Speaking on the Senate floor Thursday, Sen. Chuck Schumer admitted it will take “years and years and years” to secure the border. The chief negotiator behind the Gang of 8 immigration bill was speaking against an amendment offered by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA). The amendment would have blocked legalization of current illegal immigrants until the border was certified as secure for six months.
Schumer argued that the Grassley amendment would delay for too long the legalization, and the “pathway to citizenship” for 12 million illegals. His admission, though, goes to the heart of conservative anxiety about the Gang’s bill. Immediate legalization and the prospect of citizenship without a secure border will likely attract a new wave of illegals crossing the border.
As Grassley argued in support of his amendment, that combination occurred the last time Congress passed amnesty legislation in 1986. In that bill, three million illegals were immediately legalized with the promise of securing the border in the future. That border security, obviously, never happened.
Schumer’s admission also underscores that the Gang bill is chiefly about legalizing the 12 million illegals in the country.