By Joe Guzzardi
August 21, 2017
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake ranks as a top RINO, a Republican in Name Only. On immigration, which many think defines whether a legislator is conservative or liberal, Flake has consistently aligned himself with the most adamant, pro-amnesty Democrats.
Dating back to his 2001 House days, and through today as Senator, Flake has unswervingly been among the radical left, amnesty and open borders proponents. In 2007, Rep. Flake teamed up with his Illinois House colleague Democrat Luis Gutierrez, a strident immigration fanatic, to introduce the Security through Regularized Immigration and a Vibrant Economy (STRIVE) Act that would have created seven new amnesty categories, and created a borderless union with Mexico, Canada and the United States.
Then, in 2013 during his first full year in the Senate, Flake joined ranks with Democratic immigration extremists as part of the thwarted Gang of Eight amnesty chase. New York’s Chuck Schumer, New Jersey’s Bob Menendez, Illinois’ Dick Durbin, and Colorado’s Michael Bennet, along with Flake and other RINOs – Arizona’s John McCain, Florida’s Marco Rubio and South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham – unanimously agreed that amnesty for 12 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the U.S. and an eventual tripling of employment-based visas would be good for America. Flake also voted yea to confirm amnesty and DACA supporter Loretta Lynch as Attorney General.
In Flake’s recent New York Times editorial and his new book Conscience of a Conservative, he rhapsodized about his fond childhood memories of an illegal immigrant who worked on his family’s F-Bar ranch outside of Snowflake, Ariz. Flake provides further evidence – not that any is needed – that on immigration, he’s anything but conservative. He writes of early experiences including efforts to divert the Border Patrol away from his ranch’s illegal immigrant workers, and he boasted about his role as “a decoy in the game of cat and mouse.”
No one on either the enforcement or advocacy side of Capitol Hill’s endless amnesty debate has ever doubted that illegal immigrant workers include good people. But just because Flake had positive experiences as a kid growing up with ranch hands, doesn’t mean that federal immigration policy should be based on his youthful, sentimental memories.
Flake’s confession that his family hired illegal workers suggests that, based on his personal experiences, he’s set to oppose the Trump-endorsed RAISE Act that would shift immigration from the current family-based, unskilled system to a skills-based format. A #NeverTrump from the start, Flake may perceive a political advantage in criticizing RAISE. Flake, polling at 37 percent in his home state, and facing the prospect of President Trump making good on his promise to spend $10 million of his own money to remove him, faces a tough 2018 re-election bid.
Most Americans want less immigration. And they specifically don’t want federal immigration law to be created because of senators’ individual positive anecdotes about illegal immigrants. Currently 55 million Americans and immigrants already in the U.S. are out of the labor force. More low-skilled immigration, which Flake favors, would make finding work more challenging for those 55 million. Immigration must serve the national interest, a goal that RAISE would bring about, but that Flake refuses to acknowledge.