get another flood of illegals as in 1986/7.

amr on June 20, 2013 at 11:55 PM

They ain’t crossing because they’re already here, Rube.

What a turncoat Marco has become, perhaps always was, like a Snarlin’ Arlen or a Jumpin’ Jim Jeffords.

viking01 on June 21, 2013 at 12:22 AM

How many members of MS-13 “immigrated” to the US in order to find better jobs, take better care of their families, and offer their kids a better education?

They, and a few million others, came here because had they remained home, they’d be dead…from law enforcement which does not bother to Mirandize, or other gangs with better firepower.

They also came here because illegal immigrants here are more lucrative targets than back at home.

And, they know, in every city, county and state in America there is an active group somewhere who will go to the mat for them, because they are illegals who are being discriminated against….and the benefits offered by the various states are quite good…free stuff.

Does anyone actually believe that these folks will come out of the shadows, pay taxes, get registered and all that tripe?

coldwarrior on June 21, 2013 at 12:35 AM

Without a strong Visa entry-and-exit-tracking system, this entire process is a bad joke on the American people. The really bad part of the joke is that, even the illegals who fail to qualify for this new “provisional status” won’t be rounded up and deported….

After all.. we can’t do that…

It’s SUCH a hardship to break US law and not be able to vote to vote for Democrats.

shorebird on June 21, 2013 at 12:44 AM


profitsbeard on June 21, 2013 at 1:04 AM

As Sarah Palin said in Phoenix, Arizona on April 13, 2013:

Secure The Border First

But that is not what Rubio is pushing. No sir.

This is just another in a series of legislative plans to secure the border that have not been implemented.

The only thing we know for certain that will happen if the Senate Immigration Bill becomes law is amnesty, lower wages for American workers and higher unemployment.

Gang Of Eight Bill Delivers Three Things: Immediate Amnesty, Lower Wages And Higher Unemployment

To learn more about the problems with this legislation:

Tea Party News Conference On Senate Immigration Bill

john.frank on June 21, 2013 at 1:49 AM

Kinda of tough when the ones you have to fight the hardest to preserve America are the very ones that pretend to be the opposition party to total socialism, when they are merely the “let’s see how we can fool them today” crowd.

No rewards for lawbreakers–particularly no gifts of what they broke the law to get.
On the other hand, if we could increase immigration legally by swapping one for one with our perennial criminal class….it’d be consideration, but the politicians in the GOP won’t buy that.

Don L on June 21, 2013 at 4:29 AM

None of these amendments to any amnesty bill matter at all.
We are dealing with a rouge regime that obeys only the laws they want to obey!
You can’t deal with people like that.And should not.

rodguy911 on June 21, 2013 at 5:11 AM

He’s a liar. The agenda is to increase the number of non-whites in America as much as possible, regardless of law, while lying to white conservatives and treating them as suckers.

David Blue on June 21, 2013 at 6:49 AM

Funny how the immigration bill does not consider in any way the impact on current citizens.

What is the social cost of legalizing 30M people overnight? Since we “know” what the social cost of carbon is, I think we’re entitled to know what the social cost of unlimited immigration will be.

BTW, it is no longer immigration. It is, and has been for years, a migration. When fully 25% of the Mexican population resides inside another country, what else can it be called?
BobMbx on June 20, 2013 at 12:18 PM


What’s really going on is the complete transformation of the USA into a tyrannical socialist state. This immigration bill is simply part of helping to make that happen.

bgibbs1000 on June 21, 2013 at 7:53 AM

Its good that we find out that Rubio is a weasel now rather than after 2016.

Rumpole of the Bailey on June 21, 2013 at 8:44 AM

I like Rubio, but he is incredibly naive if he thinks they will actually build a fence or get more border patrol agents. We already have a 2006 law MANDATING the building of the fence, and it has not been done.

This will all turn out to be amnesty, and there will be no more border fence or agents. Welcome to the United States of Mexico.

Watch and see.

californiacitizen on June 21, 2013 at 10:28 AM

On the other hand, if we could increase immigration legally by swapping one for one with our perennial criminal class….it’d be consideration, but the politicians in the GOP won’t buy that.

Don L on June 21, 2013 at 4:29 AM

Prison la 60 on the Isle of Youth (Pines), Cuba would be a perfect place for Marco “el perro malinche” Rubio to be traded to, in return for someone who actually loved the United States and wanted to protect it from foreign & domestic enemies.

ebrown2 on June 21, 2013 at 12:08 PM

I like Rubio, but he is incredibly naive if he thinks they will actually build a fence or get more border patrol agents. We already have a 2006 law MANDATING the building of the fence, and it has not been done.

This will all turn out to be amnesty, and there will be no more border fence or agents. Welcome to the United States of Mexico.

Watch and see.

californiacitizen on June 21, 2013 at 10:28 AM

There’s nothing naive about it. Rubio has always been a malevolent amnesty shill. (being far less honest about it than Christ in the 2010 election) He’s just paying back his markers to the Chamber of Commerce and Big Agribusiness sleazebags.

ebrown2 on June 21, 2013 at 12:13 PM

Rubio and other open-borders Republicans seem to forget that we don’t have to negotiate for border security. We ALREADY have laws on the books and we ALREADY have a fence approved and funded. We just don’t have a president who’s willing to enforce our laws.

