Editor’s Note: Today there’s a Public Policy Polling survey out, sponsored by Alliance for Citizenship, Partnership for a New American Economy and Republicans for Immigration Reform, which purports to show that the Gang of 8 bill is wildly popular in Louisiana. Specifically…
- 70% of those polled said they strongly or somewhat support bipartisan immigration reform legislation being debated in Washington;
- 80% of those polled said they strongly or somewhat support a bill that includes a tough but fair path to citizenship;
- 63% of those polled are more likely to vote for an elected official who supports comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship;
- 86% of those polled said it was very or somewhat important that the U.S. fix its immigration system this year.
You’re free to believe those numbers if you want; we’ll note that it’s a PPP poll and PPP specializes in push-polls which generate absurd results.
In any event, we thought we’d offer that as something of a context to Sen. Vitter’s piece on immigration, as there is obviously an effort to push this legislation in Louisiana where it wouldn’t seem to be all that popular an idea – after all, just two months ago a Pulse Opinion Research poll showed completely different numbers in Louisiana on the same issue.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know the “Gang of 8” immigration bill is a bad deal.
The Senate voted to move forward with the bill this week, even though it’s clearly not ready for serious discussion or consideration. I’m struggling to find anything good in the bill, but it’s absolutely jammed packed full of dangerous flaws, including a $6.3 trillion price tag and lack of any serious attempt to enforce our current immigration laws or secure our borders.
Many of my colleagues in the Senate recognize there are clear problems with the current immigration system, and I think we all want to find a solution. But the Gang of 8 bill is not a solution, it’s just a huge expansion of an already huge problem. Plus, we tried this exact same approach in 1986. Then we had three million illegal immigrants in the United States – today there are 12 million. You do the math.
Some of my colleagues think this “Gang of 8” bill is salvageable through amendments. An example is an amendment by Senator John Cornyn from Texas. His amendment would put enforcement “triggers” in place, but would grant legal status to illegal immigrants first. To be truly effective, security triggers have to happen before we legalize illegal immigrants, not after they are given that status. So I’ve introduced an amendment to make sure real enforcement is in place and actually working before any adjustment of citizenship status takes place.
There is no guarantee that this or any future administration will achieve operational control of the border absent serious pro-enforcement legislation in Congress…especially not this administration. If we left it to the Obama Administration to decide when our borders are safe, they’d declare our borders secure enough today.
I’m continuing to try and knock some common sense into my colleagues’ heads. When you encourage immigrants to break the law and come here illegally, they will. When you eliminate enforcement – they’ll stay. Again, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist.
And until Congress gets serious about passing legislation that fixes these problems, there will no end to illegal immigration in sight.