They’re going to vote on this monstrosity today in the Senate, and it’s going to pass by a wide margin even though the vast majority of the Senate hasn’t read it. It’s a 1,200-page piece of legislation; that fact on its own is an indication of whether it’s comprehensible and not full of poison.
The Heritage Foundation boils all of this down into a very simple infographic…
Meanwhile, John Fund has a solid piece at National Review on the ridiculous “Republicans either pass this or they’ll never be able to compete for the Hispanic vote” threat which is being passed around as a justification for the GOP support for making 12 million illegal aliens into Democrat voters…
And it’s not even clear that Hispanics who want immigration reform believe that a path to citizenship is the most important part of any reform package. Senator Ted Cruz (R., Texas), the son of a Cuban immigrant, says it’s a myth that Hispanics insist on including amnesty (or something resembling it) in any bill. He told me last week that his own polls showed that 68 percent of Hispanics in Texas supported more border security; when they were asked if they supported a pathway to citizenship or work permits without citizenship, a plurality of 46 percent of Texas Hispanics supported the permit system and only 35 percent favored a pathway to citizenship. “It’s a fraud being perpetrated on Republicans — that citizenship is the linchpin of immigration reform,” he says. “In reality, it’s the linchpin of Democratic efforts to expand their voter base.”
Comprehensive immigration reform is always the path Democrats insist we follow as the price for their backing any reform effort. But there are other ways to approach reform.
Indeed, the cause of reform could be fatally undermined if a comprehensive bill passes the Senate on short notice without adequate debate and little time to explain it. House members will be understandably miffed that they are expected merely to vote on what the Senate dumps into their lap.
It’s telling that the scare tactics deployed by the proponents of comprehensive immigration reform all revolve around politics: massive rallies on the Washington Mall and an angry Hispanic electorate. In reality, it might be the folks using the scare tactics who are the ones running scared. Maybe they’re afraid that the longer their bill is debated and the more sunshine it’s exposed to, the less likely the American people are to support it.
But while this “Republicans will never get the Mexican vote again” business is mind-blowingly stupid and simply not supported by any factual showing, it’s not hard to see what it’s a pantomime for. Because this ad is now making its way onto the tube today…
Who did that ad? The U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Interestingly enough, Rand Paul is now saying he’s not for the Gang of Eight bill, and yet the TV ad USCC just cut appropriates him as a backer of it. That’s a bit of a risk on their part.
And Paul, whose political skill continues to be evident, has to understand what this bill is doing to Rubio…
Rubio, the most visible advocate of the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform plan, is now viewed favorably by 58% of Republican voters nationwide. That down 10 points since May and 15 points since February. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 16% of GOP voters have an unfavorable opinion of him, while 25% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
The level of enthusiasm for Rubio has declined significantly. Today, just 21% of GOP voters have a Very Favorable opinion of the Florida senator. That’s down sharply from 44% in February and 31% in May.
Among all voters, 37% view Rubio favorably, down five points from February, while 35% have an unfavorable opinion of the first-term senator. Twenty-seven percent (27%) are undecided.
And the Chamber of Commerce crowd trotted out one of their more reliable Beltway Establishment Republican types to repeat the “sky is falling” meme on Fox News today…
So it’s going to pass in the Senate, and the Usual Suspects like Lindsey Graham and John McCain will run their mouths about how crucial it is for the House to pass a 1,200-page bill Graham and McCain haven’t even read.
But what’s most likely is the bill will die in the House, and maybe it will get broken up into a bunch of different bills instead. That will go nowhere in Harry Reid’s Senate, and nothing will get done.
The Democrats are fine with that, because they think they can beat on the GOP with immigration as a cudgel in the 2014 and 2016 elections. And that terrifies the Beltway GOP crowd – not because they think they’ll never get any Mexicans to vote for them again, but because they’re afraid of angering the DC business lobby who wants that cheap labor.
UPDATE: National Journal’s Fawn Johnson takes a look at the House calendar and concludes all this is much sound and fury, signifying nothing. This bill will never get a vote in the House…
After senators get the bill done – probably in time to make their weekend barbeques — they have a weeklong July 4 break. And then they get to wait for colleagues on the other side of the Capitol who will have four weeks – four weeks – to deliberate before Congress takes off for an even lengthier recess in August. Once Washington meets autumn, immigration falls off the priority track thanks to the reemergence of fiscal crisis.
The House Judiciary Committee has yet to tackle the most difficult issues on immigration—what to do with the current undocumented population and how to handle the future flow of low-skilled immigrants. There are no signs that the committee is working on any such bills. We don’t know who would sponsor them or, on the off chance that someone actually puts pen to paper, that such measures could even get out of committee.
What about the House floor? The best hope for the immigration legislation to continue moving forward would be an “immigration week” in the House in July, in which members vote on several different bills to set up a far more conservative proposal than the solution posed in the Senate.