Last evening, I was on with Mark Levin discussing the latest developments with the gang of 8 amnesty bill. We tackle some important issues related to hypocritical voting records as it relates to border security. You can listen to the audio by clicking here and selecting the May 9th show. I come on in the second half-hour of the show.
Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee began its markup of the gang of 8 immigration deform bill (s.744). The striking thing about the markup is that any casual observer would think we were living in 1965 or 1986, when there was either relatively low legal immigration or no failed amnesty to look back upon. To most of the senators sitting around the table, the border is more secure than ever (despite the sharp rise in crossings), our record levels of immigration don’t exist, and there is no reason to implement the enforcement before the legalization.
The first vote was on the Schumer manager’s amendment, which is a substitute making technical changes to the bill. This ostensibly is the bill. Yet 4 Republicans – Jeff Flake, Lindsey Graham, John Cornyn, and Orrin Hatch – joined all the Democrats in supporting it. I’m not sure why someone who ultimately opposes this bill would vote for that. Would they have voted for the defacto Obamacare bill in the form of a substitute? Either way, I overheard Chuck Schumer celebrating the votes of Hatch and Cornyn, noting that it was “a good sign.” If Cornyn and Hatch believe that not to be true, they ought to clarify their position.
Next, Senator Grassley proposed a commonsense amendment to delay all legalization until the enforcement measures are implemented. Dianne Feinstein said, “I have no doubt as to this nation’s commitment to enforce this border,” asserting that the border is more secure than ever! Jeff Flake argued that we shouldn’t delay amnesty for security. I wish he had said that during his primary in 2012. Schumer said that such a measure would delay amnesty forever. He’s probably right. These guys have no intention of ever enforcing the law, so it probably would never take place. Every Democrat plus Graham and Flake voted against the amendment.
Later in the markup, Senator Lee proposed a similar amendment, granting Congress the authority to pass the security measures with a simple majority. It also requires Congress to certify that the measures have been sufficiently implemented before any legalization is offered. Lindsey Graham even admitted that the border commission “is not a trigger.” Once again, Flake and Graham voted no with the Democrats.
In an effort to show how open they are to changes, they agreed beforehand to adopt a Grassley amendment (by voice vote) to audit the money given to private organizations. So they’ll audit the money the give to La Raza.
[- The Senate adopted an amendment from Dick Blumenthal that would grant the Attorney General discretion to waive the requirement that states be reimbursed for costs of detaining illegal aliens when there is an allegation of impropriety on the part of local police. You can guarantee this administration would use that "discretion" liberally.
- The Cruz amendment, which would have made a biometric US-Visit and the border fence as a precondition to legalization, was defeated. Orrin Hatch joined Flake and Graham in opposing it. Once again, Chuck Schumer could be heard saying "you heard that?" Good going, Orrin.
- They just adopted another amendment by Senator Hirono to force border agents to search out family members from those detained within "practicable" time. Yet another massive burden on border agents. The amendment passed along party lines.
- Sessions proposed an amendment to complete the 2006 double-layered fence. Every Democrat voted no plus Gramm and Flake. This bill passed in 2006 by 80-19. At the time, Schumer, Feinstein, and Graham voted for it. Jeff Flake supported it in the House. The reason they oppose it is because this is something that would actually work, but unlike in 2006, it would be used as accountability to hold up the amnesty. What a bunch of frauds.]
It’s becoming clear that Democrats will ram this though with the help of the Republican gang members who vote down all of the enforcement amendments. They will do the same thing on the floor. Marco Rubio has already made it clear that the triggers need to be strengthened. The Democrats (and Flake/Graham/McCain) have made it clear that they will not allow any structural amendments to pass. The writing is on the wall. This thing will pass if it is not blocked from the floor now.
Rubio entered the negotiations in good faith trying to come out with a somewhat decent product. Mitch McConnell tapped him to join that gang. It’s time for Rubio and McConnell to get off the fence and publicly oppose this bill. They must demand #enforcementfirst.
With Marco Rubio appearing all over the media to talk about this disastrous immigration bill, I felt it would be worthwhile to go back and examine his comments on illegal immigration while he was running for office:
- Interviewer: “Are you pro-amnesty for illegal immigration?”
