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Time for Republicans to debate the central immigration issues — legalization and citizenship

Time for Republicans to debate the central immigration issues — legalization and citizenship

From Jeffrey Lord at The American Spectator, Heritage, Levin Call for Immigration Debate:

Paul Ryan issued a challenge.

The Heritage Foundation picked up the challenge.

Mark Levin wants to see this debate as well.

It’s time — past time — for a full and open discussion in the conservative family about immigration. To stop with the sound bite presentations. To put an immediate stop to the idea of comprehensive immigration bills zipping through Congress with all the usual backdoor wheeling and dealing.

It’s time for a William F. Buckley-esque debate between conservatives that finally and quite publicly puts those involved with the issue together on one stage at the same time. Puts them there for an open, televised, candid, and serious discussion of a seriously momentous issue for the future of America. An issue that is being shoved through Congress with all the speed of a rocket accompanied by the usual Washington bipartisan game playing and theatrics.

The Heritage Foundation is precisely the right venue for this.

The participants? Levin suggests Heather Mac Donald, Ed Meese, and either or both Ted Cruz and Jeff Sessions for one side.

My feelings too. The Gang of 8 went behind closed doors, and then issued a mammoth bill which has grown by hundreds of pages.

But we have not debated key issues as a party, chief among them giving amnesty to adults who knowingly broke our immigration laws, and advantaging them over those who abided by the law.

That fundamental point — whether it’s “legalization” or citizenship — has not been debated. It’s been danced around and buried under over 1000 pages of legislation with innumerable squirrels thrown in to distract people.

Democrats want the quickest possible path to giving citizenship to adults who broke our laws to get here. What do Republicans want?

Update: The latest squirrel, Breakthrough in Senate immigration talks; announcement set for Thursday:

Republican Sens. John Hoeven and Bob Corker have been working on an amendment to the Gang bill that would satisfy Republicans who say the legislation as currently written does not have strong triggers to make the awarding of green cards, or permanent legal status, conditional on the completion of strict border control measures. A Senate aide familiar with the talks says the agreement would require that such measures be in place before immigrants could win permanent legal status.

The key feature of the deal is a massive increase in the number of Border Patrol agents. The Hoeven and Corker amendment would call for the number of agents to be essentially doubled, to about 40,000 from its current force of 20,000. “It’s hard to contend that you can’t control the border with about 40,000 Border Patrol agents,” says the Senate aide.

Really?  What happens when the president refuses to enforce the law as he has done many times, or comes up with waivers, or tells the new hires not to detain people?  Border security is important, but it’s not the central issue, and in fact, concedes the central issue of amnesty.


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The truth is this country has never had adequate immigration limits since we first began attempting to control it. But another truth is that our immigration policy should serve ONLY the interests of the United States. A good and sound policy will benefit many throughout the world, but the priority is our own benefit.

The family-chain method we’ve used since the Ted Kennedy reforms of the late ’60s has been every bit the disaster critics predicted. We need to revise the priority so it goes to those who bring skills and education and the means to get started on their own.

Bringing in millions of low-skill or unskilled immigrants has not benefited our country, our economy, or our society. Many millions of people around the world want to come here; we should choose among them carefully, based solely on the merits they bring.

    GrumpyOne in reply to Estragon. | June 20, 2013 at 10:48 am

    This fat incrusted bill will be as beneficial as Obama care and will more likely enlarge the bureaucracy to enforce, er, administrate what will become a free-for-all open door to anyone that wants to come here.

    No freakin’ wonder the congress almost has zero public confidence!

    I’m way beyond disgusted…

theBuckWheat | June 20, 2013 at 8:46 am

While it is a political reality that we are not going to force millions of people who live hear illegally to leave, it would be a GRAVE MISTAKE to allow them to become full citizens with the right to vote.

Voting is a precious right that must not be cheapened by giving it away to people who flouted our law. Moreover we must not reward politicians who viewed illegal aliens as future voters.

