DIY: Improve the Gang of 8 immigration bill

Byron York reports that Senator Rubio has opened a new page on his Senate website asking for help from the public. “Visit our website and submit your ideas to ‘Help Us Improve the Bill,’” says an announcement from Rubio’s office this past Friday. “Since the immigration legislation was introduced, Rubio has received over 1,100 suggestions for how to improve the bill. Rubio encourages the public to continue reviewing the bill and sharing their ideas on ways to make the bill better when the time comes to amend the legislation.”

The page is accessible here. Byron York took a look at the page over the weekend and found 147 out of the 1,100 suggestions received by Rubio so far had been posted. He reported that Rubio’s staff was reviewing each one. Even after screening for foul language and general content, the posted suggestions Rubio had received were remarkably negative. “Actually,” Byron wrote, “they are overwhelmingly, crushingly negative, criticizing a wide spectrum of issues included in the Gang of Eight bill. The commenters Rubio has invited to speak really, really, really don’t like what he has done.”

Rubio’s staff continues to screen and post the comments, which (as posted) now number 1,100. Byron promises to take another look to see if the negativity among the initial posted comments continues to prevail.

Our friend Hugh Hewitt had Senator Rubio on at the top of his radio show for a couple of segments last night. Senator Rubio addressed some of the issues that concern us. Hugh hasn’t posted a transcript and I hesitate to comment on the specifics of Senator Rubio’s comments. My impression was that Senator Rubio is dancing as fast as he can. His recurring theme was that he is open to improvements on the bill, but that it offers a good start. That is rather weak tea.

Hugh’s issue with the bill is limited to border enforcement. On that point, Senator Rubio acknowledged that the bill could be strengthened. Shouldn’t this have been attended to in the drafting?

Senator Rubio indicated that he could support amendments that imposed more stringent requirements of border enforcement. He further acknowledged the problem with reliance on the Obama administration for any element of security and called this out as a reason for supporting the bill. All in all, I thought it was a performance that reflected the reaction that Byron found in the initial comments posted on the bill.

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