On Tuesday, the Senate will begin floor consideration of the Rubio-Schumer immigration bill. Senators will vote on a “motion to proceed,” which would allow formal debate on the legislation and the consideration of amendments. One PAC, Americans for Legal Immigration, is threatening to find primary challengers for any Republican Senator who votes in favor of the motion. The move is the latest activism from conservatives organizations against the amnesty bill.
The “motion to proceed” will likely succeed. Voting to proceed to the bill does not guarantee support for final passage, however. Once the Senate is “on” the bill Tuesday, there will be a few weeks of debate and consideration of amendments. Sen. Cornyn is drafting an amendment to tighten the border security provisions in the bill. Sen. Rubio, a lead negotiator of the bill, has stated publicly that these provisions need to be strengthened to secure passage. It is entirely possible that Senators will vote to proceed to the bill and then oppose final passage, especially if border security isn’t improved.
Sometime before the July 4th recess, Senate Majority Leader Reid will move to close off debate and have a final vote on passage of the bill. This is when opponents of the bill will mount their filibuster challenge to the legislation. With 4 GOP negotiators behind the bill, Reid is close to the 60 votes he needs for passage. The growing opposition, however, could cause headaches for Democrats up for reelection in 2014.
On Monday, a group of sheriffs in North Carolina announced their opposition to the current bill. NC Dem. Kay Hagen is up for reelection next year and could be a key swing vote on the bill. The 75 sheriffs from the TarHeel State who announced their opposition join a growing chorus of law enforcement officials critical of the bill. Immigration and border agents have long complained about the weak security provisions in the bill.
Breitbart News has also learned that a new coalition of evangelicals is mobilizing against the Senate bill. Last week, we reported that a group of purported evangelical leaders had taken out ads in support the the legislation. The organization, however, didn’t legally exist and the ads were funded by a non-profit funded by leftist George Soros.
There are multiple arguments to be made in support of immigration reform. Our current system is so broken it can only be the product of the federal government. The Senate bill, however, makes our broken system worse. With hundreds of possible waivers to the rules, it would make the system even more arbitrary than it currently is.
The Senate bill, as currently written, is an obstacle to meaningful reform. Over the next few weeks, as opposition builds, our nation may finally be able to have a real debate on immigration reform. Our nation, and immigrants, deserve a system that is open, transparent, and grounded in the rule of law.