Politico published its own “Why did the Senate bill die” anniversary piece today; it offers lots of inside-baseball details and is well worth reading. But only at the end does it get beyond the epiphenomena and identify the underlying problem, articulated here, ironically, by Senator Rubio:
The “fundamental hang-up,” Rubio said, was that House Republicans wanted assurances that border security would be in place before legalization occurred — a demand that would never fly in the Democratic-led Senate . . .
“Unless we can get to a point where [House Republicans] believed — and the majority of the American people believed — that the enforcement was going to happen, it was going to be very difficult to address the issue of those who are here illegally,” he said. “I knew that before, I warned about it during, and it’s only proven true since.”
But, of course, it’s not just Democrats who don’t take enforcement seriously. GOP political consultant Mike Murphy on last week’s Ricochet Podcast (at 42:41) said that talk of enforcement is “political window dressing;” that’s exactly how everyone, on all sides, viewed the hyperbolic Corker-Hoeven border-security amendment, intended as little more than boob bait for Bubba to get more GOP voters for the Gang of Eight bill.
Our elites have to earn the right to ask for an amnesty by showing they are as committed to immigration control and security as ordinary Americans (whatever their views on other immigration issues). We’re still a long way from that.