“We're not awarding anybody anything. All we’re doing is giving people the opportunity to eventually earn access to our new, improved, and modernized legal immigration system.” –Marco Rubio
What’s the difference between someone who immigrated illegally to America on December 31, 2011 and someone who immigrated illegally to America on January 1, 2012? The 2011 illegal immigrant isn’t deported; the 2012 illegal immigrant is.
This is the compromise
St. Sen. Marco Rubio has worked in the “Gang of 8” negotiations. In exchange for giving 12 million illegal immigrants a “pathway to citizenship,” the federal government will agree to enforce immigration laws that are already on the books.
This is a boon for Democrats, whose actions usually square with their destructive priorities. There’s no better way to ensure the perpetuity of the welfare state than to allow a large segment of its clientele to remain in the country and eventually to give them the right to vote for Democrats.
But Rubio et. al, whose priority is the preservation of the republic, commit boundless fallacies:
1. What reasonable expectation is there the feds will enforce laws they have ignored so far? This is the same government that took Arizona to court for asking people to prove they aren’t in the country illegally.
2. What is so special about January 1, 2012 that turns undeportable illegal immigration to a deportable offense? Who will admit illegally immigrating to America after 2011 when he knows he will be deported?
3. The feds rely on the refrain “you can’t deport 12 million people” to justify their dereliction of duty because 12 million people is a lot of people and deportation is cruel. If these premises are true, how will we enforce the future immigration regime against millions more transgressors in the future? If mass deportation is off the table, what will we do with illegal immigrants who refuse to jump through the pathway to citizenship’s legal hoops? Fine them again? Stuff them into a crowded prison cell for one night?
I get that the problem is many illegal immigrants have families and evade the law for so long that they become ensconced in their communities before they are caught. The appropriate response is not “compassion” (read “no stomach to mete out punishment”), but justice. I say again, justice, of which there is such confusion because the laws and their application are in constant flux.
Further reading: “Rubio Deals with Conservatives: ‘It’s Not Amnesty’” at Newsmax, and “They Lied to us Then About Immigration; They are Lying Now” by Daniel Horowitz at RedState.