Partly Cloudy92° WeatherPartly Cloudy92° Weather

The Buzz

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Sarasota GOP chair says Rubio's immigration plan 'amnesty-first'

26

April

In an email to Republicans across Sarasota, county GOP chairman Joe Gruters says he has "great respect" for Sen. Marco Rubio's work on immigration but "when boiled down it appears to be amnesty-first."

Dear Republicans & Conservatives,

The Boston bombings have shown again the critical security issues involved with our immigration policy, and the importance of knowing who is visiting our country and where they are.

This means starting with secure borders and enacting e-verify, and the fact is that our borders are not secure right now. People illegally cross back and forth by the millions. That is a blatant security problem that also is creating enormous financial burdens on Americans and visitors who are here legally, abiding by American laws and paying into the system.

It is both dangerous and it is unfair.

So we have great respect for Sen. Marco Rubio and what he is trying to accomplish with immigration reform. It clearly needs reforming. And he should get tremendous kudos for taking on such a politically dicey issue — one that is dividing his own party. He is showing leadership from the front, unlike the current White House occupant.

However, having said that, the bill remains flawed. Despite Sen. Rubio’s defenses of the triggers, when boiled down it appears to be amnesty-first. The most realistic future based on the duplicity of the last time we went through immigration “reform” in the 1980s is that Democrats will find a way to avoid the border security.

Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, writes that the bill calls for “an enforcement plan on paper and a commission to be named later.” A giant loophole.

“Under the bill, no additional enforcement has to take place before undocumented immigrants get legalized. The secretary of the Department of Homeland Security merely has to come up with a strategy for enforcement and notify Congress that it has commenced. It doesn’t matter if it is a good, bad, or indifferent plan, so long as it is a plan. Then, an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants get legal status.”

Now that legal status is not citizenship. And according to the bill right now, such citizenship would still require going through hoops. It’s not the blanket from the 1980s. But unfortunately, it does not take a prophet to predict how the Democrats will act. Sequestration has proven they are more interesting in winning than governing in the best interests of the American people.

Once the people here illegally are made to be here legally with the wave of a pen, Democrats will immediately begin to push to make them citizens. The Gang of Eight proposal is only legislation. It can be changed, modified or overturned.

So Democrats will pull at emotions to argue that we’ve got to allow these legal residents to have all the benefits available if they are paying into the system. And then they will argue that this country was built on a revolt against taxation without representation and that this will leave the people here legally in the position of paying taxes but not being able to vote — which will resonate with a lot of people. Therefore they must become citizens.

And we still won’t have border security.

Again.

There is only one chance with leverage on Democrats primarily seeking millions more Democrat voters. Any immigration reform must be based in factual reality, not the pieties of political correctness, and not in crass future political gains regardless of the consequences to the nation.

If it cannot be done with the security of the American people in mind first — and that means fully guarded borders — then it should not be done at all. As bad as the current situation is, it is better than any solution that involves giving legal status to the current crop of people here illegally before the borders are actually, physically secured.

Thanks for being informed and engaged.

Joe Gruters

Chairman  

[Last modified: Friday, April 26, 2013 1:02pm]

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...