The Corner

Immigration Reform Shenanigans. Again.

Byron York has an interesting column today speculating that amnesty supporters may be purposefully talking down the chances immigration reform will pass so amnesty opponents will drop their guards just long enough for a Gang of Eight–style bill to sneak through. York notes amnesty opponents didn’t begin melting down congressional phone lines last spring until the vote on the Corker-Hoeven amendments signaled enough Republicans were on board that passage of the Gang of Eight bill was imminent. When the threat of passage faded, so did the number of irate phone calls, allowing amnesty to move forward under the radar.

Although plausible, this approach suffers from at least three infirmities. First, it presumes against all evidence that House Republicans have an actual strategy on immigration reform. Second, conservatives, having witnessed at least ten months of Republican rhetorical squishiness and pandering on amnesty, are already on high alert for Republican duplicity on the issue. Third, the House Republicans’ Principles on Immigration Reform released last week were so transparently cynical they caused any residual trust for Republicans on the issue to evaporate.

Instead of the incoherent principles put forth last week, Republicans would be better served going into the 2014 midterms setting out a much simpler set of three “principles:”

1) Enforce current immigration laws and build the 700 mile fence mandated by the Secure Fence Act of 2006.

2) See # 1 above.

3) Fire anyone who doesn’t do 1 & 2 above.

Then concentrate on jobs, the economy, national security, Obamacare and general fiscal sanity. And, before passing any new immigration legislation, wait until there’s someone in the White House who recognizes the distinction between Section 1 of Article I and Section 1 of Article II of the Constitution.

Regardless of where you stand on immigration reform, the seemingly endless attempts by our elected representatives to hoodwink the American people should infuriate you. Congressmen seem utterly undeterred by the fact that trust in government today is at a nadir. They remain intent on doubling down on duplicity, on fooling us rubes in flyover country. They haven’t quite come to grips with the idea that the Obamacare debacle has eroded the public’s trust in all politicians, not just those from the party of big government.


Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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