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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The political motives behind Republicans joining a bipartisan effort to pass comprehensive immigration reform are clear. Mitt Romney won less of the Latino vote than John McCain, who won less than George W. Bush. And if this trend continues, at some point Republicans will lose Texas and basically end their hopes of ever winning the White House again.

This isn’t a ploy to win more more Latino votes. It’s a ploy to stop losing so many.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) pushed the so-called “Gang of 8” to include a border commission in its plan. It will be made up of elected officials from the border region who have to certify that the border is secure before immigrants can proceed down the “tough but fair” path to citizenship. This means people like Arizona governor Jan Brewer could stop the whole process cold.

The Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent reports that sources in the Senate tell him that this board is only “advisory.” But Rubio and his chief of staff Cesar Conda spent Monday assuring Fox News’ Sean Hannity and the real bigwigs in the Republican world that enforcement would be the first element of immigration reform, meaning that the border commission will be far more than just advisory.

The fact that Rubio has to assure Republicans that he will secure the border first brings us to the essential problem with the right’s mindset on immigration, and why they will likely commit electoral suicide and kill this bill. In reality, the border is more secure than it has been in decades — some say safer than ever.

Undocumented immigration from Mexico is at net zero or below zero, meaning more undocumented workers could be leaving this country. The economy drives immigration, and since 2005, border crossings are falling dramatically. But the Obama administration has also stepped up enforcement, deporting more undocumented workers than the Bush administration each year since taking office. As a result, violent crime continues to drop in border cities.

But this fact is untenable to Republicans, who can’t bear the thought that the guy who got Osama bin Laden is also better at securing the border than Bush.

Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) completely ignores the reality of the situation by parroting ridiculous right-wing talking points. “We would be in a much better position to achieve immigration reform if the Obama administration had spent that last four years enforcing federal law rather than dismantling it,” he said Monday. “Brave immigration agents have been left with no recourse but to sue their own department head, simply so that they—like any other law officers—will be allowed to do their jobs.”

A handful of ICE agents are suing the Obama administration for deciding not to deport students and veterans who would be eligible for citizenship under the DREAM Act. Instead, the focus is on deporting violent criminals — a strategy that is clearly working.

Any Republican who says the border needs to be secure first is just looking for a way to kill immigration reform. Now — before the economy heats up and draws undocumented workers back into our broken system — is the time to pass immigration reform.

Yes, of course the border needs to be secure first. Fortunately, that job is mostly done.

Photo credit: AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • idamag

    Republicans don’t believe facts.

  • Using a graph was a bad move; Republicans these days are so uneducated they think graphs are sent by the Devil to trick them into believing the so-called “facts”.

  • Republicans cannot STAND solving problems.

    If a problem just sits there and is “acted upon” without resolution, you can make political hay from it indefinitely.

  • docb

    Facts are not relevant to repub baggers…They are to be science, medicine , women, and the voter!

  • Not only is our Southern border more secure today than it has been at any other time in our history, the rate of deportations is at its highest level and, mostly importantly, almost a million illegal immigrants have left the country voluntarily as the result of the Great Recession, improved economic conditions in Mexico, and the consequences of a low fertility rate in their homelands. If the latter continues, it will not be long before we have to import produce…from Mexico or go on a strict diet!

    • RobertCHastings

      We ALREADY import much of our produce, from Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Canada, and many other places outside our borders, thanks to the current drought, a consequence of the unrecognized and intellectually unacceptable hypothesis of global warming. Once again, the law of unintended consequences is driving unwanted illegals from this country because of another issue that the Republicans don’t want to admit exists and don’t want to deal with. However, if we continue on our current course of fossil-fuel-use, our “breadbasket” will become a wasteland.

    • Dominic, we’ve been importing produce from Mexico for decades. I’ve picked up produce loads in Nogales, Az. for thirty years -more often than not going to Hunt’s Point, NY. It’ll come down to a question of whether we grow any produce in this country.

