The quarterbacks: tantrum-throwing McCain crony Lindsey Graham and open-borders turncoat Mel Martinez. That’s almost reason enough to oppose it.
GOP negotiators of an immigration reform bill are crafting a large border security amendment with mandatory, immediate funding that they hope will assuage concerns of both Republicans and Democrats, FOX News has learned…
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a principle author of the amendment with Republican Sens. Jon Kyl and Mel Martinez, says his amendment is designed to be “a confidence builder” to address members’ concerns that ramped up border security provisions in the bill won’t, in the end, get funded.
Graham hopes to provide $4.4 billion the day the bill is signed, through an estimate in fees and fines in the current immigration bill, to be used to beef up all the border security measures in the bill, with an additional $800 million for further measures, taking from measures put forward last year by New Hampshire Sen. Judd Gregg who called for more investment in capital infrastructure, like unmanned aerial vehicles and new Coast Guard boats…
Graham said this $4.4 billion would be borrowed from the Treasury and repaid once the fines and fees from the bill are collected, like the $5,000 fine each illegal has to pay for a work visa, called a “Z visa.” Graham said it would be better to do it this way, rather than an emergency funding bill, which goes directly to increasing the deficit…
Visa overstays will become a crime under the Graham-Kyl-Martinez amendment, and repeat offenders would face mandatory jail time, deportation, and a ban from ever re-entering the U.S. It is unclear what Democratic negotiators like Sen. Edward Kennedy will do. He has not supported this kind of stiff penalty in the past.
Graham would also forever bar employers from participating in the guest worker program if they have violated immigration laws repeatedly.
You know what would have been a real “confidence builder”? If the ’86 amnesty had accomplished even a shred of what it was supposed to. As it is, they’re going to end up doing here what they always do when it comes to border enforcement — make promises, appropriate money, and then follow through on a tiny fraction of it, thereby giving St. John another plum opportunity to nod grimly in faux indignant solidarity with voters wanting to know why exactly two miles of fence thus far has been built. Kaus:
As Kate O’Beirne points out, the proposal seems much more like a transparent ploy to give these senators pro-enforcement cover so they can vote for the bill. I think veteran comprehensivist Sen. McCain even publicly suggested this maneuver. … Democracy works, but for Senators eager to please business lobbyists, pander to Latinos–and who have secret contempt for their constituents–it will be a last resort.
O’Beirne has the only acceptable compromise, which isn’t a compromise at all: results at the border first, amnesty second. Anything else is cause for staying home next year.