In a post below, I noted that during his appearance tonight on Sean Hannity’s program, Marco Rubio failed to defend his immigration bill, even though the format of the show was highly favorable to the Senator from Florida. Here is what happened.
Hannity asked a central question that has become even more pressing in view of recent Obama administration scandals, particularly the one involving the IRS. That question, in essence, is: given that current immigration law isn’t being enforced, and given what we know generally about how government operates, how can we have any real confidence that the border security provisions of Schumer-Rubio will be carried out effectively?
Rubio did not respond by arguing that his bill will ensure border security. Instead he responded by saying, more than once, that if it we can’t write a law that ensures border security, it won’t pass — and shouldn’t.
There are obvious problems with this shocking answer. First, it isn’t necessarily true. Second, it’s an admission that Rubio is advancing a bill he can’t say will be effective, and thus an admission that he has abdicated his responsibility as a legislator.
We cannot depend on Congress to reject immigration reform legislation that won’t bring about effective border enforcement. Why not? Because Democrats are committed to amnesty with or without border security, and thus will vote virtually unanimously for immigration reform legislation that doesn’t secure the border.
This means that such legislation can be enacted even if only about 10 percent of Republicans in the Senate and the House support it. Does anyone believe that congressional Republicans are 90 percent fool-proof on immigration reform (or anything else)? I don’t.
Second, and more fundamentally, how can Rubio write and sponsor legislation on such an important issue when he (1) cannot say that the legislation will be effective (indeed, he basically said it won’t be effective under a liberal Democratic administration such as the one we have now) and (2) concedes if it isn’t effective it shouldn’t pass? Rubio acts as if the legislation is someone else’s thought experiment, not his own handicraft.
President Obama is famous for detaching himself from the policies carried out by those who work for him. But I doubt even Obama would detach himself from legislation that he wrote.
Since Rubio seems agnostic about the enforcement provisions of his own bill, maybe he should vote “present.”
Rubio knows, as we all do, that the bill’s enforcement provisions could have been significantly stricter in a number of respects. He even said on Hannity’s program that Congress should look at ways of better ensuring that enforcement occurs.
So why didn’t Rubio include such provisions in the bill that he drafted? He knows that the Democrats can’t attain their holy grail of amnesty and a path to citizenship for illegals without Rubio’s participation.
It is simply unconscionable that Rubio agreed to sponsor legislation the efficacy of which he cannot vouch for, on the theory that other, more responsible legislators will make sure the legislation won’t pass if it’s deficient. His stance is only marginally more responsible than Nancy Pelosi’s view that we should pass Obamacare so we can find out what’s in it.
Frankly, I don’t believe Rubio won many converts for his bill tonight. If anything, he may have lost some backing.
Unfortunately, though, Rubio continues to dominate the Fox airwaves, thereby crowding out strong expressions of anti-amnesty sentiment. Absent those strong expressions in large media outlets like Fox, Schumer-Rubio’s chances of passage are good, notwithstanding Rubio’s supposed confidence that Congress would never pass a bad immigration bill.