The mainstream media and the immigration lawyers' lobby can hardly contain their glee over what they anticipate will be an amnesty sometime during 2013. To hear to them tell it, skeptical American citizens should give up and bow to the inevitable.
But if history is our guide, the immigration advocates may be in for a deep disappointment. Today’s conditions on the ground—pro-immigration cheerleading with all the parties patting themselves on the back—take a page out of 2006 and 2007. But after the smoke cleared back in the Teddy Kennedy era, amnesty was dead.
Earlier this week, the New York Times published a story that was shockingly naïve in its misunderstanding that the fight over amnesty hasn’t even begun. According to the Times, “Republican opposition is crumbling….” to grant permanent legal status to millions of aliens. The Times based its giddy conclusion on ill-conceived, pandering speeches Senator Rand Paul delivered to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Conservative Political Action Conference. Read Paul’s Chamber of Commerce speech here; Times story here.
The Hill, a Washington, D.C, newspaper written for and about Congress, has published a virtually non-stop series of stories predicting that the end is near for Americans who favor enforcing immigration laws. The latest such story included Nancy Pelosi’s forecast that Congress would pass an immigration reform bill “before summer.” Speaking to the same Hispanic Chamber of Commerce as Paul did, Pelosi foolishly said that securing the border “is almost impossible to achieve.” Yet journalists ignored the simple truth that the White House and others in Congress have made similar promises about a fast moving amnesty timetable since 2009. [Pelosi Predicts Passage of Immigration Reform Bill before Summer, by Mike Lillis, The Hill, March 20, 2013]
Roll Call, an online Washington political newspaper, wrote that with Paul and Marco Rubio on board, amnesty was a sure thing—“game, set and match” in reference to the outcome it anticipates.
The immigration lawyers are in lockstep. According to one lawyer/blogger, the congressional timetable for comprehensive immigration reform is like “a railroad line with nothing but green signals ahead.”
Despite the bluster, huge roadblocks remain. Even among those who agree that granting permanent legal status to 11 million aliens is a good idea, and there are fewer of those than the media would have you think, there’s no overwhelming consensus on what form it should take. Should amnesty include eventual citizenship or be restricted to permanent legal status? Whichever option may be chosen, the argument then is about when those conditions should be implemented. Labor and the Chamber of Commerce are at odds over guest workers; high tech wants out, fearing that citizenship will doom its effort for huge increases in H-1B visa caps.
Most important, because there’s still no specific bill to challenge, the opposition hasn’t launched its offensive. What amnesty proponents will eventually have to explain is how rewarding 11 million aliens with work authorization while 20 million Americans are unemployed or under-employed is good for the nation. Allowing 11 million aliens to work legally makes it much tougher for unemployed American and basically throws them under the bus.
Senior Senate Judiciary Committee member sent a letter co-signed by ranking member Chuck Grassley and fellow members Orrin Hatch, Mike Lee and Ted Cruz warning chairman Patrick Leahey that the nation is best served by a thoughtful, prolonged legislative analysis that “will take months, not weeks.” Insisted Sessions, “the public must be heard.” Read Sessions letter here.
Fax Congress through CAPS’ Action Alert page here to push back against amnesty.