Even amnesty advocates acknowledge that the enforcement provisions of any package deal are bogus. For instance, over at the Plum Line, Greg Sargent writes about the Senate outline’s proposal for a commission of southwestern leaders to certify control over the border before the “provisionally” amnestied illegals get green cards:
And if this “commission” doesn’t ever decide the border is secure, couldn’t that result in 11 million people being stranded in second-class legal limbo?
That’s a legitimate worry, according to Frank Sharry, the executive director of America’s Voice, a group advocating for immigration reform. But he tells me that on a conference call yesterday, Democratic Senators reassured immigration advocates that this commission won’t be constructed in a way that will hold up the process for too long.
As Sharry put it, Democrats realize that they can’t “allow the commission to have a real veto” over setting in motion the path to citizenship. He noted that Dems see the commission as “something that gives the Republicans a talking point” to claim they are prioritizing tough enforcement, giving themselves cover to back a process that “won’t stop people from getting citizenship.”
In other words the certifying commission is a lie.
Another example: the outline calls for an entry-exit system for foreign visitors, which would, if passed, be the seventh time such a system was mandated by Congress. But the outline only calls for such a system at air and sea ports, despite the fact that the vast majority of foreigners coming here do so by land. Again, an enforcement promise that means nothing.
And the open-borders advocacy groups are signaling that they will fight any enforcement measures that are enacted into law. One activist writes at the Huffington Post that any amnesty package should terminate a program that prosecutes border infiltrators (it’s a misdemeanor on the first offense, a felony afterward). You would think they’d be willing to support such a program after an amnesty and after the Senate outline’s provision for effectively unlimited immigration go into effect. But apparently they understand better than clueless Republican pols that an amnesty bill will serve as a magnet for more illegal immigration because the enforcement promises are fake, and they want to make sure that flow is not impeded.
Also, the ACLU has made clear that it will wage a legal jihad against the provision mandating the screening of all new hires with the E-Verify system. E-Verify is the main enforcement bait the open-borders crowd holds out to attract naive conservatives to back amnesty (though the Senate outline was careful not to mention E-Verify specifically, because Schumer wants to replace it with something “better”, a process which wouldn’t be completed until years after all the current illegals are legalized — if ever). Preventing its full implementation is key to crippling future enforcement and ensuring that illegal immigration continues.
Such a pre-planned campaign to kill the enforcement component of any amnesty deal isn’t new. Just a couple of years after he ushered through Congress the 1986 immigration deal, which offered amnesty in exchange for employer sanctions (the ban on hiring illegals), Ted Kennedy tried to kill the sanctions, and was stopped only by an open letter signed by, among others, Coretta Scott King, demanding that the sanctions stay in place. In other words, Kennedy made the enforcement promises exclusively to dupe his skeptical colleagues into voting for the amnesty, knowing that he would try to undo them once the illegals were safely legalized.
At around the same time, the National Council of La Raza published a report also calling for an end to employer sanctions, claiming they were inherently discriminatory and could not be allowed to continue. In other words they too, having gotten their part of the deal through amnesty, tried to renege by killing the only reason the other side agreed to the amnesty. This is especially relevant to today’s debate because the author of that report was one Cecilia Munoz, then a prominent official with La Raza.
Munoz is now in charge of immigration at the White House, no doubt already planning how to kill the enforcement promises in this latest amnesty proposal.
Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995. The Center, an independent, non-partisan research organization in Washington, D.C., examines and critiques the impact of immigration on the United States.