Via the Daily Rushbo, I assume from the second clip below that Rubio didn’t persuade him in the first. He didn’t persuade me either. I’ve held off on posting over the last few days even though fellow border hawks Conn Carroll and Mickey Kaus have been tearing into the Gang of Eight’s plan because I wasn’t sure if the border-security “triggers” in the bill were as flimsy as they seem. There are two triggers, one right away to legalize illegals after DHS proposes a security plan and then another five or 10 years from now that’ll trigger the green card/citizenship process once the border is substantially secure. Opponents claim that the second trigger is phony: If DHS hasn’t hit its security target after five years, a “border commission” takes over and gets to try. After five more years of that, unless I’m missing something, the green-card process is triggered whether or not the commission’s succeeded. (If you read this post, you know all of this already.) I’ve been waiting for Rubio to explain why that’s incorrect, but skip below to 7:25 and listen. He doesn’t say it’s incorrect. What he says is that, if the “border commission” is necessary (which it will be), he trusts that the governors of Texas, Arizona, etc., will come up with something to make this work. There’s no absolute requirement that the border in fact be secured before the path to citizenship begins, just an assurance that we’ll get 10 years of effort of greater or lesser seriousness to make it happen. I thought Rubio’s whole shtick before this process began was that he’d walk away from a bill that didn’t make amnesty contingent upon actual border security. And yet here we are.
There is a potentially meaningful requirement in the bill for E-Verify, but there’s a loophole there too. Evidently, after 10 years, if the bill’s tied up in litigation (which it will be), the feds can begin the green-card process even if E-Verify hasn’t been universally imposed yet. That’s really all the “trigger” is — a 10-year wait period before amnesty begins in earnest, presumably acceptable to the Republicans in the Gang of Eight because it gives the party a full decade plus another five-year green-card waiting period after that to try (and fail) to turn those soon-to-be citizens into GOP voters. Ironically, Rubio insists here to Limbaugh that “If we are doing this for political reasons, we’re going to be disappointed.” That’s fair enough if you’re getting a meaningful policy victory from it, i.e. real border security. But we’re not. So what are we getting? No wonder Americans are so skeptical about reform.
Do note that, per Politico, supporters of the bill are pleasantly surprised by the lack of pushback they’ve gotten so far from the right. If you want to stop this train, you’d better speak up. It’s leaving the station. I’ll leave you with this from amnesty shill Frank Sharry, in case you’re still skeptical that the so-called triggers are as weak as they seem: “The triggers are based on developing plans and spending money, not on reaching that [border-security] effectiveness, which is really quite clever.”