NOTE: The following is a more comprehensive update to the post below. But please do read that post if you have not done so. The conversation I had with Senator John McCain on this issue is of paramount importance to understanding the depth of concerns many of us have on this issue.
Here's the latest. In an attempt to appear to tighten border security requirements in the "Gang of 8" (when are we going to put a stop to these gangs?) Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) put forward an additional proposal which will be voted on Monday. The bill is now 1200 pages and like the ObamaCare bill, plenty of opportunity for mischief. Sen Mike Lee (R-UT), an opponent of the bill said it best: “the best of intentions aren’t enough when you’re dealing with a 1,200-page bill.”
How many Senators will actually read the bill before voting on it? How many little surprises does the bill contain?
A big selling point for the bill's proponents is that the bill will require the completion of 700 miles of border fencing. Yet those who have looked at the provision find that the Secretary of Homeland Security may at her, or his, discretion refuse to build the fence. Considering how DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano claims the border is already secure and has been opposed to fencing and is now supporting this bill should tell you something. The fact that previous law requiring completion of the fence have been ignored should make us doubly dubious the Administration is serious about this aspect of border security.
Over the weekend, Sen. Corker released a statement in which he insisted that unless the fence is completed and additional border guards hired no person given Registered Provisional Immigrant (RPI) status under the bill will be able to get a Green Card. What Corker fails to point out is that RPI status is de facto legalization. Immigrants who fail to qualify for a Green Card, don't pay a fine or learn English (other dubious selling points of the bill) will still be able to stay in the U.S. indefinitely even though they fail to meet the "goals" of the bill.
Click the player at right for a great parody of Senators McCain and Graham discussing the bill. "Border security, biometric identification, fines, penalties, are all words somewhere in this bill." That pretty much sums it up for me. Lots of words and plenty of wiggle room so that the "best of intentions" ends up being nothing more than that. That's what happened the last time we had an immigration bill and millions more illegals came across the border after similar promises of border security were broken.
- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said on the Senate floor that deceased Senator Ted Kennedy was "going to smile" down on passage of this bill. That should be enough to warn conservatives about what's really going on.
- Obama is secretly conducting a "war room" political operation in the Senate to push this bill.