Mark Levin, Heritage Call for Immigration Debate

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Immigration Bill

The Heritage Foundation and conservative talk radio host Mark Levin have called for a blockbuster immigration debate on the right with some of the leading proponents and opponents of comprehensive immigration reform squaring off.

Levin suggests Heather MacDonald, Ed Meese, the former U.S. Attorney General under President Ronald Ronald Reagan, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and/or Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to argue against the bill. MacDonald is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute who has written extensively on immigration. Meese was Reagan's attorney general when the infamous Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) passed in 1986 that granted amnesty to illegal immigrants. Those against the bill, like Sessions, have emphasized the Senate's immigration bill would force the country to grant even "more amnesty" in the future. Cruz, arguable of the Congress's best debaters, and Sessions have been staunchly against the legislation.

To argue in favor, Levin suggests former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Jeff Lord at the National Spectator suggests Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) be added to this team. Messrs. Christie, Bush, and especially Rubio, with his membership in the Gang of Eight, have been outspoken supporters of immigration reform. Ryan has recently voiced his support for immigration reform while emphasizing the House's bill may be different from the Senate's. 

Such a debate would not only be entertaining, but substantive and informative.

As Lord notes, it is beyond "time for a William F. Buckley-esque debate between conservatives that finally and quite publicly puts those involved with the issue together on one stage at the same time." He said such a debate would put "them there for an open, televised, candid, and serious discussion of a seriously momentous issue for the future of America. An issue that is being shoved through Congress with all the speed of a rocket accompanied by the usual Washington bipartisan game playing and theatrics."

Ryan and Levin recently agreed that conservatives could disagree on the issue. And when Ryan said granting legalization to illegal immigrants this time does not amount to "amnesty," Heritage's Michael Needham said, “that is a conversation we would welcome.”


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