The Corner

Schumer-Rubio Bill: Expect Fake Toughening

The Senate Judiciary Committee will start marking up the Schumer-Rubio amnesty bill on Thursday, voting on some 300 amendments that have been submitted. Senator Rubio realizes that the bill is on the ropes and has said it will need stronger security provisions. This is correct as a political matter — i.e., the appearance of tigher border controls will be necessary to dupe enough Republicans into voting for this thing. But the “new” requirements are likely to be as phony as the ones there now.

Exhibit A: Rubio’s press secretary tweeted this AP story, which notes that “Rubio is likely to advocate for some amendments making changes to the border measures, including requiring double-fencing along certain sections of the Mexican border.” Hey, double-fencing, that’s a great idea. In fact, it’s such a great idea that Congress mandated it seven years ago. The Secure Fence Act of 2006 requires that “In carrying out subsection (a), the Secretary of Homeland Security shall provide for at least 2 layers of reinforced fencing” and then goes on to spell out more than 600 miles’ worth of border where that double fencing is to be placed. But of the nearly 2,000-mile-long border with Mexico, only about 30-something miles has double fencing.

In other words, the point of any requirement to build double-layer fences that might be added to the Schumer-Rubio bill is to make it appear tougher, with no real expectation that the Obama administration will implement it any more than it is implementing the existing requirement. This is the same with the entry-exit tracking system the bill mandates, which is actually weaker than what Congress required to be built 17 years ago.

The authors of the Schumer-Rubio bill figure conservatives will be placated with a few more tough-sounding empty promises, reminiscent of the apochyphal children’s radio host who, when he thought the mic was off, said, “There, that ought to hold the little bastards.” We’ll see whether enough of us fall for this trick.

Mark Krikorian — Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

Most Popular

Film & TV

Why We Can’t Have Wakanda

SPOILERS AHEAD Black Panther is a really good movie that lives up to the hype in just about every way. Surely someone at Marvel Studios had an early doubt, reading the script and thinking: “Wait, we’re going to have hundreds of African warriors in brightly colored tribal garb, using ancient weapons, ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Science & Tech

Set NASA Free

The Trump administration has proposed shifting the International Space Station from a NASA-exclusive research facility to a semi-public, semi-private one. Its plan would nix all government funding for the ISS by 2025 and award at least $150 million per year to NASA to help with the transition. This would be a ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More