This column by ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight was published June 17, 2013 on The Washington Times website.
It doesn’t matter whether the Republican-led House passes good, workable immigration legislation.
The bill would have to go to a House-Senate conference committee, where Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would almost certainly trash border enforcement and ensure mass amnesty for an estimated 11 million illegal aliens, also known as “unregistered Democrats.”
This would be followed quickly by a mass influx of more illegals through family ties and midnight border crossings, and the beginning of the drive for yet more immigration “reform.”
A selling point of the Senate version is that it creates hoops for illegals to jump through that would mean waiting years to get on the path to citizenship, behind those already in line legally. The moment such a bill was signed, however, Democrats would introduce a new bill to speed up the process. Anyone opposed will be branded a heartless bigot.
Knowing all this, it’s astonishing to watch the Republican leadership buy into the idea that they can “fix” the bill. This is despite clear evidence that the Democrats are more interested in stoking resentment for political purposes. As columnist Wesley Pruden has pointed out in this newspaper, Mr. Reid’s rough treatment of Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley’s border-security amendment speaks volumes. Either the GOP agrees to a toothless bill–or else.
Recall that three years ago, Mr. Reid took House Resolution 3590, about an entirely different topic, gutted it, filled it with 2,700 pages of Obamacare, renamed it and jammed it through despite its failure to attract a single GOP vote for the final version. What makes the House leadership think that their amnesty bill reforms would survive conferencing?
On immigration, the best thing the House could do right now is nothing. The immigration “crisis” did not emerge overnight, and it will take years to sort out. The United States needs a secure border and hard-working, legal immigrants, not anarchy. But Democrats and big-business Republicans are hoping to stampede the House GOP leadership into committing political suicide. Flooding America with millions more people who have no understanding of constitutional, limited government is a fast track to dependency, one-party rule and socialism.
Consultants who masterminded Mitt Romney’s defeat point to the pathetic 27 percent Hispanic vote for the Republican ticket in 2012, and predict that if the GOP embraces Democratic New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer’s Gang of Eight immigration bill, the GOP total of the Hispanic vote could rise to as much as the estimated 44 percent that George W. Bush managed in 2004.
In my math book, that means the Democrats will consistently garner the other 56 percent of the vote and probably more for the foreseeable future. How that strengthens the GOP’s hand is something that Democratic strategists don’t want us turnips to think about too long. They and their compliant editorialists insist that immigration reform is in the best interest of the Republican Party, right up there with a mass issuance of elephant-hunting licenses.
Good people who are tempted to confer amnesty in the name of compassion need to think back to 2008 through 2010. That’s when the Democrats controlled the White House and both branches of Congress. They cooked up Obamacare and the Dodd-Frank financial fiasco. They would have adopted Al Gore’s government-run carbon-credit system if coal-state Democrats hadn’t cooled to the idea of writing their own political epitaphs.
Rep. Louie Gohmert, Texas Republican, has an immediate solution to the immigration problem: “Secure the border and enforce visas under current law.”
Of course, when Arizona officials tried to do that, the Obama administration slapped them silly. The same Justice Department that illegally shipped to Mexican drug cartels 2,000 guns that were used to kill hundreds of people, including an American border agent, sued Arizona in federal court. With a straight face, the Justice Department argued that Arizona violated the Constitution by upholding federal law.
The immigration gambit is part of an overall political game plan that has become strikingly obvious:
Print billions of dollars to keep Wall Street happy while the Main Street economy caves under the weight of thousands of new regulations and impending Obamacare taxes.
Issue misleading reports about unemployment that seriously underestimate the number of people out of work.
Make as many people dependent on government as possible. Begin by adding millions of people to achieve a shocking 50 percent increase in food-stamp recipients.
Drop the Internal Revenue Service like a wet blanket over the surge of Tea Party energy that proved so effective in 2010. Continue to harass the Tea Party and other conservative groups to this day, selectively denying nonprofit status and frightening away donors who fear audits.
Speaking of audits, single out leaders like True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht and her family’s company with at least 17 investigations from the IRS and several other federal agencies. That will teach her to mind her own business and stop trying to ensure clean elections. Oops. She’s not quitting. Darn.
Pour billions of dollars into “green” companies run by Democratic donors and bundlers.
Use the Justice Department to strike down voter photo-ID laws while falsely accusing conservatives of wanting to “suppress the minority vote.” See earlier item on Catherine Engelbrecht on how to punish anti-vote-fraud activism.
Finally, rely on the media to pretend that the growing abuses of power in Washington, including the Benghazi, Libya, killings and cover-up, the IRS scandal, Fast and Furious, and the NSA’s massive personal-data grab, have nothing to do with “the most transparent administration in history.” These are the people we’re supposed to trust on immigration reform.
What’s that? The media are ticked that the Justice Department seized Associated Press reporters’ phone records and labeled Fox News reporter James Rosen as a possible criminal co-conspirator?
They’ll get over it. Or maybe they’ll start doing their job, such as reporting the real costs of illegal immigration.