The final vote in the Senate on the Hoeven-Corker-Schumer Amendment to the Gang Of Eight Amnesty bill was 67-27, and now the full bill will go before a vote on final passage.
And it will of course pass, on its way to the House.
Where it will die quietly in all likelihood – particularly after all the atrocious pieces of this 1,200-page boondoggle are exposed to the public.
There were 15 Republican dolts who voted for this thing and in all likelihood destroyed their political careers in the process…
Of that group, Alexander, Collins and Graham are running for re-election in 2014. It’s hard to imagine they won’t draw primary challengers.
Mary Landrieu also voted for the amendment, by the way. She’s now on record voting for legislation she hasn’t even read.
And when we get to read through this thing we’ll find out just how bad a vote Mary – and the 15 members of the Stupid Party who joined her – made today.
What we’ll learn will include the following…
False Promises on Security and Immigration
The authors of the amendment assert that, under the revised legislation, amnesty recipients could not move forward to obtain green cards and full access to the welfare/entitlement state unless specific “triggers” are met. Remarkably, the “triggers” in the amendment do not require a reduction in the number of illegal immigrants entering the country in future years. Nor do they have to be in place before an initial amnesty is granted to millions of illegal immigrants under the bill.
Under the amended S. 744, the number of future illegal immigrants entering and residing in the country can actually increase and amnesty recipients would still receive green cards and become eligible for citizenship. All this would come years after these illegal immigrants receive the initial registered provisional immigrant status.
The main trigger in S. 774 asserts that some 10 years in the future, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will certify that he/she has put in place technology and infrastructure that may at some future time provide “effective control” of the border. Critically, even 10 years after enactment, DHS does not have to actually achieve “effective control”; it merely has to assert that it has established a system that might achieve control at some point in the future.
Effective control in S. 744 has two components: “persistent surveillance” and an “effectiveness rate of 90 percent.” Persistent surveillance is undefined in the bill and is therefore meaningless.
An “effectiveness rate of 90 percent” means that at least 90 percent of attempted border crossings would be apprehended or turned back. Note again that even 10 years after enactment, DHS does not have to actually achieve an apprehension rate of 90 percent but merely assert that a plan to achieve it is “deployed and operational.” Moreover, since the number of attempted border crossings is unknown, the 90 percent apprehension rate would be nebulous even if it were achieved.
Another trigger requires that a detailed scheme of technology and infrastructure prescribed in section 5(a) of the bill must also be deployed and operational before green cards will be given to amnesty recipients. But paragraphs (4) and (5) of this section empower the Secretary to waive all of the detailed requirements, rendering the detailed border control plan spelled out by the amendment’s authors meaningless.
Establishing Real Border Security Metrics
Instead, there is a fair and objective way to measure the number of illegal immigrants entering the country: the Census Bureau’s annual American Community Survey (ACS).
Each year, DHS calculates the number of illegal immigrants residing in the U.S. using a well-established and widely accepted “residual” methodology. The residual method works as follows. First, DHS determines the number and characteristics of the legal immigrants who should be inside the country according to the number of visas actually issued. Second, the number and characteristics of all immigrants appearing in the ACS is determined. Immigrants in the survey in excess of the number of visas issued are deemed to be illegal. This method is currently used to produce the widely used estimate that there are at least 11.5 million illegal immigrants currently in the U.S.
Critically, the ACS identifies the year that an illegal immigrant entered the country according to the self-report of the immigrants themselves. Therefore, in the future, the ACS will enable DHS to identify the number of illegal immigrants who have entered the country each year after 2013.
Of course, the ACS is not a perfect measure. There are clearly a large number of illegal immigrants who reside in the U.S. but do not appear in the ACS. But the ACS at least offers an objective minimum measure of the net inflow of illegal immigrants based on an established methodology.
That’s just a taste. There’s a lot more – here’s Ted Cruz on the floor of the Senate with six reasons he didn’t vote for it…
The first and most important difference is this amendment provides legalization first and then border security maybe at some time in the future. We have seen this before. In 1986 it was the same promise congress made, and we got the legalization, we got the amnesty and we never, ever, ever got border security. In contrast, the amendment I introduced reflects the will of the American people to have border security first and only then the possibility of legalization.
