For about a week now we've been hearing that the Gang of 8 isn't interested in allowing amendments to be added to its new illegal immigration reform overhaul. A piece in POLITICO further points to this being true. As a reminder, the Gang of 8 bill was crafted behind closed doors.
After being locked out of the process for so long, Democratic and Republican senators are anxious to get a crack at amending the bill, setting up a treacherous path through the Judiciary Committee to the Senate floor that threatens to undermine the delicate compromise.
Most members of the group are prepared to band together, defeating one by one any controversial amendment that can upset the deal’s balance. Such unity is considered essential if the senators hope to keep the core of the bill intact, hold the support of a cross-section of labor and business interests — and ultimately win the kind of broad bipartisan vote that forces the House to also act on an immigration bill.
“We haven’t worked out the specifics, but we all know there will be amendments that could be very destructive to the core of the bill, and we’re going to have to fight them off in a bipartisan way from both the left and the right,” Schumer said.
That's right folks. No pesky amendments and one hearing on the legislation next week...one. There are many parts of the "illegal immigration" debate that haven't been addressed or addressed in full. What happens to the illegal immigrants who refuse to become citizens and participate in reform? Will they finally be deported by ICE? Or will they be allowed to simply stick around like they have been for years? What about the criminal cartel element running rampant throughout the country? And what about the legal immigration system? What happens to the people who got in line legally? Will they get streamlined before the green card process starts for the 11 million+ illegal immigrants?
And that whole secure border thing? Sure the Gang of 8 legislation says the border must be secure before the path to citizenship is started but what exactly is the standard for "secure?" According to the New York Times, the standard for border security is....a border commission.
But in a delicate compromise worked out over weeks of negotiations, the bill does not impose any specific measurements of border enforcement results that, if they were not met, would stop the immigrants from proceeding toward citizenship.
Instead, the bill allows a period of 10 years for the Department of Homeland Security to make plans and use resources to fortify enforcement at the borders and elsewhere within the country before it sets several broader hurdles that could derail the immigrants’ progress toward citizenship if they are not achieved.
If, after five years, border officials have not reached the surveillance and enforcement goals, the bill establishes a border commission to advise the Department of Homeland Security on how to reach its goals, with additional financing of up to $2 billion.
This whole "Gang of 8" thing is turning out to be a waste of time, just like every other "Gang of (insert whatever number here)." Not to mention, we still don't really know how much this thing is going to cost. At minimum, the trillion dollar welfare price tag is still attached.