Today’s Senate bill is gigantic because it deals with everything. Its size is proportional to Washington’s serene confidence that it knows everything. What should be the hourly wage of an agricultural sorter in 2016? The Senate bill (through an explanation given on page 318) says $9.84. And the hourly wage of a worker in a nursery? Twenty cents less than the agricultural sorter’s wage. Some senators know everything.
The bill also contains a remarkable geographical insight: Nevada is a border state. Your eyes tell you its southern tip is about 200 miles from the Mexican border, but the bill, which includes $46.3 billion in border security spending, decrees that Nevada is eligible for border pork.
Immigration reforms should address three problems — border security (the least important problem; about 40 percent of those here illegally came on visas they overstayed), the needs of America’s workforce and the status of the 11 million here illegally. If McConnell were majority leader, the bill would be broken into manageable bits, and there might be found a different majority coalition for each.