    Actually, if those in the GOP sphere were smarter it would be possible to encourage many more IAs to leave. The state of AZ and even Mitt briefly had as their official policy “self-deport”, but you can’t just throw things like that out there. You have to defend it. When Mitt came out for “self-deport” I tried my best to defend it, but I don’t think anyone else outside usual suspects (Krikorian, vDare, etc.) did.

Listed by order of comment(s), Estragon and theBuckWheat have nailed the gist of the subject with masterful blows to the nail head.

Have “voted” UP for each of you. IF ONLY I was able to VOTE for each of you, on a national level..BUT it doesn’t work that way.

There won’t be any “debate.” Paul Ryan won’t go near one. Instead, as expected, an 11th hour “breakthrough” appears. The GOP’s craven desperation to “get something passed” will carry the day.

only under Dem leadership is proceeds from a crime considered altruistic and moral.

Debate? I sense some political naivete here. The Country-Club bunch will wring their hands and bend over to whatever the democrats want passed, as always. The american people will just sigh and get used to being second-class citizens in their own country.

Henry Hawkins | June 20, 2013 at 11:04 am

I don’t give a flying fu.. uh.. squirrel what the GOP wants on immigration.

I don’t give a flying squirrel what the Democrat Party wants on immigration.

I don’t give a flying squirrel what the mainstream media wants on immigration.

I don’t give a flying squirrel what the conservative media wants on immigration.

I don’t give a flying squirrel what self-appointed elites who would stage debates want on immigration.

I want what American people want, which for decades has consistently and adamantly been that we SECURE THE FREAKIN’ BORDER.

Congress is like ER doctors staring at a gaping wound and wondering if one, two, or three aspirins will do the trick. SEW IT UP, YA MORONS.

It’s not just the fact that the amnesty bill rewards people who’ve deliberately broken our immigration laws. That would be bad enough on its own, but this bill goes much further. It forgives illegal aliens for years of past tax cheating, and it even gives them official immunity from criminal prosecution for crimes such identity theft, Social Security fraud, etc. And if that were not enough, it even forces U.S. taxpayers to provide “free” immigration attorneys to future illegal aliens!

What’s more, because the bill exempts amnestied illegal aliens from Obamacare for at least a decade, U.S. employers will be able to save themselves thousands of dollars a year by hiring amnestied illegal alien job applicants over U.S. citizen job applicants. The bill is giving U.S. employers a huge financial incentive NOT to hire Americans, at a time when we have millions of out-of-work citizens.

Also, the amnesty will essentially throw open our borders to every criminal on the planet. Recall how Marco Rubio has been touting the “tough” background checks that illegals must go through before they get their amnesty (so we can “know who they are”)? It will never happen. How do we know that? Because that is exactly what has happened with the “DREAM” Act (by executive order) amnesty applicants.

Judicial Watch submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to DHS to find out what kind of “background checks” DHS has been performing on the hundreds of thousands of DREAM Act (by executive order) amnesty applications it has received. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that DHS admitted that it was “overwhelmed” with the number of applications (less than a million) it received last year, and so it “streamlined” the approval process. They omitted background checks and DHS has just been stamping “APPROVED” on the applications — they’re not even requiring amnesty applicants to submit verifiable ID! To date, DHS has approved more than 99.5% of the DREAM amnesty applications it has received.

DHS can’t, or won’t, perform background checks on hundreds of thousands of DREAM Act amnesty applicants, but we’re supposed to believe that it will have no problem checking MILLIONS, or even tens of millions, of “gang of 8” amnesty applicants.

After the 1986 amnesty, the federal government admitted that as many as 1/3 of the amnesty applications it received were fraudulent, but the government approved them anyway, and said it was powerless to do anything about the rampant fraud. That was almost 30 years ago, before everyone had easy access to computers and photoshop-type software. The fraud in this current amnesty will dwarf the 1986 fraud. And as we’ve seen from the DREAM Act amnesty example, the Obama administration won’t even bother with the pretense that they’re actually checking the backgrounds of amnesty applicants.

If this amnesty passes, every criminal on the planet will be able to get a green card if he/she wants one.