      • My point was that without cheap labor, and people willing to work 10 to 12 hours a day, our agri-business is likely to collapse and we will have no option but to buy ALL our produce from foreign countries.
        Some believe illegal immigrants are taking jobs from Americans. I have not met a single American interested in doing agricultural work, especially for the wages farmers pay to migrants and no benefits whatsoever. If they continue to leave at the rate they are currently doing, this could turn into a major problem for us. The first casualty will be our low inflation rate, followed by unavailability of fruits and vegetables previously grown and harvested in the United States.

        • johninPCFL

          It’s already here, this is from October 15, 2011:

          “Brian Cash can put a figure to the cost of Alabama’s new immigration law: at least $100,000. That’s the value of the tomatoes he has personally ripening out in his fields and that are going unpicked because his Hispanic workforce vanished literally overnight.

          For generations, Cash’s family have farmed 125 acres atop the Chandler mountain, a plateau in the north of the state about nine miles long and two miles wide. It’s perfect tomato-growing country – the soil is sandy and rich, and the elevation provides a breeze that keeps frost at bay and allows early planting.

          For four months every year he employs almost exclusively Hispanic male workers to pick the harvest. This year he had 64 men out in the fields.

          Then HB56 came into effect, the new law that makes it a crime not to carry valid immigration documents and forces the police to check on anyone they suspect may be in the country illegally.

          The provisions – the toughest of any state in America – were enforced on 28 September. By the next day Cash’s workforce had dwindled to 11.

          Today there is no-one left. The fields around his colonial-style farmhouse on top of a mountain are empty of pickers and the tomato plants are withering on the vine as far as the eye can see. The sweet, slightly acrid smell of rotting tomato flesh hangs in the air.”

          • They used that same excuse in the south to try and keep slavery from ending. The south said they could not afford to produce tobacco crops or cotton crops without slave labor because the cost was too high. Yet tosay we still have tobacco products and we still have cotton crops. This is just another ruse to keep basically slave labor to pick their crops. The law to keep illegals out of Alabama and Arizona is to keep people that have no right to be here out. If they cannot work the fields, guess what, the corporate farmers will either need to pay a decent wage to get their crops pickes, or innovate and build machinary to do the job. Just like they did with cotton and tobacco. What I hate is greedy farm corporations pretending to care about these migrant farm workers when all they really care about is profit.

        • My neighbor lost his job as a union sheet metal worker to non-union illegal contractors. He also lost his house and almost his mariage, but keep repeating the cliche about jobs “Americans won’t do…” It sounds so good.

      • Without water in the heartland, we probably won’t!

    • Obviously you dont live on the southern border. I live 30 miles from the Mexico border and I see tracks from people walking through the desert by my house all the time. Here is how SECURE the border is; where I live the sheriff and the border patrol caught two illegals after they had come across the border. The “caught” the men because the coyote that brought them across abandoned them after they could not keep up. They wandered around the mountain close to the freeway (I10) and finally unable to reach the freeway one of the men, who had a cellphone, called 911 and told the sheriff where they were because they were hungry and thirsty. That is how SECURE we are.

  • Eleanore Whitaker

    There is one inherent flaw in the GOP (among others)…it’s their inability to face the truth. If they can’t face the truth, they can’t resolve issues until they do. So, in their lamebrained view of political methodology, stalling for time is their answer to resolving problems. It doesn’t resolve the problems, it makes them grow like a cancer.

    • It would also seem that they ignore the old line ” An ounce of prevention—–“.

  • artolga

    Yes it’s better, but we still need to improve it even more! AND PLEASE NO AMNESTY!

  • Why do they call guys like Rubio Latino? Just because his parents were born in Cuba? Check his background. He’s about as Latino as a Philadelphia Lawyer.

  • alumahead

    When did facts ever get in the way of Republican rhetoric?

  • Romney_has_a_tiny_dick

    Republicans and anyone who admire them need to go away for about 200 years , Republicans have to be the most useless pieces of shits this century has ever seen!! ==================================================================s==========================================================================================================================================================================================================================================================——————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————-