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I listened to El Rushbo yesterday as he explained the Dittohead position on immigration reform. Limbaugh doesn't worry about 10 million undocumented people living in the U.S. He doesn't see it as a problem to be fixed.....UNLESS there is something in it for the conservative Republican Party. If the GOP doesn't benefit, somehow, by passing comprehensive immigration reform....then what's the point in passing it.
Limbaugh explained that Ronaldus Reagan received 37% of the Latino vote in 1980, passed an "amnesty" immigration bill in 1986......followed by George H.W. Bush only receiving 30% of the Latino vote in 1988. Which all proves, according to Limbaugh, that passing comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship doesn't help Republicans.
To Rush, legislating, passing new laws, is done purely for the political benefit it brings your team. If there is no benefit for your political team in passing specific legislation.....then no matter how badly the new legislation is needed for the sake of the nation, the Dittohead camp is against it. A variation on a well known phrase is applicable here...'Ask not what you can do for your country but what your country can do for your political party.'
Although never stated specifically, it did seem like ElRushbo and his Dittoheads favored the Romney doctrine of self-deportation for undocumenteds. Rounding them up like cattle and herding them back to their birth countries is the far-right's view of immigration reform.....but rarely spoken.....I suppose because it kind of sounds hateful and inhumane.
To the anti-immigrationists....undocumented immigrants have violated U.S. law. Therefore, as lawbreakers, punishment is all these undocumenteds deserve from the U.S. government.
Yesterday, to appease congressional Republicans, Senator Jon Cornyn (R-TX) introduced an amendment to the Gang of 8's bill which could, if passed, put off applying for citizenship....indefinitely. It was the GOP's way of eliminating the dreaded "pathway."
"...the amendment would have required a 90 percent border apprehension rate, increased surveillance, a biometric exit system and national E-Verify system as prerequisites for newly documented immigrants to gain green-card status."
The cost? $50 billion.
In the Gang of 8's original bill, "legalization" comes first....fines paid, no criminal record.....then you can apply for a green card. 13-15 years later green card holders, maybe, can apply for citizenship. Cornyn's amendment would have extended the waiting time almost indefinitely. I have no idea how one could even determine when a 90% border apprehension rate had been reached....which I think was the point of the amendment.
But Cornyn's amendment failed yesterday, 43-54.
Republicans are walking a fine line here. They don't want to appear as if they disfavor any form of comprehensive immigration reform because of potential fallout at the polls....but if Republicans help pass comprehensive reform, they don't want a pathway to citizenship in the legislation.
Next up is an amendment from Republican Senators John Hoeven (ND) and Bob Corker (TN).
The Hoeven and Corker amendment would call for the number of agents to be essentially doubled, to about 40,000 from its current force of 20,000.
The deal would also call for an increase in the miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border. It appears the amendment will provide for a total that is near the 700 miles of fencing called for in the Secure Fence Act, which Congress passed in 2006 but watered down a year later.
The plan would also include what the aide calls “a whole gaggle” of border security infrastructure — infrared sensors, drones, and other high-tech devices, which the aide says would be “enough to give situational awareness along the whole border.”
Basically militarizing the U.S.-Mexico border, building a Berlin-like wall, and droning the entire 700 mile stretch....is a critical key for Republicans in voting for comprehensive immigration reform. But the vital issue comes down to this....
.....under the Hoeven-Corker amendment, DHS would have to submit a comprehensive border security plan to Congress, but it would have to include all the minimum requirements that Congress dictates in the amendment.
Republicans do not want a pathway to citizenship in any comprehensive immigration reform. And it is totally unclear whether the House will pass anything which has a pathway.
The only way Republicans will vote for such a plan is if they can delay, or postpone indefinitely, the starting of the pathway time clock. As conservative Byron York points out....."immigrants will not be able to move forward unless the security measures are completed."
Set a security standard which you know can never be reached. Vote for a comprehensive immigration bill which includes said security standard. Then announce a press conference where you take credit for finally doing something about the immigration problem.
That seems to be the GOP plan.