There’s no need to “negotiate” with these people. They have nothing we want.

Murf76 on June 21, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Defionition:a dramatic improvement is much like being only half pregnant.

Don L on June 21, 2013 at 3:50 PM

We just don’t have a president who’s willing to enforce our laws.

In this case the truth is Bush did do it first (we’re all vigilantes now)

Don L on June 21, 2013 at 3:51 PM

In this case the truth is Bush did do it first (we’re all vigilantes now)

Don L on June 21, 2013 at 3:51 PM

Yes, but Bush didn’t have this record that should have been researched in 2010!

3 Pages:

bluefox on June 21, 2013 at 4:06 PM

Just a few felony crimes that will be waived for ILLEGAL aliens under Immigration Bill S.744:

‘Falsely representing or knowingly using a Social Security Number obtained with false information’

‘Falsely claiming citizenship on Form I-9’

‘Knowingly altering a Social Security Card’

‘Document fraud to prove eligibility for employment’


Capt-Dax on June 21, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Capt-Dax on June 21, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Is this something new within the Corker/Hoeven Amendment today?

You could post this on the “Reid invokes cloture…” thread.

bluefox on June 21, 2013 at 7:31 PM

Rubio on new immigration amendment: “A dramatic improvement on border security”

Only as far as any border security is more than no border security.

The problem with border security has never been man power, money or technology, the problem is that the Wash DC idiots don’t want our borders secure and they still don’t want them secure. They could hire 20 million new border agents and spent $2 Trillion and still purposely not secure the borders.

RJL on June 21, 2013 at 7:33 PM

Rubio, Cornyn, McCain, etc are all rino traitors to the USA. Anybody that will trust a repub politician is a fool. How many times do you have to be lied to finally understand the pols in DC don’t care what you want.

johnny reb on June 22, 2013 at 5:57 PM

Rubio is pushing for a ‘solution’ to the problem regarding Illegals – CRIMINALS – who have poured into this country. As important as this is….EVERY ISSUE IN WASHINGTON SHOULD BE SET ASIDE UNTIL AFTER THE SCANDALS OF THIS ADMINISTRATION & GOVERNMENT ARE RESOLVED! While Immigration is a problem, the scandals exposed recently show the complete errosion of our nation, a direct assault on the constitution & laws, an attack on the American people, & the continued ‘fundamental change’ in this nation (which Obama promised) into a State of Tyranny!

Fast & Furious – arming Mecian Drug Cartels while attempting to disarm law-abiding citizens – the perjuries before Congress by the Atty General & others….violations of the Law on multiple levels & the cover-up by this President & Administratuion…

The IRS – using not only the IRS but also the FBI, ATF, EPA, & DHS to target the Pesident’s ‘enemies’ in attempt to silence, intimidate, & even destroy them…more Perjuries without punishment & the advancement of Tyranny…

The Spying on every American citizen – again, MORE PERJURIES, more advancement of Tyranny, more laws broken, no accountability…

..and so far the only thing the Federal Govt – Congress – has done is hold some hearings, provide Political Theater! The whole of the Federal Government should be weighing in to restrain the current administration’s whole sale abuse of their power, the assault on the Constitution, & the violation of every law they need to IOT push their agenda! Immigration needs to be put on the back-burner while these issues are resolved!

Nixon was not responsible for the wire tapping of Water gate, but he knew & aided in th4e cover up. For thatm he ws forced from office! Obama may not have been behind Fast & Furious, the IRS Scanadal, Benghazi Betrayal, & the Spying on all America, BUT HE KNEW / KNOWS & HAS AIDED IN THE COVER UP AND PROTECTION OF HIS ATTY GENERAL WHO HAS BEEN PROVEN TO HAVE PERPETRATED MULTIPLE FELONY COUNTS OF PERJURY BEFORE CONGRESS! In comparison, he has FAR SURPASSED the CRIMES / ACTIONS of Richard Nixon, which forced him from office.

History does not remember those who shrunk from their responsibilities to do what was right but instead gave speeches. History remembers the courageous acts of Patriots who stuck to their morals/integrity/beliefs & ACTED! Holding hearings – conducting displays of political theater – are NOT considered taking action. Rubio wants to take some action that will profoundly affect the United States, to take ac tion to resolve a problem. Ignoring the massive abuses of power, violations of both Constitution & law, the abandonment, sacrifice, & targeting of American citizens is not only shirking his responsibilities but is an ACT OF COWARDICE! If he wants to do something that will be to the benefit of the U.S. then he should START WITH KEEPING HIS OATH OF OFFICE! Rubio has a problem with ‘priortization’! There are millions of Illegals in this nation, & there will be millions more after his Immigration bill is (if) signed. The larger threat is the erosion of the American people’s rights by the targeting & destruction of the constitution, our laws, & our rights by this administration! Handle THAT 1st, Mr. Rubio!

easyt65 on June 24, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Comment pages: 1 2 3