Immigration reform doomed?

posted at 12:01 pm on June 24, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

The Senate will continue its deliberations this week on immigration reform, including a key vote today on a border-security amendment that runs more than 1,000 pages.  The amendment dropped on Friday, which means that Senators spent the last 48 hours closely perusing the text.  Right?  Er, not exactly:

Democratic senator Ben Cardin admitted that he won’t be able to get through all of the Corker-Hoeven amendment, though the Senate is set to vote on it Monday afternoon. The bill, which runs nearly 1,200 pages, is seen as a virtual rewrite of the Gang of Eight’s legislation, aimed at strengthening border security measures to bring more Republicans on board.

“I can’t tell you I’ll read every word,” Cardin said over the weekend. The Maryland senator added that he “already read a great part of the bill,” and will “closely scrutinize” any changes to border security.

Bob Corker sent out a statement yesterday that only 119 pages are new material, though.  Much of the amendment replaces text in the original bill with identical language:

“I’ve seen reports of a ‘1,200 page bill’ no one has read or had time to read.

To be clear, the tough border and interior enforcement provisions that Senator Hoeven and I offered on Friday make up 119 pages added to the 1,100 pages that have been public since May,” said Senator Corker.

He said the Hoeven-Corker amendment “mandates an unprecedented surge of security at the southern border, implements tough interior enforcement to curb de facto amnesty, and helps prevent abuse of federal benefits.”

He also said he wanted to “clarify misleading reports that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano would not be required to build an additional 350 miles of fencing along the southern U.S. border under the Hoeven-Corker Border Security amendment:”

Senator Corker said, “I don’t know how to make it any clearer. If the Hoeven-Corker amendment becomes law, 10 years must pass and there must be 700 miles of pedestrian fencing and 20,000 additional border patrol agents along the southern border before a Green Card is issued to those with RPI status.  Reports that say otherwise are misleading.”

Will that matter?  Not according to National Journal’s Fawn Johnson, who declares immigration reform dead for the year no matter what happens this week in the Senate.  The House isn’t even close to having a bill to even debate much less take a vote to approve, and the calendar suggests the lower chamber never will:

After senators get the bill done – probably in time to make their weekend barbeques — they have a weeklong July 4 break. And then they get to wait for colleagues on the other side of the Capitol who will have four weeks – four weeks – to deliberate before Congress takes off for an even lengthier recess in August. Once Washington meets autumn, immigration falls off the priority track thanks to the reemergence of fiscal crisis.

The House Judiciary Committee has yet to tackle the most difficult issues on immigration—what to do with the current undocumented population and how to handle the future flow of low-skilled immigrants. There are no signs that the committee is working on any such bills. We don’t know who would sponsor them or, on the off chance that someone actually puts pen to paper, that such measures could even get out of committee.

What about the House floor? The best hope for the immigration legislation to continue moving forward would be an “immigration week” in the House in July, in which members vote on several different bills to set up a far more conservative proposal than the solution posed in the Senate.

That means there will be no companion bill to match up against the Senate’s immigration reform before the recess.  What happens when everyone returns in September?  Congress has to face the debt-ceiling issue and pass a budget, which will be all the more complicated because of the coming ObamaCare mandates:

When lawmakers return to the Capitol in September, they will be facing another financial crisis as they debate raising the country’s debt ceiling. The four- to six-week countdown toward extreme limitations on government payments to Social Security or military operations will do two things: It will suck all the life out of any deliberative legislative effort, immigration included, and it will polarize the political parties. It will be far from fertile ground for the biggest immigration overhaul in 30 years.

There are two ways in which this gets bypassed.  One is for John Boehner to simply put the Senate bill up for a floor vote, but his GOP colleagues would strongly resist that — regardless of whether it would pass or fail.  Either way, it creates risk for Republicans, and they’d be better off developing their own version for Boehner to float.  The other is to pass a more conservative comprehensive bill and throw it to a conference committee, but the House is so far away from that possibility (as Johnson points out) that it would have to be a shell bill.

The situation in the House may well impact the results in the Senate.  Republicans in conservative states may decide that it’s not worth the trouble to support the Gang of Eight if the political damage doesn’t produce anything at the end of the process, while Republicans in moderate states may well jump on the bandwagon without fear that their vote will matter much in the end except on scorecards.

