The Illegal Alien Amnesty (it’s not amnesty, you pay a fine!) was sold as a comprehensive immigration reform plan. Then we found out that the enforcement part of the plan is going to be watered down further and it’s basically another illegal alien amnesty, just like the one in 1986 and the attempt to repeat that folly in 2006.
Marco Rubio was opposed to both amnesties.
Rubio criticized the 1986 amnesty when he was running for the Senate, saying, “If you grant amnesty, the message that you’re sending is that if you come in this country and stay here long enough, we will let you stay. And no one will ever come through the legal process if you do that.”
In a Senate debate with Charlie Crist, Rubio criticized the Florida governor for backing the 2007 McCain-Kennedy immigration bill. “He would have voted for the McCain plan,” Rubio said. “I think that plan is wrong, and the reason I think it’s wrong is that if you grant amnesty, as the governor proposes that we do, in any form, whether it’s back of the line or so forth, you will destroy any chance we will ever have of having a legal immigration system that works here in America.”
But the McCain-Kennedy immigration plan is the same as the 2013 Gang of 8 + Obama Comprehensive Immigration Reform. That message comes from none other than John McCain.
“If we do succeed, and I think we will, it will be a testimonial to Ted Kennedy’s effort years ago that laid the groundwork for this agreement,” McCain said. “You will find that this agreement has very little difference from that of the legislation that was led by Sen. Kennedy some years go.”
So Rubio is now selling what he opposed four years ago. And he appears to be finding rationalizations for moving away from even the fig-leaf of enforcement first, which means the Dems and Obama are completely setting the agenda here.
Q: Would some enforcement triggers have to take effect before any legalization happens, and then others would have to take effect before the green card process opens up?
RUBIO: My original position, when I first started looking at this, is let’s do the enforcement and the modernization of the systems first and when all that is in place, then we can start the work-permit process. The argument against that is that if people know that in the future you’re going to be giving out work permits to people who are here, that gives people incentive to people who are here to overstay their visas or for people to try to get in.
If the word gets out that in a couple years when the border is secured we’re going to be giving work permits to people who are undocumented, that creates an incentive for people to rush in and get here before that happens.
What we ultimately settled on is we wanted to freeze the numbers we have now before the problem got worse. And the way you do that is bringing people out right now and saying from this point forward this will not be available to anybody else. But I think there’s going to be an effort to argue that even the legalization process should wait until the enforcement measures are put in place. I’m already hearing that being argued by some.
If you can follow the convoluted reasoning here, what Rubio appears to be saying is that if we “enforce” first, then we’ll be swarmed by new illegal aliens looking to get in on the eventual legalization. But if we legalize first, then we’ll have plenty of leisure time for Uncle Barry and Aunt Janet to secure the border and enforce the immigration laws… which they will totally do.
Mickey Kaus points out that this is nonsense. Laws have dates by which they kick in. And if the enforcement measures are so useless that the number of illegal immigrants will drastically increase during the time when they’re being implemented, then what use is the enforcement part anyway?
The 1986 immigration amnesty ended up with enforcement last becoming enforcement never. And that was under Reagan-Bush. What will happen under Obama-Clinton is best left to the imagination of the discerning reader.
Furthermore Rubio is trying to tell us that this will be the last amnesty. When there are 11 million legalized aliens, at least a third of whom will eventually become citizens, and that amnesty will act as a magnet for more illegal aliens filling the gap left by their legalized cousins, not to mention family reunification, does anyone in their right mind believe that this will be the last amnesty?
RUBIO: Well, first of all, I think my position has consistently been a couple things. Number one that we’re not going to create a special pathway to citizenship that disadvantages people that are doing it the right way or that encourages people to come here illegally in the future.
And the second thing that I’ve made very clear is that we’re not going to round up 11 million people. We’re not going to grant a blanket amnesty to 11 million people. And the solution lies somewhere in between those two.
In the past I really haven’t really had a specific response to address that. And obviously I spent time learning about this issue and talking to others. If you look at what we propose now in these principles, there’s been a lot of noise made about amnesty and things like that. But the reality of it is the only thing these folks are earning is the chance to apply for a green card just like everybody else does. They’re not getting anything different than anybody else would get…
Yes, yes they are. They’re getting a chance to live and work in the United States while applying for a Green Card, which is an opportunity that no Mexican or Guatemalan in their own country gets. To get that opportunity, they have to break the law.
The capper to all this has to be Rubio’s answer to whether there’s going to be another amnesty.
RUBIO: At the end of the day, I think your question is are we going to enforce our laws and deport people in the future when we have been unwilling to do it now, and I think the answer has to be yes or we’re going to wind up back here again in less than 10 years.
I have to say that I feel sorry for Rubio. He knows that what he’s saying makes no sense, but he has to say it to move forward.
Should we maybe start enforcing our laws and deporting people? Nah. Let’s try another amnesty, linked to whatever Obama thinks is sufficient border enforcement. And if not we’ll be back here with Mexican veto power across entire states making sure that there will be another amnesty. And then just open borders after that.