    Karen Sacandy in reply to Observer. | June 20, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    Thank you very much, Observer, for pointing out the exemption from ObamaCare for aliens in this bill. You’re right – that’s an incentive if ever there was one, to hire aliens and not Americans.

    The bill also provides for giving money to groups like La Raza to “help” aliens get approved. Money to La Raza- another Anti-American racist group to get taxpayer money. But no, harass real Americans vis-a-vis the Tea Party 501(c)(4) apps.

    That Lois Lerner is a trip.

Midwest Rhino | June 20, 2013 at 12:03 pm

Dem’s want eternal Dem’ voters, RINO’s seem to have some wealthy donors that want suppressed labor rates.

“We the People” indeed need to insist on that debate, even if the offer was disingenuous rhetoric.

The left always insists they get everything they want, in trade for what America wants … and then after passage, pull back the part that America wants, via non-enforcement or bureaucratic crafting of deceptive bills. TARP and bailouts are unwanted by 70%. TARP was a bait and switch that went to the banks. Obamacare was partisan, but again was the opposite of what was promised. They horse trade union or corporate demands, for what We the People want, because “I WON”.

But at least they still feel the need to deceive us … so a full-throated demand to have that debate openly, will expose the sellout RINO’s, and expose this traitorous open borders bill to sunshine. Rubio’s “de facto amnesty” is as phony as Obama’s “jobs SAVED OR created” numbers. Amnesty would be given, AND illegals will continue to enter, illegally.

I believe in chain immigration .. when one link is here and ten are in Mexico, the one link should go back to its family. Any here illegally could be brought into any motor vehicle office and be given a biometric ID, giving them a two year visa, and no future citizenship promises. Then we identify them and be sure they go to the back of the line, and don’t sign up for welfare.

There is NO reason to reward them with a path to citizenship, for breaking our laws, and for promising to turn our country “brown”. We are NOT a nation of immigrants, most of us have grandparents that were born here, and we were raised with lessons in American exceptionalism. There have been long breaks from immigration in our controlled immigration history. It is time for another one.

Karen Sacandy | June 20, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Illegal aliens work our system. Not just welfare (can you say “EBT card”?), but also the Earned INcome Tax Credit. There are innumerable reports of illegal aliens receiving $5,000 and $10.000 by claiming neices and nephews in Mexico.

To think we have struggling Americans paying taxes so illegal aliens can bleed them to death.

Karen Sacandy | June 20, 2013 at 12:48 pm

And yes, my spelling could be better. :^)))

[…] Ah yes, the last-minute “deal” of a “bipartisan” compromise that the MSM love to tout. Open wide, America, because you’re about to get it.… […]

The new agents will be needed to complete voter registration forms for the millions of new Democrats crossing the border…

Conservatives have so far failed to put much of a dent in amnesty or in the popularity of its leading pushers (e.g., Rubio’s popularity continues). Conservatives almost completely failed to oppose an anti-American bill when it came up again a couple years ago (the DA). Conservatives only quibbled at the most about O’s amnesty-by-fiat, mostly opposing it only because of the fiat part and not the amnesty part.

The proposal discussed in the post is along the same wavering lines.

While such a debate might serve some use, it would be better for them to present things in as broad a fashion as possible: pro-American rather than pro-True Conservative. It would also be better for them to try to debate liberal amnesty fans in order to undercut the Dems, and to find people who can actually show people wrong rather than those who’ll just play ping pong.

I fully expect the bill to fail and then Obama will grant a blanket amnesty.

BannedbytheGuardian | June 20, 2013 at 10:07 pm

I think Regan lost it for you forever. . They just had to wait another generation 25 years plus one for that time waster election thing & presto.

BannedbytheGuardian | June 20, 2013 at 10:21 pm

Also what is this border thing? This week Michelle Obama declared to Dublin – that it was good to be home.

The frequency that Americans declare they are X Y Z or some exotic combination is some personal globalism journey that has its mirror adherents . If I think I am American I am.

Hence after i get here , I am in America therefore I am American.