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Comment pages: 1 2

The fact that this legislation will still NOT solve the same problem we are faced with now – that it will still allow 75% of the annual migration of Illegals into the US now after it is signed (according to the CBO), that it will NOT guarantee a secure border,& that it will lower the salaries of US citizens while slightly raising the pay of illegals should be enough to ensure its being voted down….

however, our politicians, their Special Interest groups, & their parties have their own agendas & welfare in mind, not ours or what is best for this nation!

easyt65 on June 24, 2013 at 1:25 PM

Those are the words of Chuck Schumer and Marco Rubio too. They don’t mean amnesty either. ;)

xblade on June 24, 2013 at 1:22 PM

Ed has never impressed me as a squish. But I will leave it to him to clarify.

dogsoldier on June 24, 2013 at 1:26 PM

Ed’s exact words on this:

I have always had a borders-and-visas-first, all-else-is-negotiable position on immigration reform. The reason I’m writing this now … again … is that our window for even getting that much is closing.

dogsoldier on June 24, 2013 at 1:29 PM

Ed’s exact words on this:

I have always had a borders-and-visas-first, all-else-is-negotiable position on immigration reform. The reason I’m writing this now … again … is that our window for even getting that much is closing.

dogsoldier on June 24, 2013 at 1:29 PM

The current laws are not enforced, so let’s trade more laws that aren’t enforced for amnesty. Yay, Woohoo! /s

Fenris on June 24, 2013 at 1:38 PM

In a television ad, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) says that immigrants with provisional status will “have to be able to support themselves so they will never become a public charge.” But the bill waives that requirement for anyone who is attending high school, getting a high school equivalency degree, attending college, in job training, taking care of a child, over 60, or unemployed through no fault of their own. That covers everyone. To stay in the U.S. and qualify for a green card, you need to be working except if you’re not. See Sec. 245C(b).

This means that Mexican seniors can come to America, or be brought by their children, go on welfare, food stamps, housing assistance, Obamaphones, and Medicaid and stay there for the rest of their lives.

This means that Mexican mothers can come to America and go on welfare, food stamps, housing assistance, Obamaphones, WIC and Medicaid, and stay there forever.

slickwillie2001 on June 24, 2013 at 1:40 PM

The fact that this legislation will still NOT solve the same problem we are faced with now – that it will still allow 75% of the annual migration of Illegals into the US now after it is signed (according to the CBO), that it will NOT guarantee a secure border,& that it will lower the salaries of US citizens while slightly raising the pay of illegals should be enough to ensure its being voted down….

however, our politicians, their Special Interest groups, & their parties have their own agendas & welfare in mind, not ours or what is best for this nation!

easyt65 on June 24, 2013 at 1:25 PM

The ‘problem’ that we are faced with now is trivial compared to all the new problems this fart of a bill will replace.

The status quo is far better than this bill. Odd, I can say the same about ObamaKare.

slickwillie2001 on June 24, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Security and e-verify (or equivalent) first, then amnesty.

Even though we don’t want any amnesty at all. But ok, security first, and for several years (like 5), then amnesty.

There’s no other way of doing it that is not going to kill the Republican party demographically. There’s no way more than a quarter of these fertile low income new voters are going to vote Republican. It’s going to be in their interest to push for getting some of the largess of the richer half: redistribution. I know, the Dems will say that that kind of redistribution is the right thing to do anyway. So, to speed up an otherwise more painful process, why don’t we just tilt our country and let the redistributive $ flow directly to Mexico. Direct infusion redistribution, forget going just part way now with this amnesty.

anotherJoe on June 24, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Anyone who is for this national travesty is a Traitor!!!

Schadenfreude on June 24, 2013 at 1:44 PM

The Joe Isuzu GangBang Eight – When it comes to border security – you’ve got their word on it!

VorDaj on June 24, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Its disgusting how lawless we’re becoming. Imagine Schumer’s reaction if we stopped paying taxes.
How twisted is it that rights that are spelled out in the Constitution are trampled, while made up rights like abortion and gay “marriage” are all of a sudden sacrosanct and actually trump our enumerated rights. Enough of this nonsense.

Iblis on June 24, 2013 at 1:57 PM

This means that Mexican mothers can come to America and go on welfare, food stamps, housing assistance, Obamaphones, WIC and Medicaid, and stay there forever.

slickwillie2001 on June 24, 2013 at 1:40 PM

That’s in the amendment. I posted part of it Saturday night I think.

And then, Oh and BTW secretary DHS can change her mind and do what she wants.

