Members of the U.S. Senate seemed genuinely surprised that the American people so vehemently objected to the Senate Immigration Reform Bill. The reason was obvious – the Senate had no credibility whatsoever regarding the "enforcement" or "security" aspects of the bill.
The Senate could not, and cannot, produce one piece of evidence to demonstrate that they would EVER make good on their promise to ensure that the border is secured (at any level). The American people, however, can produce more than 700 miles of evidence demonstrating that the "security" aspects of the bill would never be implemented.
The Senate could not, and cannot, produce any evidence to show that they would make the illegal aliens pay fines or satisfy any of the other "enforcement" provisions. After all, we were told time after time that we could not round-up and/or deport the illegal aliens, and that we could not put them in prison, etc. How then could we ever make them pay fines or enforce the other unpleasant parts of the bill?
In addition to 700 miles of evidence demonstrating that the "security" aspects of the bill would never be implemented, history supports the same conclusion. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 (also negotiated in secret and presented to the American people as a fait accompli) resulted in an alarming increase in illegal immigration – its enforcement provisions ignored. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 (Simpson – Mazzoli) resulted in an alarming increase in illegal immigration – its enforcement provisions ignored. Indeed, for each illegal alien granted amnesty in 1986, four additional illegal aliens entered the country. Finally, the Secure Fence Act of 2006 remains a victim of political gamesmanship even though it was signed into law by President Bush and has been funded … allegedly.
Attempting to pass such an important piece of legislation at light-speed and without the committee process also left doubt in the minds of the American people. When quizzed about a cost analysis of the bill, Senator Voinovich (R-OH) admitted that he had not read the bill he was supporting (in addition to admitting that he was not familiar with The Heritage Foundation’s cost analysis of the bill ($2.3 trillion)). How many other Senators had not yet read the bill they were supporting?
I personally sat in Senator Feinstein's office in Los Angeles on the afternoon of June 1, 2007 with two other citizen lobbyists and asked a Field Representative, the Senator's immigration counsel, and her District Director if any discussions had taken place regarding the creation of a new agency to implement the provisions of the bill, and the costs of such an agency. None of Senator Feinstein's representatives knew the answer to my question. That obviously left serious doubts in our minds regarding the Senate's intention to implement the "enforcement" and/or "security" provisions of the bill. Moreover, Senator Feinstein's District Director informed us that Senator Feinstein was a "primary negotiator" of the bill – all the more reason we were alarmed that no one was aware of any discussions regarding the costs of the bill.
The final nail in the Senate’s credibility coffin came when Senators McConnell and Reid, along with the President, sought to revive the bill. To do so, the Senate and the President told us they would fund the "security" provisions (i.e., build a fence) with $4.4 billion "in fees raised by the legislation" (i.e., from fines paid by the illegal aliens willing to emerge from the "shadows"). What they didn’t realize is that by telling us they would now fund the "security" provisions with that $4.4 billion in order to revive the bill, they were admitting that they had no intention of funding the "security" provisions of the bill the first time they attempted to pass it. If they had intended to fund the "security" provisions of the bill the first time they brought it up for consideration, they would not be offering to “sweeten” it with the same funding the second time around.
Apparently, the final nail in the Senate's credibility coffin was not enough. This Senate wanted an encore. Mere days after the announcement of the revival of the bill, a suspicious Senator DeMint (R-SC) discovered that even the $4.4 billion guaranteed by the Senate and the President the second time around was not really going to be used for the fence after all, but could be used (and thus would be used) to implement the amnesty provisions of the bill and not the security provisions of the bill. Senator DeMint's press release said that according to the Congressional Research Service report, "the mandatory spending in the bill could immediately be used for Z visas. It says, '(r)eceiving, processing, and adjudicating applications for the Z visa authorized by Title VI of the Act is one of the trigger mechanisms outlined in Section 1; this means that funding from the Immigration Security Account could be used for this purpose.'"
Too blind with power to recognize their own obvious lack of credibility, many members of the Senate immediately moved to blame … talk radio. Its your credibility, stupid!