Rubio: “No, No, Never have been, in fact, I am strongly against amnesty for a number of reasons” (interview with Human Events, 2010)
- “I will never support- never have and never will support- any effort to grant blanket, legalization amnesty to folks who have entered this country illegally.”
- “Nothing will make it harder to enforce existing laws.”
- “It demoralizes the people who are going through the legal process.”
- “You’re never going to have a legal immigration system that works if you grant amnesty.”
- “I believe we must fix our immigration system by first securing our border, fixing the visa and entry process, and opposing amnesty in any form.”
- Marco Rubio, 2010 campaign website quote
- “Immigration was nowhere to be found in the book of 100 Innovative Ideas for Florida’s Future he compiled as House Speaker; now it’s among the 9 issues addressed on his campaign website.”
- Miami Herald, Nov 10, 2009
- “If you grant amnesty, the message that you’re sending is that if you come in this country and stay here long enough, we will let you stay. And no one will ever come through the legal process if you do that.”
- Marco Rubio, Nov 2009
- “His (Marco Rubio) tone has changed on the subject (immigration), and to me it’s very obvious it’s for political reasons.”
- State Rep. Juan Zapata, Miami
“First of all, earned path to citizenship is basically code for amnesty. It’s what they call it. And the reality of it is this. … It is unfair to the people that have legally entered this country to create an alternative pathway for individuals who entered illegally and knowingly did so. And all I’m saying is that if you do that … you will never have a legal immigration system that works. No one is going to follow the law if there is an easier way to do it.”
-Marco Rubio, 2010, debate with Charlie Crist
- “I would vote against anything that grants amnesty because I think it destroys your ability to enforce the existing law”
-Marco Rubio, 2009
- “I would vote against anything that has amnesty in it”
-Marco Rubio, 2009
- As far as amnesty, that’s where [Charlie Crist] and I disagree. He would have voted for the McCain plan. I think that plan is wrong…if you grant amnesty…you will destroy any chance we will ever have of having a legal immigration system that works here in America. [Marco Rubio, Fox News Sunday debate with Charlie Crist, March 28, 2010]
One of the most underappreciated sociological phenomenons of the past two decades is the precipitous, almost miraculous, drop in the level of crime nationwide. Throughout the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s violent crime rose sharply. We were beginning to wonder if living with such dangerous streets would be the new norm in America. Yet, there has been a dramatic decline in crime over the past two decades. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistic, violent crimes per 1,000 people nationally has declined from roughly 51 in 1994 to 15 in 2010.
Today, two new reports – one from BJS and one from Pew Research – show a parallel drop in gun-related homicides and non-fatal shootings, reports Fox News:
A study released Tuesday by the government’s Bureau of Justice Statistics found that gun-related homicides dropped from 18,253 in 1993 to 11,101 in 2011. That’s a 39 percent reduction.
Another report by the private Pew Research Center found a similar decline by looking at the rate of gun homicides, which compares the number of killings to the size of the country’s population. It found that the number of gun homicides per 100,000 people fell from 7 percent in 1993 to 3.6 percent in 2010, a drop of 49 percent.
Both reports also found the rate of non-fatal crimes involving guns was also down by around 70 percent over that period.
As we all know, this same time period has also coincided with the most ubiquitous liberalization of gun laws. Now, there are a number of factors related to policing and the criminal justice system that have played a large role in this downward trend of violent crime. But the question liberals cannot answer is this: if the problem is guns, not the criminals, how can the period of miraculous decline in crime coincide with such expansive proliferation of gun ownership and right to carry laws?
Imagine the biggest conservative donors in America banding together to form a group, “Progressives for Retirement Security,” for the purpose of promoting private retirement accounts. Imagine that group running ads starring Chuck Schumer promoting private Social Security accounts as examples of bold progressive reform.
Don’t worry, hell will freeze over from global warming before that happens.
If you’ve been watching Fox News or listening to talk radio this week, you’ve been subjected to the most nauseating duplicitous ads ever unleashed on conservatives. Ubber-leftist Mark Zuckerberg’s Orwellian-front group, “Americans for a Conservative Direction,” which is run by Arlen Specter Republicans, is running ads calling the 867-page immigration reform bill “the toughest immigration enforcement measures in the history of the United States” and “conservative reform” designed to end “defacto amnesty.” The ad shows Marco Rubio discussing all the triggers and qualifications for amnesty, even though he has now admitted that they need to be strengthened and that he’d like to work with conservatives to do so.