Oh and she can delegate he authority under the bill to HHS, state DOJ, wait a sec…

Page 114:

11 SEC. 1118. SEVERABILITY AND DELEGATION.
12 (a) SEVERABILITY.—If any provision of this Act or
13 any amendment made by this Act, or any application of
14 such provision or amendment to any person or cir
15 cumstance, is held to be unconstitutional, the remainder
16 of the provisions of this Act and the amendments made
17 by this Act and the application of the provision or amend
18 ment to any other person or circumstance shall not be af
19 fected.
20 (b) DELEGATION.—The Secretary may delegate any
21 authority provided to the Secretary under this Act or an
22 amendment made by this Act to the Secretary of Agri
23 culture, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Defense,
24 the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Sec
25 retary of State, or the Commissioner of Social Security.

Everyone shoould get a copy of the PDF and post the bits they find the most onerous. We could have a contest or something. It will be tough to judge! The entire thing is a stinking pile.

dogsoldier on June 24, 2013 at 1:58 PM

Keep melting the phones.

To call your Member of Congress:
US Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121

To locate your Member on-line:

U.S. House of Representatives: http://www.house.gov

U.S. Senate: http://www.senate.gov

PappyD61 on June 24, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Ed’s exact words on this:

I have always had a borders-and-visas-first, all-else-is-negotiable position on immigration reform. The reason I’m writing this now … again … is that our window for even getting that much is closing.

dogsoldier

Exactly. You made my point. He HAD a borders-and-visa-first position. He’s ok with abandoning that position now based on some mythical argument about the window closing. And then he goes on to agree with the Hispanic republican he quoted who says the only way Hispanics will listen to republicans on things like the economy is to grant them amnesty.

And these are also his words:

While we still have a seat at the table, we need to get immigration reform resolved and off the table so that we can start addressing economic policies — and give voters an opening to listen.

And more words from Ed:

If we continue to punt on border security over an insistence that 11 million people will have to leave the country in order to stay here, we risk losing any influence over the solution with another bad electoral cycle.

He’s ok with the bill, and he makes it clear, if not implicit, in pretty much every post he makes on the issue. He’s ok with any bill that he imagines will get the issue off the table, which is about as silly an argument as one can make. Maybe one day he’ll actually admit it, but I don’t need him to admit it to know where he stands.

Of course I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Time will tell.

xblade on June 24, 2013 at 2:00 PM

slickwillie2001 on June 24, 2013 at 1:40 PM

I notice one of the pro amnesty groups is using an ad with Rand Paul in it and I believe he has decided to vote against the bill.

Cindy Munford on June 24, 2013 at 2:04 PM

“Immigration reform”——-THAT is spin from the Ruling Class.

Like “Healthcare reform” or “Climate change legislation” or “Paycheck Fairness”. All cutesy little buzzwords that can be used to hide the real purpose.

Let’s tell it like it is.

Amnesty is nothing more than to provide continued cheap labor for the big businesses that own Washington D.C. and those that depend on them. It’s going to flood the country with another 30 million illegal immigrants. We’re going to see a continued rise of militant Mexican/Chicanos and a push to create sometype of homeland (Aztlan) for them in their native lands (the “occupied” Southwest).

And at the rate we’re going Antonio Villagiarosa in California will be the Governor of the state that gets to transition it over to it’s new owners. Maybe the same way Rubio would do if he were in charge in the Oval Office.

BAD, BAD, BAD.

Melt the phones, people……..

To call your Member of Congress:
US Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121

PappyD61 on June 24, 2013 at 2:06 PM

The current laws are not enforced, so let’s trade more laws that aren’t enforced for amnesty. Yay, Woohoo! /s

Fenris on June 24, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Well, that’s what gungrabbers demand.

Life would be utterly boring without LibLogic© … granted, it would be a helluva lot safer.

lol

Resist We Much on June 24, 2013 at 2:12 PM

I notice one of the pro amnesty groups is using an ad with Rand Paul in it and I believe he has decided to vote against the bill.

Cindy Munford on June 24, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Zuckerberg’s advocacy group is spending many millions on radio ads on the same stations with conservative talk radio shows featuring Rubio, Ryan and now Rand as you point out. The ads are dishonestly made to sound like they come from conservatives. I doubt if they have their permission.

About all I’ve been able to determine from the ad though, is that if we don’t pass this law it will be very, very windy on the border with Mexico. Not sure how that works.

slickwillie2001 on June 24, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Immigration reform doomed?

I certainly hope so. It’s basic learning psychology that you don’t reward bad behavior–and the simple act of ILLEGALLY breaking into a country (usually accompanied by further illegal activity such as false names and forged documents–not to mention often carrying contraband drugs as part of the ‘deal”)qualifies as bad behavior. When bad behavior is reinforced positively it not only means that we can expect further bad behavior from those so reinforced, but you are ENVIRONMENTALLY REINFORCING OTHERS to also break the law (halo reinforcing—relatives, friends and even bystanders see that illegals can “get away with it” so why can’t they? Expect a giant influx of illegals to bury us if amnesty is granted.

