Repeat of 1986: Citizenship to Come First, Border Security Later

Posted: Jan 28, 2013 3:17 PM

UPDATE: During an interview on The Ed Morrissey Show, Rubio said he would not support any legislation that does not guarantee enforcement and border security before the Green Card process starts. 

"We have to make sure this law is structured in a way that guarantees enforcement," Rubio said, adding if we don't do both, enforcement and citizenship, we'll see another wave of undocumented people in the future.

Legislation is expected in March and possibly introduced to the Senate floor in April. President Obama will release his plan for immigration reform tomorrow.


A bipartisan group of Republicans and Democrats have just wrapped up a press conference revealing what they are calling the "principles" of an immigration reform plan. The plan will serve as an outline for lawmakers to use when drafting legislation, which is expected to be introduced as early as April 2013. The key to the legislation and the bipartisan nature of the plan is the promise of border security and enforcement in return for a pathway to citizenship. This is the same scenario we saw in 1986 when President Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to three million people and called it a "one time event" under the false promise the southern border with Mexico would be secured. Today, it was revealed the very same promise is being made with little responsibility to actually follow through. If legislation based on the plan were to be passed, illegal immigrants would be granted citizenship immediately, before the border was deemed secure.

"The ability to stay here in America to work and not be harassed will come immediately," New York Senator Chuck Schumer said. "Immediately when the bill passes, people living in the shadows will be brought out [and granted citizenship]." 

When Florida Senator Marco Rubio was asked whehter border enforcement will come parallel with or before citizenship, he dodged the question.

Arizona Senator John McCain stressed the need to work with states, local government and law enforcement to help with enforcement that isn't guaranteed.

"2013 is the best chance in many years," McCain said. "We have to work with the governors."

In order to qualify under this plan, illegal immigrants would need to come forward, register, pay a fine and pay back taxes. There is no solution in the plan for dealing with illegal immigrants who even with a path to citizenship, wouldn't come forward in order to avoid paying fines and back taxes.


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