Where does Paul Ryan stand on amnesty?

On Monday, the literal answer was: alongside left-wing Congressman and longtime amnesty advocate Luis Gutierrez at a rally held by a Hispanic activist group:

Appearing at the Erie Neighborhood House and a City Club of Chicago lunch with the Democrat, Ryan forcefully pushed back on conservatives like former Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who think opening the gates to legalizing undocumented immigrants will plunge the nation into further fiscal ruin.

“If we have a modern immigration system that works, then what we will see is better economic growth and more tax revenues in totality at the end of the day,” Ryan said, adding that border security will cost money. “And I think that’s the holistic view we have to take a look at when we’re measuring the cost of this bill.”

Ryan expressly endorsed the legalization of illegal aliens — i.e., amnesty — as a core element of what should be in an immigration bill. These elements, as reported by Politico are: “securing the borders, creating immigration laws that can be enforced, a “workable guest worker system,” a pathway to “earned legalization” that encourages undocumented immigrants to “come out of the shadows,” and an expedited legalization process for children who were born in the U.S.” [Note: Presumably, the last element should have read an ‘expedited legalization process’ for those who came illegally to the U.S. before they turned 16. Children born in the U.S. are already legal].

Ryan also supports a pathway to citizenship. To be sure, he says the “first order of business is to secure the border and have necessary triggers that border security metrics are being met before we proceed with the rest of immigration reform.” But that’s what Marco Rubio said too. As Janet Napolitano’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings showed, meaningful “border security metrics” are a myth.

It appears, then, that Ryan will support legislation that grants illegal aliens amnesty and a path to citizenship. He may well do a better job than Rubio of forcing the Dems to include an extra hoop or two in the legislation, but these “improvements” will be more cosmetic than real.

Ryan has a well-deserved reputation for expertise on fiscal matters. So his “fiscal blessing” of comprehensive immigration reform may carry weight among his House colleagues. Whether his general blessing will carry weight remains to be seen. One hopes that it will be seen as hopelessly naive — the triumph of hope over experience.

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