Rand Paul Unveils Amnesty/Non-Amnesty Plan

According to all the headlines, Rand Paul’s speech was supposed to unveil a “path to citizenship”. The actual speech is vague on that, emphasizing work visas, but also using phrasing like “12 million more people assimilating into society” that suggests something more permanent is on the table.

(UPDATE: Yes, there is a path to citizenship/Amnesty but it takes longer.)

Paul’s people are claiming that he doesn’t actually mean a path to citizenship, but Paul has a history of vague proposals that use the right language to signal one thing while meaning another.

Overall there is nothing new here. While Paul describes this as his proposal, even the language is largely lifted from the GOP immigration reform pushes of the last six years.

It’s textbook Bush/Gang of 8 stuff that begins with and emphasizes border security. And then nothing else. Unlike the Gang of 8, Paul isn’t even endorsing employer verification. And his border security plan lacks actual details short of the “We need to secure the border” pitch that every immigration reform politician has made.


1. “Republicans have alienated Latinos with immigration policy,” Rand says.

“The Republican Party has insisted for years that we stand for freedom and family values. I am most proud of my party when it stands for both. The vast majority of Latino voters agree with us on these issues but Republicans have pushed them away with harsh rhetoric over immigration.”

This natural constituency rhetoric has been questioned before. Do the majority of Latino voters really agree on cutting spending or limiting government power?

Do they support ending ObamaCare?

How many Latino votes could Rand Paul get if he ran for the Senate in Colorado, instead of Kentucky?


2. “I’ve never met a new immigrant looking for a free lunch,” Rand Paul says.

Maybe he should get out more. I meet them every time I stand in line at the supermarket and see the EBT card being used by virtually every immigrant in line to buy food.

And I say that, by the way, as someone who immigrated to this country at a young age.


3. “Republicans who criticize the use of two languages make a great mistake,” Rand Paul says, and does his best to show how much he really loves Spanish.

So I guess we’re giving up on English too.


4. “The question is: How do we now reflect this in our 21st century immigration policy?… It is absolutely vital for both the success of our immigration policy and for the purposes of national security that we finally secure our borders,” Rand Paul says.

This is a new and innovative policy that only Bush, McCain and Rubio have thought of before.


5. “Let’s start that conversation by acknowledging we aren’t going to deport 12 million illegal immigrants… If you wish to work, if you wish to live and work in America, then we will find a place for you,” Rand Paul says.

So we’re going to secure the border, but we’re not going to deport anyone and we’re going to welcome in anyone who wants to come here, but… but… we’re for securing the border.

For some reason.


6. “The first part of my plan – border security – must be certified by Border Patrol and an Investigator General and then voted on by Congress to ensure it has been accomplished.”

This puts it a slight step ahead of the Gang of 8 plan which lacks a clear certification process, but it probably doesn’t matter much considering that it would just give Congress an excuse to do what it wants to do anyway by breaking down the process into discrete elements.


7. “Imagine 12 million people who are already here coming out of the shadows to become new taxpayers.12 million more people assimilating into society. 12 million more people being productive contributors.”

Imagine 12 million more people collecting food stamps and Medicaid.


8. “Conservatives, myself included, are wary of amnesty. My plan will not grant amnesty or move anyone to the front of the line… But what we have now is de facto amnesty.”

This is a line that Rand Paul borrowed from Rubio and it’s nonsense. Amnesty is legalization. Lack of total enforcement is not amnesty. Paul doesn’t like the word amnesty. Neither does Rubio. And the use of “front of the line” and “de facto amnesty” suggests that Paul is largely getting his ideas on this from the Gang of 8.


9. “The solution doesn’t have to be amnesty or deportation-a middle ground might be called probation where those who came illegally become legal through a probationary period.

My plan will not impose a national ID card or mandatory E-Verify, forcing businesses to become policemen.”

Paul is rather vague on his solution, it seems to heavy on work visas and not much else, meaning no real enforcement at the employer level, some added border enforcement and a flood of cheap labor to take away jobs from Americans.

Not the sort of thing you want to do in a bad economy, but hard core libertarians tend to go open market and open borders all the way.


10. “As we move forward on immigration reform, I for one will work to find a solution that both adheres to the rule of law and makes room for compassion.”

Good news. We have another compassionate conservative in the house.


So what was the point of all this? Paul’s proposal is a non-proposal that isn’t going anywhere. It offers something to the pro-illegal lobby without completely alienating conservative voters. It avoids offending libertarians with too much enforcement while not satisfying pro-enforcement voters.

The real point of this political ploy is to show the GOP that they don’t need Rubio to appeal to Hispanics, because Rand Paul can appeal to Hispanics just as well because he speaks Spanish and spent some time around Latinos as a kid.

