Republican Senators Corker and Hoeven reportedly have finalized an amendment to the Gang of Eight bill that supposedly will improve its border enforcement provisions. The amendment provides for the hiring of lots of border patrol agents, some additional technology, the building of 700 miles of fencing (which Congress has already authorized, but which hasn’t been done).
If you believe that government spending and promises are the key to securing the border, then the amendment does improve the bill. But anyone who believes this hasn’t internalized the lessons of conservatism.
The proof of any federal program is in the pudding. If there is good reason to believe that the Corker-Hoeven amendment will improve border enforcement, then the authors (and the Senate as a whole) should be willing to accept a hard enforcement trigger based on proven success in policing the border as a pre-condition to the creation of a path for citizenship (I believe there should be such a trigger as a pre-condition even for legalization, but Marco Rubio and his Democrat friends have definitively ruled that out).
So, does the Corker-Hoeven amendment provide for such a performance-based trigger, as Sen. Cornyn’s amendment did? No it does not. Reportedly, the 90 percent apprehension rate hard trigger that Cornyn proposed will be a goal, not a requirement. In other words, it is meaningless (not that a 90 percent apprehension rate hard trigger would have been terribly meaningful, given the ability to cook the books).
This, of course, is why the Democrats will go along with the amendment. They certainly don’t mind more federal hiring and spending, as long as it won’t stand in the way of their desire to create tens of millions of new Democratic voters.
In fact, the Corker-Hoeven amendment is a nice win for Rubio and the Senate Democrats. It will enable them to pick up some Republican votes, perhaps getting them to 70 votes or close. At the same time, the core demands of Team Amnesty are met: legalization right away, without any improvements in enforcement and a path to citizenship without proof that the border has been secured.
I agree with Peter Kirsanow, who describes the Corker-Hoeven amendment as “a painfully transparent attempt to give senators additional linguistic ammunition to fool their constituents,” i.e. “more boob bait for the Bubbas.”
I’m not worried that “the Bubbas” will take the bait. I’m worried that House Republicans will.