Opposition strategy emerges: Hold Gang of Eight to its own words

And what about the Border Commission? When the bill was first introduced, Rubio and others claimed that if the Department of Homeland Security did not achieve border security, then a commission, made up of border-state governors, would have the authority to do the job itself. “If, in five years, the plan has not reached 100 percent awareness and 90 percent apprehension, the Department of Homeland Security will lose control of the issue and it will be turned over to the border governors to finish the job,” Rubio told radio host Mark Levin shortly after the bill was introduced.

But there are no such provisions in the bill. In the legislation, the Border Commission’s purpose would be to make “recommendations to the President, the Secretary, and Congress on policies to achieve and maintain the border security goal.” The commission would have six months to write a report “setting forth specific recommendations.” And then, when the report is finished, the commission “shall terminate 30 days after the date on which the report is submitted.” That’s all it does. There’s nothing in the bill requiring the commission to finish the job of border security, and indeed it would have no authority to do so.

So what if a Republican filed an amendment that would empower the commission to enforce border security, stipulating that the 100 percent-90 percent structure must be in place before any green cards are awarded? It seems likely some supporters of the bill would strongly oppose such a requirement.