  • Randy CA

    Imagine 12 million people filing under the Family Unification Act to bring another 12 million across the "secured" borders.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      And then just keep multiplying.

    • Ar'nun

      And then breeding like rabbits.

  • Ar'nun

    “I’ve never met a new immigrant looking for a free lunch,” Rand Paul says.

    I think he meant, "I've never met an illegal immigrant looking for ONLY a free lunch." Because we all know they want free dinner, breakfast, snacks, cars, obabaphones, clothes, houses, drugs, healthcare, booze, cigarettes and attorneys when the booze causes them to run over an American taxpayer.

    "9. “The solution doesn’t have to be amnesty or deportation-a middle ground might be called probation where those who came illegally become legal through a probationary period."

    So in this mental and literal midgets mind not enforcing the laws currently is defacto amnesty, but we expect that same currently non enforcing government to enforce the new middle ground laws???

  • Ar'nun

    You know, in light of this, and a few other things, I denounced my Republican status in 2006, but I am going to now join Robert Spencer and denounce my Conservatisim too. I am apparently not Conservative enough to get why Conservatives view this Libertarian as the Savior of the Conservatives because he is pushing Liberal issues. I guess I'm just not a Conservative. Not sure what I am anymore.

    • Daniel Greenfield

      The Pauls aren't conservatives. They're libertarians.

      There's no need to reject conservatism because non-conservatives try to hijack it.

      • Ar'nun

        Yet there he was at CPAC just like his daddy for the last several years.

        Try to hijack it, they have finished hijacking it, and the SWAT team ain't coming. I hear one more person call Romney, Bush, or Rove a Conservative and I might just lose it.

      • bert

        ron paul is not a libertarian!! the libertarian party is pro-abortion, the dr. is an obstetrician and hardly pro-abortion. rand paul is not to be trusted if you believe in the constitution.

        • beez

          Rand Paul just gave me a reason to remain in the Republican Party: to vote against him.

        • Libertarian Gunner

          Libertarians are Pro-Choice. Pro abortion wouldn't Coincide with Libertarian values, because Libertarians believe people have the right to make their own choices. So before you go saying Libertarian is pro-abortion, do some research.

      • beez

        I knew there was a reason not to be a Libertarian.

  • Lisa

    Mr. Greenfield gives a great rebuttal. Paul also said, " Growing up in Texas I never met a Latino who wasn’t working."
    In the Texas I live in, I've never seen a jail roster that doesn't have a majority of Latino names.

    • beez

      All those hard working Latinos. I suppose there's no such thing as a white or black hard working American.

  • Lisa

    I could be wrong, I don't know what the polls reveal, but standing strong on patriotic immigration should be the one issue that would attract voters from both parties. For the last couple of weeks, I've been watching National Journal on CSPAN, and every caller, on all three lines (Rep, Dem. and Independent) are against amnesty and all asked about jobs for Americans and taking care of the people that are here. There have been a few callers that want amnesty and they have said they are illegal immigrants or immigrants. On March 18th CSPAN had a special line for illegal callers.

  • Brujo Blanco

    Anyone who claims they never met an alien that was looking for a free lunch are either naive, lying, or they have not been out for a while. There are millions of Mexicans that want to come here. We cannot sustain an onslaught of illegals. If the dole is made available to the illegals they will take it. Illegals are working under the table and having nothing deducted from their paychecks. If they are on the road to citizenship why should they give up their tax free existence. Also, if the dole becomes officially they will be unemployed so they can collect a paycheck and welfare at the same time.

  • surfcitysocal

    Just as in the 1980s as the parties wrangled over amnesty, there were an estimated 1 million illegal aliens–but over 3 million came forward, what do you want to bet that the "12 million" is more like 36 million?

  • objectivefactsmatter

    "5. “Let’s start that conversation by acknowledging we aren’t going to deport 12 million illegal immigrants"

    Let's start the conversation that by admitting political tactics are more important than law and order.

    • beez

      They are to RP.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    10. “As we move forward on immigration reform, I for one will work to find a solution that both adheres to the rule of law and makes room for compassion.”

    This of course requires that we eliminate all laws that are not perceived as "compassionate."

  • objectivefactsmatter

    When this fails again, someone will need to pay the consequences.

  • http://twitter.com/xAmericanPridex @xAmericanPridex

    Is anyone surprised????? Just another one of our weak willed sell outs foolishly trying to win favor with Hispanics. When are these fools going to grow a set and stop abandoning Republican principals to make friends? In 1986 Reagan gave illegals amnesty with the promise that there would be no more amnesties, our immigration laws would be enforced and our border would be secure. Our laws weren't enforced, our borders have signs warning Americans that it is dangerous to be there and our government is talking about another amnesty… and Hispanic support for the GOP dropped. _If a person breaks into your home do you reward them with the keys to it??? If you do, plan on having more thieves breaking in to get their set of keys