MaiDee on June 24, 2013 at 2:12 PM

xblade on June 24, 2013 at 2:00 PM

I may be wrong, but I bet he has not been through the immigration process himself.

Christien on June 24, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Of course I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Time will tell.

xblade on June 24, 2013 at 2:00 PM

You could be correct. Some issues and some situations require one to be stubborn. Our laws are worth defending and insisting that they be obeyed is to our credit.

If they weren’t good laws why were they written? They are not enforced because they are politically inconvenient.

The socialists saw their grip on power slip in 2010. They saw Scott Browne get elected because people thought he was conservative. They saw,and their hearts were filled with cold icy fear.

Now they want the means to guarantee a socialist stranglehold on our government and the GOP is helping them.

dogsoldier on June 24, 2013 at 2:17 PM

So, Rubio outed himself as a traitor for no reason at all????

A traitor I can understand.

But, a stupid traitor… unforgivable.

faraway on June 24, 2013 at 2:19 PM

Rubio makes Desi Arnez look like Albert Einstein

TexasJew on June 24, 2013 at 2:33 PM

Obviously I care how they vote in the Senate but my feeling is vote out everyone who expressed support of this bill or amnesty in general. This has been a wake-up call, we’ve seen a lot of backstabbing from supposedly conservative members, hopefully people see this as a call for cleaning House… and Senate.

Ukiah on June 24, 2013 at 12:34 PM

The Repub senators that vote for this crap should be unelected asap!

Deano1952 on June 24, 2013 at 12:39 PM

While we are monitoring the Amnesty votes in the Senate, here is a handy list of the Senators who are up for re-election in 2014.

Highlight those Senators on your list who support Amnesty, so we will know which ones need to have a candidate challenge them in the Primary election. Then any that we miss in the Primary will need to be voted out of office in the General Election.

U.S. Senators who are up for re-election in 2014 (Class II) – 33

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?Class=2

Republicans (13)

Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) – Not running for re-election

Thad Cochran (R-MS)

Susan Collins (R-ME)

John Cornyn (R-TX)

Michael Enzi (R-WY)

Lindsey Graham (R-SC) – Richard Cash is running against Gang of 8 member Sen. Graham in the Republican Primary http://www.richardcashforsenate.com/

James Inhofe (R-OK)

Mike Johanns (R-NE) – Not running for re-election

Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

James Risch (R-ID)

Pat Roberts (R-KS)

Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

Democrats (20)

Max Baucus (D-MT) – Not running for re-election

Mark Begich (D-AK)

Christopher Coons (D-DE)

Richard Durbin (D-IL)

Al Franken (D-MN)

Kay Hagan (D-NC)

Tom Harkin (D-IA) – Not running for re-election

Tim Johnson (D-SD) – Not running for re-election

John Kerry (D-MA) – Special Election to replace John Kerry is on June 25. Gabriel Gomez (R) vs. Ed Markey (D)

Mary Landrieu (D-LA)

Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) – Deceased. Special Primary election in August. General election in October.

Carl Levin (D-MI) – Not running for re-election

Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

Mark Pryor (D-AR)

Jack Reed (D-RI)

John Rockefeller IV (D-WV) – Not running for re-election

Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)

Mark Udall (D-CO)

Tom Udall (D-NM)

Mark Warner (D-VA)

All of the members of the House of Representatives are up for re-election in 2014. So once the Amnesty vote reaches the House, we can start our list of who needs to be voted out of office in the House.

Clean the House and the Senate in 2014!

wren on June 24, 2013 at 2:46 PM

KILL THIS BILL!

workingclass artist on June 24, 2013 at 2:47 PM

Keep melting the phones.

To call your Member of Congress:
US Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121

I called, got one ring and then silence. Just as well when my senators are BOXER and FEINSTEIN.

leftnomore on June 24, 2013 at 2:48 PM

Obviously I care how they vote in the Senate but my feeling is vote out everyone who expressed support of this bill or amnesty in general. This has been a wake-up call, we’ve seen a lot of backstabbing from supposedly conservative members, hopefully people see this as a call for cleaning House… and Senate.

Ukiah on June 24, 2013 at 12:34 PM

I no longer care about specific Senators. I have made it plain to GOP leadership that I will hold the entire GOP responsible if this bill passes. You don’t get the cover of saying “I know it passed, but I voted against it.” Stop it, or I’m done with you. Period.

