The Border Deal

Paul noted earlier the rumor that Republicans in the Senate have caved and agreed to a deal on immigration that includes amnesty for illegals. Hugh Hewitt has the talking points that are being circulated by the Republicans.
Hugh thinks the projected deal is a disaster, and he may be right. But on paper, at least, I don’t think it’s so clear. To me, the key is workplace enforcement. I don’t think people come here from Latin America to go on welfare; they come for jobs. Many people who have studied the illegal immigration problem more than I have believe that this is the key: as long as illegals can make far more money here than in their own countries, no fence will keep them out, whereas if the lure of a good job is gone, so is their reason for coming here. So I put a premium on workplace enforcement.
The Republican talking points say:

The bill will create an Electronic Employment Verification System (“EEVS”) so only legal workers can get jobs.

If I believed that to be true, I would probably accept the compromise as infinitely better than the status quo. The problem is, I just don’t believe it. The political class has been committed for a long time to an immigration policy that is frankly perverse. Rather than using immigration to serve American interests by taking only the best qualified and most easily assimilated immigrants, we have often done the opposite. I’m afraid that no matter what the “compromise” ostensibly consists of, the feature that will actually be implemented is amnesty for the 12 million existing illegals, and everything else will fail when it comes time for implementation. I’m not holding my breath, for example, waiting for the already-mandated fence to be built.
I’d love to be proved wrong, and if enough people get active on the issue, maybe I will be. But if the past is any guide, the fatal flaw in any “comprehensive” solution to the illegal immigration problem is that some of its features will come into being, and others won’t.
PAUL concurs: John’s last paragraph captures the problem. The only part of the program a conservative rationally can expect to work is amnesty (or path to citizenship, if you prefer) because it involves bestowing a benefit, one of the few things the government is good at. The enforcement components all require a level of competence that no conservative should expect the government to deliver.
The compromise, if there was going to be one, should have been the implementation of the enforcement provisions first, with the amnesty part coming into play only if the government proved it could stop illegal immigration. Benchmarks could have been established, since he Democrats like them so much when it comes to Iraq.
Any Republican candidate who is on board with the projected deal should receive no consideration from conservatives as a presidential nominee.

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