More fundamentally, why do the American people not have a right to the protection that immigration laws provide people in other countries around the world -- including Mexico, where illegal immigrants from other countries get no such special treatment as Mexico and its American supporters are demanding for illegal immigrants in the United States?
The very phrase "comprehensive" immigration reform is part of the bad faith that has surrounded immigration issues for decades. What "comprehensive" reform means is that border control and amnesty should be voted on together in Congress.
Why? Because that would be politically convenient for members of Congress, who like to be on both sides of issues, so as to minimize the backlash from the voting public. But what "comprehensive" immigration reform has always meant in practice is amnesty up front and a promise to control the border later -- promises that have never been kept.
The new Republican proposal is to have some border control criteria whose fulfillment will automatically serve as a "trigger" to let the legalizing of illegal immigrants proceed. But why set up some automatic triggering device to signal that the borders are secure, when the Obama administration is virtually guaranteed to game the system, so that amnesty can proceed?
What in the world is wrong with Congress taking up border security first, as a separate issue, and later taking responsibility in a Congressional vote on whether the border has become secure? Congress at least should come out of the shadows.
The Republican plan for granting legalization up front, while withholding citizenship, is too clever by half. It is like saying that you can slide halfway down a slippery slope.
Republicans may yet rescue the Democrats, while demoralizing their own supporters and utterly failing the country.