Chris of Rights on June 24, 2013 at 2:51 PM

Boehner should just do what Reid does every time the Republicans want to vote in the senate…don’t allow a vote. Problem solved and hopefully RINOs replaced in 2014.

cajunpatriot on June 24, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Call Boehner or your Senator – or ANY Senator or Congressman – for free, using a liberal open borders front group’s toll free number

1-888-979-7506

option 1 then Zip code for your Congressman
option 2 for Senators, then your ZIP code,
then use option 0 for Capitol switchboard and ask for anyone in DC

and open borders PICO front group pays for your call!!

http://www.piconetwork.org/issues/immigration

fred5678 on June 24, 2013 at 4:07 PM

cajunpatriot on June 24, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Boehner has the spine of a jellyfish.

annoyinglittletwerp on June 24, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Just found this interesting little tidbit……

http://washingtonexaminer.com/illegal-immigrants-who-commit-crimes-face-lesser-punishment-than-u.s.-citizens/article/2532306

One set of laws for Americans and legal immigrants…another set for illegal aliens.
And, btw, McCain lied about this, too.

Solaratov on June 24, 2013 at 4:20 PM

ANYONE in the House or Senate who votes for that POS legislation should be driven from office AND shipped to Mexico on the next available flight.

GarandFan on June 24, 2013 at 5:39 PM

Keep melting the phones.

To call your Member of Congress:
US Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121

To locate your Member on-line:

U.S. House of Representatives: http://www.house.gov

U.S. Senate: http://www.senate.gov

PappyD61 on June 24, 2013 at 1:59 PM

Thanks, Pappy. I just wrote to my rep., Mick Mulvaney — if he votes si for immigration, he gets a no vote from me. Straight up.

I’ll be writing in ‘Snoopy’ in place of Lindsey Grahamesty when it comes his turn. The former has more brains — by far.

Conservchik on June 24, 2013 at 7:47 PM

cajunpatriot on June 24, 2013 at 3:36 PM

Boehner has the spine of a jellyfish.

annoyinglittletwerp on June 24, 2013 at 4:08 PM

Well said. Add to that, he’s a piece of orange dung. Cantor is a sleeze, and McCarthy is just a cardboard cutout.

Conservchik on June 24, 2013 at 7:51 PM

Electorily speaking, repukicans, be very afraid. We’re going to vote your lieing azzes out.

For real

Conservchik on June 24, 2013 at 7:54 PM

We are witnessing the trashing of the meaning of being an American citizen and what it takes to become one by legal immigration. It is up for sale to the highest bidders, with the money being accepted by those we elected to represent us as a country. Shame on the lot of them.

Kissmygrits on June 24, 2013 at 8:06 PM

According to the Border Patrols own stats and studies, simply increasing the number of agents won’t increase either apprehensions or returns.

“Enforcement” means much more than border control. By far the largest number of illegals here got here legally and just never went home. It’s difficult to track the day traffic from Mexico and Canada, but there are “track and trace” means available to better manage the student, work, and tourist visa entrants.

Making “e-Verify” universal will help, too, but I am suspicious until I see the final wording on it. The “Gang of 8″ bill actually watered down the existing e-Verify requirements and only promised vaguely to implement them down the road.

BOTTOM LINE: We won’t get fooled again, no, no, no! Show us enforcement that works, and THEN and only then will the other aspects of reform (which are needed, although citizenship should NOT be a reward for illegal behavior) be considered.

Adjoran on June 24, 2013 at 11:54 PM

Well, let’s hope they are right that there is not enough time to turn the House onto this. That way at least the Senators can say they tried (to ruin the country).

virgo on June 25, 2013 at 12:33 AM

If this insanity continues, lets change our names en masse to Garcia, Lopez, etc. quit paying taxes, and start playing dull sports.

trl on June 25, 2013 at 9:44 AM

Senator Corker said, “I don’t know how to make it any clearer. If the Hoeven-Corker amendment becomes law, 10 years must pass and there must be 700 miles of pedestrian fencing and 20,000 additional border patrol agents along the southern border before a Green Card is issued to those with RPI status. Reports that say otherwise are misleading.”

THIS IS A “RED HERRING” TO DISTRACT FROM THE FACT THAT “RPI STATUS” IS AMNESTY!!!

Nobody who has “RPI STATUS” will NEED a “Green Card”!!! They can work anywhere, and will be preferred new hires because they are exempt from Obamacare…and thus less expensive to employ than US Citizens and legal immigrants!!!

landlines on June 25, 2013 at 3:20 PM

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