Noah covered some of Reid’s presser last night but this golden soundbite should be preserved for history. Why would he say it? Why, in the middle of a border crisis that’s playing on cable news 24/7 right now, would he belch up a talking point that the public knows for a fact isn’t true? Krauthammer thinks this guy’s off his meds, but I’m not sure why. As noted yesterday, the lie at the heart of immigration reform is that Democrats are willing to secure the border if only Republicans will cooperate on legalizing illegals who are already here. The border crisis has put that claim to a test in an unusually vivid way. Reid can either support speedier deportations for kids from Central America or he can drop any pretense that he cares about deterring illegal immigration. He’s now made his choice, as you’re about to see. And, per Noah’s post, it looks like the Democrats in both chambers will be with him, blocking an enforcement bill that would very slowly increase the feds’ power to deport young illegal immigrants. E.g., via Breitbart:
We are all connected. We can't just build a wall or a fence and say no more. This is America. Our doors are open. #AskDems
— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) July 15, 2014
You know what? I’m not so sure “the border is secure” is even the nuttiest thing Reid says here. At one point he objects to the Cornyn/Cuellar bill because it supposedly addresses too many subjects extraneous to the border crisis. That’s high irony from a guy who leads a caucus that has always insisted on larding up border security bills with amnesty components, and who, clearly, would relish a conference committee on a modest reform bill in hopes of making it much broader. The left is concerned with security only — only — to the extent that it serves as a vehicle for the rest of their agenda wishlist. At another point he claims that the Gang of Eight bill, had it passed the House, would have solved this problem. Er, no, it wouldn’t have, as co-sponsor Marco Rubio admits. (Why Rubio would have backed a bill that, by his own account, would be ineffective at the border is a separate question.) The chief, albeit not only, enforcement problem here is the loophole in the child trafficking law that lets young migrants from noncontiguous countries stay put in the U.S. while they await a deportation hearing. The Gang of Eight didn’t deal with that. But Reid wants to pretend because, again, his goal here is a mass amnesty, not border security. If he can convince undecideds that this border crisis actually proves that we need the fraud known as comprehensive immigration reform, it’ll all have been worth it.
Oh, and note how he says that, when push comes to shove, he thinks Obama can do what he needs to do on security through executive action. There’s a bill on the table that would close part of the child-trafficking loophole, but rather than do his job and risk a tough vote for his party, Reid wants to punt the Senate’s responsibility to His Majesty and let him deal with it. Think he’ll be upset when O decides to nuke the legislative process entirely and issue that executive amnesty he’s been threatening?
Exit question via Erick Erickson: Weren’t we told more than once by amnesty fans during the Gang of Eight debate that illegal immigration was now net zero (thanks to a poor U.S. economy) and would never explode again? That was the other prong of the “border is secure” lie — not only couldn’t illegals get here even if they wanted to, but they no longer wanted to. What happened to that?