Make no mistake, immigration reform is a hill that could kill us if we refuse to come up with a reasonable plan and try to make this battle our last stand, by sticking our fingers in our ears and yelling “no!” at the Senate proposal.
Personally I like the House proposal for immigration reform.
As a person living in a border state, it actually addresses border security as the lynchpin of the whole plan. Nothing can happen until border security is enforced. Thank the lord, we have learned since the Reagan era when we let Democrats promise everything and give us nothing, like an sleazy boyfriend on prom night.
The fact is, we need a more secure border.
The other fact is, we won’t get that unless we offer a carrot of some sort…some sort of “path to citizenship” related offer. But make no mistake what the Republicans in the House are proposing is not amnesty, amnesty is a giveaway, this is fines and paperwork and hurdles and work to have your sins forgiven—it is anything but amnesty.
This bill does that, but without allowing criminals and those on welfare to remain in our country and get citizenship.
You can tell me that “well they will never secure the border, so it’s just an empty promise”, but it’s not a promise, it’s a deal we are making. Without border security there’s no “amnesty” plan at all.
It’s obvious that any plan we have needs to start with border security and making sure that we don’t have to repeat this stupid debate in 30 more years.
It’s also obvious to anyone with a lick of sense that finding and deporting every illegal immigrant in our country is both fiscally and tactically a Herculean task that borders on the impossible. So we need to find some way of dealing with this that involves some level of “amnesty”, even though that is a dirty word for most conservatives.
We have two issues here:
1. Refusing to promote any sort of immigration reform is going to make Republicans look like dicks to independents and moderates. That’s the truth. We sort of need independents and moderates to win elections.
2. We don’t have much room for negotiation at this point. Sure we could wait until after the 2014 elections so we can push through a less “problematic” version of immigration reform, but then we have the 2016 election coming up. There will always be another election for us to worry about and because of issue #1 we have to actually consider something called compromise. A strange concept to many, I’m sure, not the least of which are the democrats. In this case we might actually have them on the hook to participate in a little compromise, that’s nearly unprecedented.