(Actually, this isn’t the Gang of Eight. It’s RNC Chairman Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL), Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Teddy Kennedy (D-Mass) gloating at the May 17, 2007 press conference announcing the Kennedy-Bush Amnesty/ Immigration Surge Bill. But what difference does it make? Graham is still there. And Martinez has been replaced by Rubio…can you tell them apart? By the way, Kennedy-Bush Amnesty/ Immigration Surge Bill failed disastrously).
The bipartisan “Gang of Eight” U.S. Senators (Charles Schumer D-N.Y., Richard Durbin D.-IL, Michael Bennet D-CO, Robert Menendez D-N.J., and Lindsay Graham R-SC, John McCain R-AZ, Jeff Flake R-Ariz. and of course the much-hyped Marco Rubio (R-FL) finally announced their amnesty plan on Monday, to the accompaniment of Main Stream Media ululations unprecedented except for those of us who remember the similar hoopla surrounding the Bush Amnesty proposal, which (as McCain has admitted) it essentially resembles.
In promoting his amnesty on the Mark Levin show last week, Rubio came up with what appeared to Levin to be a novel argument. Rubio claimed that by not enforcing the law, we currently have a “de facto amnesty”—which will continue unless we support his plan, which involves illegals supposedly paying a fine, community service, learning English and various other bits unenforceable window-dressing.
Levin, who has been solid on immigration in the past (and, it should be noted, has not come out in support of Rubio’s amnesty), found this argument compelling. He noted:
We have de facto amnesty right now. When he said it, it set a light bulb off. Maybe I am a little slow. I said, ‘Well he’s right, we do have de facto amnesty.’ Which is exactly why Obama wants to really do nothing.
Jennifer Rubin, the Washington Post’s token conservative and non-token fanatical immigration enthusiast, was ecstatic about Rubio’s supposed success in converting conservatives. She crowed:
“In fact the law-and-order argument, as we have pointed out a few times against immigration reform, has always been among the weakest objections. A system with coyote smugglers, forged paperwork, no enforcement and tax evasion is not law and order by any stretch of the imagination.”
[Rubio shows opposition to immigration reform is an inch deep, January 25, 2012]
The obvious riposte to Rubio’s argument: it sets up a false dichotomy between (1) the status quo and (2) amnesty with a fine. But no immigration patriots are saying that we must continue the status quo in the name of “law and order.” Rather, they insist that the government must crack down on the tax-evading illegals and their employers, the document forgers, and the coyotes.
To illustrate this argument’s absurdity, apply it to any other crime. Imagine there were thousands of fugitive rapists in the US and law enforcement was looking the other way and refusing to enforce the law. Then Marco Rubio would say: “We have de facto legalized rape right now. My plan is to pardon all the rapists provided they turn themselves in, pay a fine, and agree to take a class to learn to control their urges. If you don’t support this plan, you support the status quo.”
Moreover, despite Mark Levin’s “light bulb” moment, this argument is not novel. Thus in 2007, John McCain said “For us to do nothing is silent and de facto amnesty.” [GOP Candidates Shy Away From Bush, by Glen Johnson, Associated Press, June 6, 2007] Even Barack Obama has sold amnesty as a punishment, stating in 2010 that illegal immigrants
“must be required to admit that they broke the law. They should be required to register, pay their taxes, pay a fine, and learn English. They must get right with the law before they can get in line and earn their citizenship.”
[Remarks by the President on Comprehensive Immigration Reform, July 1, 2010]
Rubio and his allies can counter that, with President Obama in the White House, we cannot expect much enforcement of immigration law—certainly not enough to achieve attrition though enforcement a.k.a. “self-deportation.”
Of course this is true. But, nonetheless, the status quo is still much better than any sort of “comprehensive immigration reform”—for several reasons:
- 1. An amnesty will encourage more illegal immigration.
If we are to believe the government’s statistics, net illegal immigration has plateaued since the economic downturn. But, to use the preferred PC euphemism for illegals, they are “undocumented”— meaning that there is no way to prove how long they have been in the country. This means that, if an amnesty passes, millions of new illegals will cross the border intending to benefit from amnesty.
This is not just conjecture on my part. According to a Zogby/CIS poll, 56% of Mexicans said they or someone they knew would be more likely to enter the United States illegally if an amnesty were passed.
- 2. Amnestied illegals will be eligible for welfare
Illegal immigrants are, at least theoretically, banned from most means-tested welfare programs. Yes, these laws are not strictly enforced. But the fact that they exist scares off a large number of illegals—who will sign up for welfare if they get amnesty. The fiscal cost of this alone will far outweigh any fines that Rubio or Obama may have the illegals pay in exchange for amnesty
- 3. Amnestied illegals will be able to sponsor their relatives.
Illegals cannot sponsor their relatives for legal immigration. And, unlike the laws against welfare fraud, they cannot get around this reality. But as soon as amnestied illegals get a green card (and perhaps sooner, depending on what’s in the bill) they will be able to bring their immediate relatives in the country. And when they become citizens they can bring their extended family. In other words, amnesty will trigger a new wave of legal immigration.
- 4. Even without Federal Action, state laws will encourage some illegals to go home.
Although the state strategy appeared to stall, because of the GOP Establishment/ cheap labor-Slave Power push-back and because of a widely-misinterpreted Supreme Court ruling, Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina, and Georgia are still enforcing their tough anti-illegal immigration laws. I am hopeful that at least some other states will follow suit.
- 5. The status quo now does not have to be the status quo in 2017.
Once an illegal is granted amnesty, it will be virtually impossible to deport him. But even if the status quo continues for the next four years, we have a rational hope that, in 2017, President Kobach or President Barletta or some other statesman will take his oath of office seriously.
Of course, the disgraceful truth is that Rubio, Obama, and Rubin do not really care about any of these concerns. They just want more cheap labor, more cheap votes, and a faster dispossession of the historic American nation.
However, there are honest conservatives out there who may be getting duped. Dispelling this blatant lie will be crucial to blocking the Obama/Rubio amnesty.
“Washington Watcher” [email him] is an anonymous source Inside The Beltway.