What’s next? Ads from ‘Conservatives for Obamacare,’ funded by George Soros?
To buttress the lies expressed in the ad, Zuckerberg’s group put out a push-poll showing how 71% of voters, and 74% of conservative Republicans(!), support the Senate gang bill. Take a look at the wording of the question:
As you may have heard, there is a proposal facing Congress to reform the nation’s immigration laws. This proposal would establish a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants presently in the country as long as they pass a criminal background check, pay a fine and back taxes, learn English, and wait at least 13 years. The plan would also allow more high-skilled immigrants into the country in technology, science and engineering fields and create a guest worker program to address labor shortages in industries like agriculture and construction. Finally, the plan would require a series of increased border security measures before anyone here illegally can apply for citizenship – including greater enforcement, extended fencing along the border and a requirement that all employers verify the legal status of individuals before hiring them….Do you support or oppose this proposal?
Wow – sign me up…I’m surprised there are even 20% who would oppose such a plan when expressed that way.
Now take a look at real polling data that is as plain and innocuous as can be:
Do you favor or oppose requiring completion of new border security measures first — before making other changes to immigration policies?
68 percent are in favor; 22% are opposed. Even 66% of Democrats agree support enforcement first.
Should those who are now in this country illegally be granted legal status right away or should that come only after the border is secured?
Similar to the Fox News result, 66% favor security first. Byron York has the crosstabs:
The majority in favor of security-first cut across all party and demographic lines. Seventy-one percent of men support it; 60 percent of women; 59 percent of young people; 67 percent of middle-aged people; 75 percent of older Americans; 68 percent of whites; 62 percent of blacks; 56 percent of others; 82 percent of Republicans; 53 percent of Democrats; 65 percent of independents; 81 percent of conservatives; 59 percent of moderates; 51 percent of liberals; 77 percent of people who make under $30,000 a year; 66 percent of those who make between $30,000 and $50,000 a year; 66 percent of those who make between $50,000 and $100,000; 55 percent of those who make between $100,000 and $200,000; 51 percent of those who make more than $200,000; 75 percent of veterans; and 64 percent of non-veterans.
Then, when asked “how likely is it that the federal government would secure border and prevent illegal immigration,” just 30% answered in the affirmative while 57% said it was not very or not at all likely.
The reality is that no amount of left-wing money can ameliorate this pig. The GOP base is not like the pool of low-information voters they are used to manipulating, and they will not be sucked into this sham. That is…all of them except for the few Mark Zuckerberg conservatives in the country.
Cross-posted at RedState.com
Yesterday, 21 Republicans helped secure passage of the Orwellian-named Marketplace Fairness Act. The bill would allow states to join together in a contract to force online retailers who earn more than $1 million in annual revenue to collect sales taxes on behalf of all 50 states based on the location of the shipping address.
In an effort to rectify what proponents see as an unfair tax advantage over brick and mortar stores, this bill will create a tendentious tax scheme for large online retailers with stores in multiple states, at the expense of small firms who will be encumbered with collecting taxes for almost 10,000 distinct tax jurisdictions. The bill will also help grow government all over the country, hurt low-tax states, impose taxation without representation, and impede the freest venue of commerce in the world.
Here are the 21 Republicans:
We’ve noted many times throughout the debate over amnesty that you simply cannot legalize so many low-skilled people without reforming the welfare state. Some people don’t like to hear it, but the reality of today’s redistributive society is that the higher-skilled population transfers a tremendous amount of wealth to the lower-skilled population in the form of the tax code, entitlements, welfare, and social services. Do we really need to import so many new low-skilled illegal and legal immigrants over the next decade to exacerbate the current unsustainable dynamic?
That is the question Heritage’s Robert Rector deals with in his cost study on amnesty today, at least in the case of illegal immigrants. And the answer is a resounding no. Under any amnesty plan, there would indeed be more people paying payroll taxes, but that revenue will never outweigh the cost of benefits they would inevitably receive.