Secondly, this amendment does not require operational control of the border. Current law requires that. This amendment weakens current law on operational control. My amendment would require that the problem actually be solved.
Thirdly, this amendment does not require a biometric entry-exit system. It weakens current law. Current law requires it. This amendment takes that out. Instead, it requires essentially a photo ID. I would suggest, madam president, for anyone who perhaps has known a teenager, you would know that the difficult of securing a fake ID with a picture on it is not very high. Any flea market in the land will allow it.
Fourth, this bill weakens the requirements of statutes on secure fencing. It weakens current law on border security.
Fifth, this amendment is not offset. My amendment was offset so it’s brand-new spending in this amendment with no offset.
And sixth, this amendment has no real enforcement. The amendment I introduced said if the changes within it on border patrol agent were not implemented within three years, 20 percent of the salary of political appointees at DHS would be reduced, 20 percent of the budget reduced and it would be block granted to the state to fix the problem.
Andrew Stiles at National Review notes some of the greasy, smelly pork used in the bill to lubricate its passage…
The Collins Cash-Out
The revised bill includes an amendment from Senator Susan Collins (R., Maine) that eliminates a requirement that at least 90 percent of funding for a new program to increase law-enforcement preparedness along U.S. borders be devoted to the southwest border region. Without the requirement, northern states will be eligible to receive more of those funds. Senator Jon Tester (D., Mont.) cosponsored the amendment.
The Alaska Purchase
Senators Lisa Murkowski (R.) and Mark Begich (D.) won a special carve-out for Alaska’s seafood-processing industry, which is referenced specifically in the amended legislation. For reasons that are not explained, the bill now stipulates that certain low-skilled jobs — specifically, ”seafood processing positions in Alaska” — are to be classified as ”shortage occupations,” which will make it easier for the industry to bring in cheap labor in the form of low-skilled and temporary workers. Alaska is the only state to receive special treatment along these lines.
The Socialist’s Slush Fund
Avowed socialist Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) has argued, as he and other liberal lawmakers did in 2007, that increasing the flow of low-skilled immigrants and temporary workers, which the current bill calls for, is unwise during a time of such high unemployment, particularly among the young and less educated. The revised version of the bill includes an amendment from Sanders to provide $1.5 billion in federal grants to state and local governments intended to fund job opportunities for (in Sanders’s words) 16- to 24-year-olds “who were hard hit by the Wall Street-caused recession.” The amendment is similar to a provision in President Obama’s much-touted jobs plan, the American Jobs Act.
There’s more. The bill makes it cheaper to hire illegals than Americans for the simple reason that by doing so a business will escape some $3,000 in penalties for not providing health insurance to their employees.
It also makes Hong Kong eligible for the Visa waiver program, which is supposed to be restricted to countries with which we have close reciprocal law enforcement ties – does it look like we have that in the aftermath of the Edward Snowden fiasco?
Oh – and we can cut Mary Landrieu a break for her geographic illiteracy now, as geography is now no longer applicable to the Senate as an institution since the “border state commission” the bill will create is going to include Nevada, which has the same sized border with Mexico that South Dakota has with Canada…
“This amendment ensures the commission created in the underlying bill is fully representative of issues affecting southern border and southwestern states,” Heller said. “Although Nevada does not touch the southern border, its current demographics and state issues are reflective of other southern border states and Nevada should have a voice on this commission.”
There’s a lot more wrong with the bill. What’s out there now only scratches the surface.
The good news is that all of it will come out with time, and the House is in no major hurry to vote on this nightmare. That means the bill is likely to die.
And it means the 15 Republican morons who voted for it are going to suffer major damage to their reputations within their base of support – and probably irreparable damage, though there is some disagreement on that – for nothing.
But voting for this Chuck Schumer-authored piece of trash, particularly while under threat from Schumer that civil unrest will ensue if it’s not passed, is pure stupidity. Schumer giving advice to Republicans? And them taking it?