All of the concerns above are problematic on their own, but they are rendered especially troublesome by the fact that the legalization of millions of illegal immigrants happens first, immediately and irreversibly. If this bill should be signed into law, the amnesty would go into effect immediately, and the most that any of the so-called triggers would do is delay the process of allowing the formerly illegal immigrants to apply for green cards and citizenship. That is the fundamental flaw of Senator Rubio’s design, and none of his playing Hamlet about the issue is going to change that. The bill is not wrong only in its details, but in its fundamental architecture, including in its guest-worker program and increases in other categories of low-skilled workers.
The Gang of Eight bill does not serve the economic interests of the United States. The fact is that our public schools do an excellent job of producing an abundant supply of unskilled workers with little or no proficiency in English, and the national labor force is not achingly in need of a few million more. And in failing to ensure that the borders and ports of entry are truly and robustly secure, it shortchanges the national-security interests of the country as well. Neither changing green-card rules to accommodate domestic labor-market needs nor physically securing the border requires an amnesty for those illegal immigrants who are already present. Nor does implementing E-Verify and complying with existing law on entry-exit visas. In fact, there is not a single item on the productive-immigration-reform agenda that requires an amnesty for illegals — and, remarkably, nobody in this debate has made much of a serious attempt to explain how or why that amnesty is in the interests of the citizens of the United States.