Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said on Face the Nation today that he hoped that the Senate would come to an agreement on immigration reform this week. “All of us have said that there will be no agreement until the eight of us agree to a big, specific bill, but hopefully we can get that done by the end of the week,” Schumer explained. Sitting alongside him and nodding was Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who stated, “There will be a great deal of unhappiness about this proposal because everybody didn’t get what they wanted. There are entrenched positions on both sides of this issue as far as business and labor.”
But while Schumer and McCain expressed optimism over immigration reform, the White House signaled that it would put a poison pill in the immigration bill. Dan Pfeiffer, senior advisor to President Obama, refused to say whether Obama would sign legislation making a pathway to citizenship contingent on achieving border security. All he would do is offer a milquetoast endorsement of the Senate strategy. This weekend, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano visited the border in Arizona to declare that border security is already stellar.
The goal of this little charade is obvious: President Obama wants to endorse a widely-popular immigration framework, then force Republicans to sink it by ripping out the key plank of border security. That allows him and his Democratic allies in the House to position Republicans as obstructionists who don’t want to do anything for Hispanics living in the United States illegally. And that positioning, in turn, puts the Democrats in better electoral position come 2014. Meanwhile, Republicans continue to play right into Obama’s hands, with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) proclaiming, “We are going to secure that border and it will be tied to a pathway to citizenship or there will be no deal.”
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the New York Times bestseller “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).