By Joe Guzzardi
February 5, 2013
As the House Judiciary Committee opened preliminary hearings this week on a possible immigration amnesty, the focus on Capitol Hill turns to enforcement. Specifically, congressional critics have two burning questions. First, what assurances will they have that the U.S./Mexico border will be secured and, second, will the internal enforcement that the Democrats guarantee be carried out? If history is our guide, then the answers are “none” and “no.”
Since the Senate pro-amnesty “Gang of Eight” first convened a few weeks ago, its blueprint has emphasized that before any illegal immigrant is granted permanent residency and subsequent citizenship, the border must be adequately protected. Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a “Gang of Eight” member, insists that unless he has concrete evidence that the border is secure, he won’t endorse the plan.
But within just days after Rubio staked out his position, his “gang” colleague Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said that enforcement will not be a pre-condition to citizenship. Amnesty advocates floated other crazy plans like forming a commission of southwestern states governors to announce when, in their opinion, the border is sealed. Or, even worse, Senate Democrats want to designate Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano as the ultimate judge and jury on border security—a classic case of the fox guarding the hen house.
Even in the middle of what passes these days for Capitol Hill legislative negotiations, President Obama is dealing in bad faith. According to security threat expert Dr. Lyle J. Rapaki, DHS will make deep budget cuts during 2013 that will eliminate more than 4,000 border patrol and ICE agents as well as slash 3,400 customs oversight jobs. ICE’s essential Enforcement and Removal Operation, responsible for deporting criminal aliens, will be reduced by 800 officers. Overall border personnel will fall below the 2009 fiscal year total, the year Obama took office.
No deal on immigration can be agreed to unless both sides are willing to bend. And the Democrats, as proven by Schumer’s throwing of Rubio under the bus, don’t want to budge an inch. They’re not willing to deal on securing the border, ending birthright citizenship, chain migration or the diversity visa lottery. Sensing (perhaps wrongly) that they hold the hammer, the Democrats want it all.
Even on an issue that should be beyond partisan politics, verifying that employees who hold U.S. jobs should be legally authorized to work, amnesty supporters have let it be known that an American Civil Liberties law suit will be filed immediately if Congress passes legislation mandating an electronic verification system.
Under the age-old fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me guideline, no one should put the slightest credibility in the White House’s enforcement promises. In 1986, the Immigration Reform and Control Act talked tough about employer sanctions to ban hiring aliens and vowed to beef up border personnel. Yet before the ink on the bill dried, its main author, Ted Kennedy, tried to kill the sanctions.
In 2013, the same double dealing can be counted on. The Obama administration has already subverted immigration law through his prosecutorial discretion which takes so called “low priority” aliens out of deportation proceedings and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals that give young aliens two- year residency and work permits. More egregious yet, the Boston Globe reported that in December the administration quietly released with potential deadly consequences 8,500 criminal aliens convicted of murder and rape. Shortly after he was set free, Chinese national Huang Chen beat and stabbed a woman to death.
The promises the administration and its allies make are all to be kept after the aliens are amnestied. But that’s a can of worms the Republicans should reject from the outset. ###
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at [email protected]