Tomorrow, Harry Reid will call for cloture on the Gang of Eight’s immigration bill as amended by Corker-Hoeven, a 1,200-page bill that no one–literally no one, given the fact that it was drafted by committee–has read. It is a remarkable moment in American history. This morning Jeff Sessions, who has been a one-man voice of sanity on the immigration issue, appeared on Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer. Schieffer went straight to the political question: isn’t it true that Republicans need to support amnesty, or else they will never win another election? It is remarkable how many people are suddenly concerned about the GOP’s electoral prospects. Sessions responded that the Senate should do what is right, and explained with commendable coherence and detail, in a short time, why the Gang’s bill is so awful:
Notwithstanding that no one has read the immigration bill in its entirety, a few intrepid investigators have tried to establish what it really says. Among them is law professor William Jacobson, who has painstakingly pinned down what discretion the bill gives the Secretary of Homeland Security to simply ignore those provisions that would otherwise require deportation of, or denial of residence to, lawbreaking aliens. Figuring this out is harder than it sounds, since much of this sort of legislation consists of references to, and changes in, other statutes. Yesterday Jacobson explained that the Gang’s bill gives the Secretary of Homeland Security unfettered discretion to ignore the law’s supposedly draconian enforcement provisions:
The rush to pass the Gang of 8 1000+ page bill is another example. As if that weren’t bad enough to start, Sen. Bob Corker last night unveiled his 1190-page amendment, and Harry Reid is rushing the first test vote to Monday. We have seen this movie before.
There is one provision which has not received a lot of press.
Yesterday Dana Loesch had a series of tweets about a section of the original Gang of 8 bill giving the Secretary of Homeland Security almost complete discretion to waive all other provisions of the law as to removal, deportation and inadmissibility.
It took me many hours to run that down and confirm. And I have done so.
This is extremely dense material. I’ve extracted and uploaded sections 3214 and 3215 from the May 28 version of the bill (the most recent listed on the Thomas website) along with the Corker amendment (3214 and 3215) as to these sections (which did not change anything relevant to this discussion) so you can read them yourself. The text references 8 U.S.C. 1182.
Here is the key provision, as part of section 3214(b) dealing with family unification. The section gives the Secretary discretion to waive the provisions as to removal, deportation and inadmissibility of illegal aliens not just for family ”hardship” (which itself is huge) but for any reason the Secretary deems in the ”public interest.”
I have highlighted and marked the key portion of the section to point out key wording:
The section goes on to take discretion away from the Secretary for aliens who have committed certain specified crimes, but otherwise the Secretary can do pretty much whatever she wants in terms of waiving removal or deportation of a person attempting to enter the country or in the country illegally based on her determination of the “public interest.”
There are similar provisions in section 3215 as to admissibility into the United States.
The section not only guarantees that a single family member being lawfully in the country will allow the full immediate family to stay, but it also will provide the Secretary — Janet Napolitano now — with broad discretion to allow anyone to stay for almost any reason. …
There is every reason to expect this discretion to be abused to widen amnesty.
We have seen how the Obama administration unlawfully refused to enforce the immigration laws as to removal proceedings, as a federal judge found.
Now they want you to trust that they will not waive enforcement of other provisions in the name of what they deem to be the public interest.
The rush to a vote in the Senate does not allow time to fully understand all the provisions. And that’s why the rush is taking place.
I think the Democrats can see that public opinion is swinging away from the bill as voters learn more about what is in it. Hence the desire to cut off debate and pass a bill that no one–neither a senator nor anyone else–has read.