Immigration reform effort immediately runs into a ditch
"On day one of our bill, the people without status who are not criminals or security risks will be able to live and work here legally."
With those words, Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer, who moments earlier had heaped effusive praise on Republican colleagues standing with him in the Senate press room, made it infinitely more difficult for many GOP lawmakers to sign on to the bipartisan immigration proposal put forward by the so-called Gang of Eight.
The problem is that giving instant legality -- it's now called "probationary legal status" -- clashes with the principle, deeply held among many conservatives and Republicans, that securing the border must come before creating a mechanism for legality and, ultimately, a path to citizenship for the roughly 11 million illegal immigrants already here.
Sen. John McCain, standing at Schumer's side, surely knows that. Back in 2007, as he ran for the Republican nomination for president, McCain ran into a torrent of opposition in the early caucus and primary states.
GOP voters didn't buy a "comprehensive" solution to illegal immigration. They wanted to see the border secured first. When a politician proposed to grant what critics called "amnesty," and also secure the border at the same time, the skeptics believed the "amnesty" would happen but the security would not.
"What I underestimated was the lack of trust and confidence in government," McCain said in November 2007. "I mean, I said time after time, 'We'll enforce the borders. We'll enforce the borders. Here's X billion dollars to do it. We'll enforce the borders.' They just didn't believe us."
So this time, Republicans, led by McCain and Sen. Marco Rubio, have insisted on provisions they claim will ensure the new system will be tough. "Individuals with probationary legal status will be required to go to the back of the line of prospective immigrants, pass an additional background check, pay taxes, learn English and civics, demonstrate a history of work in the United States, and current employment, among other requirements, in order to earn the opportunity to apply for lawful permanent residency," says the five-page bipartisan proposal.
But the bottom line is, those who are here illegally now, unless they have some sort of serious criminal record, will be made legal on the first day the new law takes effect. So wouldn't day-one legality be an incentive for more people to come to the U.S. illegally?
...I don't think they have the deterrence aspect worked out and I doubt it is something they can do because liberals really are not interested in that aspect of the law. Someone should ask them are they ready to schedule the next amnesty now to save time? There is also the issue of distrust of DHS management by the public as well as the people who work in that department. The unions representing ICE and the Border Patrol already have shown deep distrust on the issue of border security. If the people closest to the problem don't trust the DHS story, why should the rest of us?