I've never been more proud to work at The Heritage Foundation than I was this past Monday.
I was seated at a conference table with 31 of the brightest, most analytical and highly principled people I've ever known as we dissected and analyzed various ripple effects of the Senate’s devastating immigration-reform proposal. After spending an entire weekend digging through a document that had remained secret for so long, Heritage was further scrutinizing it -- and doing what many in the U.S. Senate refused to do: Reveal the truth.
Heritage received the “secret” text -- one that would fundamentally change the American landscape -- around two o’clock in the morning on Saturday. Within hours it was posted online at heritage.org for all to read. The next day, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., mentioned this on the Senate floor:
“For the sake of open deliberation and public education, The Heritage Foundation, which got a copy of the bill somehow, is making this legislation, in draft form, publicly available to encourage widespread debate and discussion. Thank goodness they did make it public … It’s an opportunity, really, for the American people to know what's involved.”
The document had been developed behind closed doors -- away from public scrutiny. It was crafted far from the eyes of ordinary Americans. Once Heritage experts read the drafts, it became painfully clear that our government is considering a measure that would provide amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants and create multiple problems for how we deal with those pouring over the border in the future.
Heritage experts crunched numbers throughout the weekend, weighing the cost both in dollars and in what it would mean to sacrifice the rule of law. We provided analysis through blogging on heritage.org and through columns to sites such as National Review Online, where Heritage constitutional scholar Matthew Spalding built a devastating case for why the measure amounted to amnesty. Again, Heritage did what the Senate failed to do: Inform the public.