According to Rector, “over a lifetime, the former unlawful immigrants together would receive $9.4 trillion in government benefits and services and pay $3.1 trillion in taxes.” That’s a net cost of $6.3 trillion in combined federal, state, and local benefits. The annual net cost will be roughly $112 billion. The majority of expense will be the result of increased educational and welfare costs.
Additionally, there are a number of likely factors that could result in higher costs:
On Friday, the BLS released a better-than-usual jobs report for the month of April. The number of jobs created increased by 168,000, and there were some positive revisions for the past two months. However, when you dig a little deeper into the details, you will find a permanently lethargic job market, endemic of the massive distortions created by Obamacare.
The total increase in jobs was almost completely countermanded by this staggering note: “involuntary part-time workers” increased by 278,000 to a whopping 7.9 million. This means that a number of employers are cutting back their workers to part time (defined as less than 30 hours), so they can avoid the steep costs of paying for their healthcare under Obamacare.
The Obamacare job market reality is also born out in two other statistics. The average weekly hours fell to 34.4 from 34.6, and the average weekly earnings fell to $821.13 from $824.52. Hence, when a jobs report like the one released for April is considered the best report in a while, we are is serious trouble.
When Jim DeMint delivered his farewell speech in the Senate, he touched on a salient point that is often lost in the raucous of political discourse. The entrenchment of political interests and allegiances has often made commonsense ideas that transcend political ideology impossible to implement. Nowhere is this more evident than with the push to hold national security hostage for mass amnesty.
We have a wide open border, through which crossings have tripled amidst the push for amnesty. We have no way of tracking those who overstay their visas. We now know that the third suspect in the Boston bombing was a young student from Kazakhstan who violated the terms of his student visa and was let back into the country without a new one. In 2002, Congress created the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), which required those visa recipients from countries that represent a security risk to register with an ICE office and report regularly about their plans. That system would have exposed this terror risk, yet it was essentially abolished by Obama’s DHS in 2011. Why is that system not restored immediately? Moreover, why do we let these people into the country in the first place?
These are all questions that We the People – both Democrat and Republican – care about. Yet these are the issues that are being glossed over in the current debate over immigration. Isn’t it commonsense that before we embark on any massive immigration expansion, we protect America first? National security might not be the ephemeral aspect of immigration – one which attracts a plethora of special interest money – but shouldn’t that be the priority of any elected official?
Even those who are sympathetic to amnesty must admit that it doesn’t have to be done this month. It could wait another few years until we implement comprehensive security. Yet, the policies that protect and benefit We the People are not represented in Washington. The illegal immigrants have Big Business, Big Ag, Big Labor, Big Environment, Big Ethnic, Big Religion, and Big Media shilling and inveigling others on their behalf. Border and immigration security-related policies have no lobby, and in fact, are vociferously opposed by the aforementioned coalition.
Here are the rhetorical accomplishments this week of one of the biggest “stars” in GOP politics.
On Monday, Paul Ryan joined Luis Gutierrez at a rally in Chicago to promote immigration reform.
“A sweeping immigration bill that would provide a path to legalization for millions of illegal immigrants was introduced in the U.S. Senate last week,” WBEZ reporter Alex Keefe notes. “Gutierrez said he and Ryan are in the process of drafting a House bill.”
According to Keefe, Ryan “stressed that changing the “broken” immigration system goes along with quintessentially Republican ideals. He pointed to his own family’s immigration from Ireland during the Great Famine.”
“I do believe that if there are children who are orphans who do not have a loving person or couple – I think if a person wants to love and raise a child, they ought to be able to do that. Period. I would vote that way. I do believe marriage is between a man and a woman; we just respectfully disagree on that issue,” Ryan said.
It’s funny because Ryan believes that children who were brought here illegally “of no fault of their own” should be given citizenship and welfare. What about the children who are forced to grow up in a licentious, dysfunctional home of no fault of their own?
Online Sales Tax
Paul Ryan now supports the concept of a online sales tax. Aside for some technicalities of the current bill, he has no problems with raising taxes and instituting taxation without representation across state lines.
Folks, we’re in a world of hurt. When do you ever have a prominent Democrat come out one week and evolve on a major issue in favor of conservatives, support massive tax cuts, and join with conservatives on a major right-wing initiative?
There is a reason why we are losing this game. We have no men on the field.