The “Gang of Eight” senators working to craft an immigration bill are doing so in private. A spokesman for Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said, “We haven’t negotiated immigration reform in the press thus far and don’t plan to start now.”
So what’s in the bill? We don’t really know. But some big-money special interest groups do. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO have signed on to the deal in concept and were involved in crafting it. My third question is, who elected the Chamber of Commerce and AFL-CIO to anything, and why do they get a say in immigration reform when the rest of us aren’t even told what is being discussed and what deals are being cut?
These are all rhetorical questions only because no one in any position of authority is willing to address them in any serious way. There will be a secret deal, cut in private, cheered by the media (which means no public exploration of the bill’s content or consequences) that will be rushed through the Senate on the basis of it being “needed reform.”
That term, “needed reform,” will become a mantra in the coming weeks. But why is it needed? The argument seems to fall mostly to the belief that our current system is a mess. Well, it is a mess. Wait times for legal immigration are too long, and the arbitrary limit on high-skilled H1B visas is obscene. But our country isn’t wanting for unskilled labor; our schools pump them out at an alarming rate. It’s not exactly Ph.D.s crossing the border or overstaying visas.
Still, the argument we need a comprehensive bill that allows people who freely chose to live here “out of the shadows” seems to boil down to a couple of things.
One: Since there are millions upon millions of illegal aliens here already, we have to make them legal. First, the vast majority of them aren’t clamoring for citizenship. They’re here to work and send money back home to support their families. Citizenship is something being foisted upon them by “caring” activists with pockets full of voter registration forms.
Two: Since the border, therefore current law, is being broken so freely, it must be changed. But the logic behind this is so flawed that were it applied anywhere else it would lead to anarchy. Any number of things are illegal and routinely done every day, yet no one is calling for their legalization. People are murdered, banks are robbed, yet no one is seeking to change laws to “normalize” people who commit those crimes. That a law is regularly broken doesn’t mean it’s inherently ineffective, or those who break it should be given a pass. It just means there are people willing to break it.
As President Obama calls for Congress to quickly pass an immigration bill no one outside of big money special-interest groups has seen, and the “Gang of Eight” senators seems only too happy to do so, it’s important to ask why we need “comprehensive reform” in the first place.
PS: I’ve been doing occasional radio gigs in DC and Baltimore, but starting tomorrow (Monday, April 8th) I will be doing my own show on WBAL in Baltimore from noon till 2:00, Monday – Thursday. If you like, or even hate, what you’ve read from me over the last few years, please consider giving it a listen. It’s essentially a verbal version of these columns and my Twitter feed, which you can find here. You can listen live at WBAL.com or WBAL has an app that streams live you can get for free. I’d really appreciate it. Thank you!