The truth is, many Democrats don’t really care about meaningful reform of our immigration system. They are pushing a pork-laden Big Government power grab and hoping to demonize the Republican party in the process. If it fails, they get to demonize Republicans among Latino voters in the next election; if it passes, they will happily grant amnesty to millions of people without solving the fundamental problems with the current system. They see the Senate bill as a win-win.

So we find ourselves in a familiar cycle: Washington produces a massive bill full of pork and needlessly complex and unworkable rules and regulations that create more problems than they solve; then governors, businesses, and citizens are left to try to make sense of it and clean up the mess.

If and when the folks in Washington want to successfully reform our immigration system, they will have to accept the simple fact that it needs to be done in stages. An all-or-nothing approach will likely yield what it usually yields — nothing. It just takes three simple steps.

Step 1: Secure the border. Do this first. It’s time to get it done. We cannot trust bureaucrats or agencies to determine when the border is secured, so we should instead adopt a goal that can’t be manipulated — such as complete implementation of fencing, technology, and other security methods — and only then should we decide whether that approach has worked or not. …