Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) met with Republicans working on a current version of immigration, a version many of us see as amnesty. Rubio began with “Let’s focus on things we can agree on.” Therein lies the problem. Congressman Steve King (R-IA) left the meeting “red in the face and agitated,” according to National Journal.
“I went to sleep last year before the election believing that all my colleagues believed in the rule of law, and opposed amnesty, and understood the impact of amnesty. And then I woke up the morning after the election and they believed something different.” ~ Rep. Steve King
RSC Chairman Steve Scalise, R-La., opened the immigration discussion by giving the group’s six Senate visitors, Gang of Eight members Rubio and Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona; their opponents, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, and Sen. Mike Lee of Utah; and the high-profile wild card, Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky two minutes each to make a case for their position on reform. (Five House members playing central roles in the immigration policy process also were given two minutes apiece.) And while Sessions said his anti-amnesty position got the most applause, conversations with dozens of the RSC’s 171 members as they emerged from the session demonstrated no consensus on the way forward.
Some lawmakers trickled out of the meeting sounding as though they’d been trapped in a political echo chamber, uttering phrases like “rule of law,” “repeating our mistakes,” and “1986 all over.”
“Everybody in that room agrees on better border security. Everybody in that room, I think, agrees on fixing the legal immigration system,” Mulvaney said, adding: “What does that leave? That leaves us with the 11 or 12 million people who are here illegally.”
Other members echoed Mulvaney’s diagnosis. When Jordan, a former RSC chairman, was asked about points of conflict among conservatives present at Wednesday’s event, he responded: “What do you think? It’s about the 11 million. That’s always the issue.”
The Senate “Gang of Eight” bill, which includes a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, served as the baseline for discussion at the meeting. According to accounts from members and staffers inside the room, Lee was perhaps the most aggressive in prosecuting the Senate bill, while Rubio and Flake repeatedly emphasized areas of agreement over potential sticking points.
Leaving a few questions:
1) Is government still given 5 years to secure the border by unspecified means and in unspecified locations?
2) Will Janet Napolitano still be the “decider” of whether or not the border is secure?”
3) If the border is not deemed secure, who will have authority to appoint the planned committee to make it happen?
5) What about E-Verify? I understand the Senate bill eliminates E-Verify immediately and replaces it with…nothing.
6) Are unlimited numbers of relatives still allowed to follow illegals already here?
8) Has it been determined how DHS will track all “immigrants each time they enter and exit the U.S.,” when we already know they can’t track those here legally on VISA’s or those over-staying their VISAs?
11) As with ObamaCare, a skeleton bill was written and Kathleen Sebelius wrote the details. Is this what Janet Napolitano will do? Does Congress no longer take the time to write law?
Give Rep. Steve King’s office a call and thank him for his tenacious protection of the Constitution and the Rule of Law: 202-225-4426 (phone), 202-225-3193 (fax) Twitter: @SteveKingIA