A planned amnesty rally organized by “Camino Americano” will take place on the National Mall Tuesday evening despite the site being closed due to Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) 13%‘s shutdown. According to Susana Flores, a spokesperson for the rally, the Park Service will allow the event to take place under the group’s First Amendment rights.
Among the speakers at the rally will be Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) 14% and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) 9%, not exactly champions of conservative thought. The “Camino Americano” bio of Rep. Pelosi notes President Obama once called her the “most powerful woman in American politics.”
Who knows whether the event would be allowed to proceed during a government shutdown if the rally were promoting conservative values… but that can only be left to conjecture.
What is certain is that Harry Reid’s shutdown is disrupting the use of national parks by U.S. citizens:
Not only would the public be unable to enter the parks, visitors currently camping or staying in a national park would be ordered to leave within two days and all roads leading to the parks would be closed.
The Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector debunks the White House’s attempt to sell amnesty with dubious Keynesian economics. The White House last week released a report claiming that granting amnesty to immigrants here illegally would increase the income of Americans by $791 billion over the next decade. They also claim that amnesty would add roughly 2 million new jobs over the same period.
If all that sounds good, think twice. Rector explains:
The White House document is based on a report from the Center for American Progress (CAP). The CAP study assumed that if illegal immigrants were granted amnesty and citizenship, their wages would increase by a full 25 percent. This is an extreme assumption. Data from the federal government’s last amnesty for illegal immigrants, in 1986, indicate a wage increase of roughly 5–10 percent.
The White House report asserts that granting citizenship to illegal immigrants would create nearly 2 million new jobs for current citizens over the next decade and boost their income by roughly $130 billion over the same period. These figures are generated by the CAP authors’ Keynesian economic assumptions: The hypothetical increase in the wages of amnesty recipients generates greater consumer demand; this, in turn, “ripples through the economy,” creating new jobs and higher income.
Such simplistic assumptions, in which boosting consumer demand or government deficit spending is the pathway to national prosperity, have been discredited for decades. Nonetheless, the left habitually uses Keynesian economics to argue that spending on welfare programs such as food stamps boosts jobs and gross domestic product.
Tomorrow, lawmakers will head home for their five-week August recess. Pro-amnesty advocates, who have been working with Republicans like Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), are planning rallies and protests throughout August. At the same time, the White House and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) are pushing business groups, often thought of as traditional Republican allies, to weigh in with members back home. To say the pro-amnesty movement is made of strange political bedfellows is an understatement.
But this is all theatrics. As the Washington Post and National Journal explained earlier this week, there is a concerted plan to use the “narrow agreement on border security in a House committee” to “be the gateway to a broader agreement on immigration.” At first glance, that would seem to refute the step-by-step approach House Republican leaders pledged to take on the issue of immigration.
In a two part series, we have explained the dangers of going to conference with the Senate-passed amnesty bill. Any bill resulting from a conferencecommittee will almost certainly contain a sweeping amnesty. Americans who came here through the legal immigration process – paperwork, waiting periods, fees, and respect for the rule of law – oppose amnesty the most. They cannot fathom living here illegally, and they are concerned about the 4.4 million people waiting to come here through the legal process.
Amnesty is not fair to them, or to any American for that matter.
Reports continually indicate that the bipartisan “gang of seven” in the House is close to releasing their secret immigration plan. By all accounts, there is nothing new in the plan except some fluffy language the Washington Post reports “could give some House Republicans a way to embrace comprehensive reform.” It is clearly an attempt to garner support from House conservatives who “are still insisting on a ‘piecemeal’ approach or are opposing any action at all.”
At this point though, wrangling over a comprehensive approach versus a piecemeal approach is meaningless. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) told a liberal audience that piecemeal bills simply serve as a means to an end:
Get us to a conference. In a conference, we can negotiate the notion of bringing all those bills together and get to common ground.
The goal of the pro-amnesty crowd is simple—pass a bill, any bill (preferably one that includes some sort of path to citizenship) so that pro-amnesty negotiators can begin working on a compromise that resembles the Senate-passed Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744). That deal making could take place in a formal conference committee or, more likely, a backroom process.