Conservatives in the House are pushing a resolution that would require the four southern-border states to certify that the border is secure before any immigration legislation could be brought to the floor for a vote. The immigration bill passed by the Senate at the end of June would give the federal Homeland Security Department the power to determine whether or not the border is secure.
The resolution would provide the ultimate trigger for those anxious about the federal commitment to border security.
That until the United States southern border is secured as confirmed by the governors and the legislatures jointly of the four southern border states, the House of Representatives shall not bring any legislation including any conference report regarding immigration tothe floor of the House for a vote.
The resolution notes previous laws Congress passed to strengthen border security, most of which haven’t been enforced.
Conservatives’ chief concern regarding immigration reform is that if steps aren’t taken to increase border security and interior enforcement of immigration laws, then another wave of illegal immigrants will enter the country in future years and Congress will have to revisit the issue again.
It isn’t a baseless concern, as this is pretty much what happened after three million illegals were given amnesty in 1986. In exchange for amnesty, the 1986 law promised increased security and enforcement to prevent a repeat. That part of the deal never happened, of course, which is why we are grappling with what to do with 11-12 million illegal immigrants in the country.
If they were confident the nation wasn’t setting up a repeat of that experience, many conservatives would support some kind of legalization or, even, a path to citizenship. This resolution would give them that confidence.