5 Simple Signs the Senate Immigration Bill is Bad News
Over the coming days and weeks, there will be reams of analysis produced on the comprehensive immigration bill filed by the Gang of Eight. As experts dive into the text, let’s look at five immediate signs sure to raise skepticism from law-abiding Americans.
1. Its length.
Congress doesn’t do comprehensive well, especially on something as complex as immigration. One of the many reasons people knew Obamacare would not turn out as promised was because it was roughly 2,000 pages. The Gang of Eight’s comprehensive immigration reform bill is 844 pages!
The Heritage Foundation has posted the text of the bill on the Foundry in hopes that you will read it. However, the sheer length is intimidating. Controversial parts of this legislation may be buried deep within, so you have to dig. We’ll dig, too.
2. Its timing.
The Gang of Eight’s comprehensive immigration bill was introduced in the Senate today in the wee hours of the morning – 2:37 AM to be exact. That’s just two days before the first hearing and, as one keen observer noted on Twitter, the late-night introduction “means all the editorial writers lauding it in the papers today didn’t read it.”
3. Its supporters.
President Obama hailed the proposal — which would give provisional legal status to an estimated 11 million people in the country illegally and put them on a pathway to citizenship — as “largely consistent” with his own vision for an overhaul of the country’s immigration system.
Unfortunately, President Obama and his liberal friends in Congress value their ideological vision for changing America over the rule of law, which is part of what makes America a great place to live. They are talking about changing America, not welcoming new Americans.
4. It’s being rushed.
President Obama said:
I urge the Senate to quickly move this bill forward and, as I told Senators Schumer and McCain, I stand willing to do whatever it takes to make sure that comprehensive immigration reform becomes a reality as soon as possible. (emphasis added)
Thomas Sowell explains the rashness of this mentality and adds this issue should be approached with circumspection:
Most laws are meant to stop people from doing something, and to penalize those who disregard those laws. More generally, laws are meant to protect the society from the law breakers.
But our immigration laws are different. Here the whole focus is on the “plight” of those who have broken the laws, and on what can be done to lift the stigma and ease the pressures they feel, so that they can “come out of the shadows” and “normalize” their lives.
Making an irreversible decision to add millions of people — and their dissimilar cultures — permanently to the American body politic is something that should take months of careful examination and discussion, both inside and outside of Congress.
5. It’s amnesty.
Again, 11 million people here illegally would be rewarded for their illegal actions by being allowed to stay in order to get on a “pathway to citizenship.” The Examiner’s Conn Carroll mocked the bill’s triggers, calling them “worthless.”
The Heritage Foundation’s David S. Addington explains that no matter what form it takes, amnesty discourages respect for the rule of law. He cautions:
Congress should not adopt failed policies of the past, such as an amnesty, which discourages respect for the law, treats law-breakers better than law-followers, and encourages future unlawful immigration.
None of this is to say that our immigration system could not be made better; in fact, conservatives believe fixing the legal immigration process is essential. Our country benefits from legal immigration, and it should be encouraged. Congress should also continue to work to prevent unlawful immigration, secure our borders, and address the issue of visa overstays.
Simply put, there is a better way than the Gang of Eight’s comprehensive legislation.