By: Erick Erickson (Diary)
| June 13th, 2013 RedState
So many conservatives have been dancing around the issue of
Senator Marco Rubio’s collaboration with Chuck Schumer to pass comprehensive
We have blamed his staff. We have blamed
Democrats. We all like and respect the Senator, even if we disagree on this
issue. We do not want to blame him for the mess the GOP now finds itself in
holding a legislative tiger by the tail.
But having, by virtue of my radio show,
listened over and over to those awful pro-immigration reform ads between my
monologues, I think we need to stop playing games.
I say this because either Marco Rubio is being
played the fool or we are being played the fool by Senator Rubio. He has become
the face of support for this legislation and much of the support of the
legislation from those on the right has come because of the good will so many
of us have for Senator Rubio.
I am in the awkward position of being to the
left of the Republican base. I support immigration reform that leaves most
non-felon illegal aliens in the United States and provides them a path to
legal work, though not citizenship. Citizenship is a step too far – as it
unjustly rewards illegal aliens who purposefully chose not to follow our
But, I know a number of illegal aliens and
represented a good many of them when I was a lawyer. They, having been unfairly
treated by others due to their status, relied on me to redress clear wrongs
These were good, hardworking people who wanted
to comply with the law, wanted to work, and wanted to send money home to
support families in their native countries. They did not want citizenship. They
wanted a paycheck. I am to the left of my readers in supporting their right to
stay here and earn a paycheck. I am to the left of my readers in that I oppose
mandatory E-Verify. In my mind, no employer should ever have to ask the
government if it can or cannot hire a worker.
But I am to the right of the Senate Republicans
and Senator Rubio. The solution they propose will do nothing to stem the tide
of illegal aliens coming into this country. This law will expand bureaucracy
and will, claims to the contrary notwithstanding, expand the welfare state.
What’s more, Senate Republicans and Democrats
are now collaborating on “improvements” to the legislation that do not actually
improve the law, but rather provide cover for various Democrats and Republicans
to make sure the votes are there for passage while ensuring those in tough
spots can still vote against it and claim they opposed what they really,
Senator John Cornyn, chief among the
Republicans now, is playing that game. He is offering up an amendment that
supposedly will secure the border before setting up a pathway to citizenship.
His amendment really does not do that, but provides a cover for Republicans to
claim the amendment, and the law once the amendment passes, would. In truth,
all Senator Cornyn has done is take the vast majority of the Gang of 8’s Title
1 “Border Security” Section, make a few modest revisions and slightly beef up
security on the margins. The result is to follow instant legalization with a
false impression of security, while maintaining the path to citizenship.
That brings us back to Senator Rubio. Is he
being played or is he playing us?
Contrary to the Americans for Conservative
Reform advertisement in which he appears, the law does not prohibit illegals
from getting benefits. Sure, some welfare benefits will be excluded as will,
though it is debatable, Obamacare, but a sizable portion of entitlement
benefits actually flow through tax credits in the tax code that these
immigrants would get.
Contrary to the advertisement, the law does
not secure the border in any meaningful way, in fact the “border security on
steroids” as the ad claims does not begin until after the citizenship push
starts, hence the pretend effort of John Cornyn now that this has been exposed.
Contrary to the advertisement, the law will grant
amnesty — it is a big play for citizenship even before the pretend efforts to
secure the border take place. It is the amnesty Senator Rubio opposed in 2010,
though in the advertisement he says we have right now “de facto amnesty”.
Senator Rubio, you, and I can agree to
disagree on the legislation. He is entitled to change his mind. He does not
deserve the invective hurled his way, including words like “traitor,” but then
neither do those who have opposed this legislation and are cast as modern day
eugenicists and racists.
The soundbites used in the Americans for
Conservative Reform ads occurred before the markup of the legislation. But now
we have the legislation before us as it was amended in committee. We should not
have the law misrepresented to us in commercials, press conferences, and floor
debates by any Senators on either side of the aisle. Sadly, that is what is
happening. Yes, Senator Schumer, you know damn well that this law will not
stop, but will encourage continued illegal immigration into this country. But
you do not care.
I am just shocked, knowing what we now know,
that Senator Rubio would continue to support this legislation and that other
conservative Senators would too.
This legislation is not the compromise
Republicans should sign on to. Republicans in the Senate should stop playing
games and vote against the legislation, vote against the Cornyn amendment, and
stop giving the Democrats cover to play their own political games with the
hopes, ambitions, and lives of immigrants.
This is bad legislation designed to fix a
problem it does not fix. No more games; it must be opposed.
Labels: Illegal Immigration