The “Gang of” 8 grand immigration proposal, over 800 pages, is written by members of the same body that has failed to address the problem of meaningful immigration reform for over 30 years.
Senator Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) stated that he wanted the 92 other members to join in this important debate. In the House of Representatives in particular, the silence of the GOP leadership is deafening.
Look at what is missing in this process: transparency; experts on many aspects of immigration reform; and law enforcement agencies involved in dealing with the problems on the ground. The GOP-led House of Representatives has promised regular order. How much transparency we will see from the Senate is undetermined. Most of all, valuable input from relevant Governors are left out of the equation.
A transparent public discussion is required. In 1986 we had outright amnesty and the promised enforcement of a secure border. Lack of promised enforcement by Democrats got us to this point with a significantly larger problem. Are we creating de facto amnesty again with a rushed comprehensive bill over incremental and combined approaches to the problem?
With America’s burgeoning Hispanic population–the largest block of illegal immigrants–more emphasis seems to be placed on who will vote en masse for which party over necessary solutions for the long-term future of this country. It is a bitter pill to take, with the term “lawful presence” in its prescription.
The recent terror attacks in Boston renewed calls from both Republicans and Democrats in the “Gang of 8″ for immediate immigration reform. Border security is key, as Arizona Governor Jan Brewer recently stated in my American Forum.
Governor Brewer made the case for working with residents that live along the border, state police, sheriffs and other local law enforcement agencies. There is also the issue of sending the National Guard for additional resources.
This is not a numbers issue; it is a human issue. We have citizens in constant danger along our southern border. There are areas where a fence is necessary and could prove to be effective. The Obama Administration restricts border patrol activity on federal lands, and the cartels, human traffickers, illegal aliens who break our law by crossing the southern border are not known for their obedience to the law. They cross onto federal land with impunity, and the proper authorities are not allowed to pursue.
The “Gang of 8″ proposal so far leaves more questions to be answered than solutions offered. Solutions must include standards, methods to achieve those standards, and metrics to measure their effectiveness. Long-term concerns, such as those expressed by Governor Brewer, much less solutions, are largely cast aside.