The Dishonesty of the Gang of Eight

Water Carrier?

Breitbart is carrying informative stories on the bogus “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” bill that is being pushed by the “Gang of Eight” senators.  I would urge readers to pay close attention to for more news on the issue.  Byron York of the Examiner is also doing fantastic work exposing the gaping holes in this bill.  Breitbart’s William Bigelow has revealed another fatal flaw in the supposed reforms offered by the Rubio-Schumer/Gang-of-Eight bill that will leave a giant opening for the administration to do absolutely nothing in enforcing the allegedly strict measures contained in the new law.  As reported by the Byron York, via the, the feature of the bill described by Marco Rubio on Mark Levin’s show last week that would create a commission including the four border-state governors is nothing less than a sham.  There are no teeth to the provision, and no means by which to guarantee that provided there are recommendations by a commission of four governors, but also six bureaucrats selected by the President, any of these recommendations would see the light of day.  York explains:

“It sounded tough, intended to convince skeptical conservatives that reform would be based on stringent border security.  But as it turns out, the structure Gang sources described is simply not in the bill.”

York continues:

“In the legislation, the Commission would be formed if the Secretary of Homeland Security “certifies that the Department has not achieved effective control in all high-risk border sectors during any fiscal year beginning from the date that is five years after the enactment of this Act.” The Commission’s “primary responsibility,” according to the bill, “shall be making recommendations to the President, the Secretary, and Congress on policies to achieve and maintain the border security goal” of 100 percent surveillance and 90 percent apprehension.  The Commission will have six months to write a report “setting forth specific recommendations for policies for achieving and maintaining the border security goals [specified in the bill].”  That report shall contain, according to the bill, “recommendations for the personnel, infrastructure, technology, and other resources required to achieve and maintain [those goals].””

As if this isn’t bad enough, York then delivers what should be the final nail in the coffin of this horrible legislation:

“The bill requires that the head of the Government Accountability Office then review the report to determine whether the Commission’s recommendations are likely to work and what they will cost.  And then — the process stops.  “The Commission shall terminate 30 days after the date on which the report is submitted,” says the bill.

“There is nothing about the Commission going from “being an advisory panel to a policy-making one.”  The strict trigger that Gang sources advertised as being in the bill just isn’t there.

“As far as the “money set aside in escrow” for the Commission and its enforcement plan, the bill specifies that $2 billion “shall be made available” to the Secretary of Homeland Security “to carry out programs, projects, and activities recommended by the Commission.”  It is not clear whether there is any directive for the Secretary to actually do anything.”(emphasis added)

What this all means is that when Marco Rubio appeared on Mark Levin’s show on Wednesday of last week to explain the bill, he misled the audience and presumably the host. Levin asked tough questions despite being friendly with the Senator, but it seems that Senator Rubio “dissembled” a bit on some of the details.  The Daily Caller quotes Rubio from his appearance on Dr. Levin’s show:

“If, in five years, the plan has not reached 100 percent awareness and 90 percent apprehension, the Department of Homeland Security … will lose control of the issue and it will be turned over to the border governors to finish the job …. which is not a Washington commission, made up of congressmen or bureaucrats.  It’s largely led by the border state governors, who have a vested local interest in ensuring that that border is secure … and there’s money set aside in the bill for them to do it.” [Emphasis added]

You can listen to the audio of the segment here, from Mark Levin’s Audio Rewind:

Alternative content

Unfortunately, as the Daily Caller goes on to detail, this is a bit less than fully honest:

“True, the bill does create a $2B pot of money for the DHS to use to carry out the commission’s recommendations–but there’s nothing that compels the DHS to actually spend it on all of them, or any of them, let alone to actually achieve the “90 percent apprehension” goal.

“Nor, if the goal isn’t reached, does the bill delay the issuance of green cards to the already-legalized former illegals (as Rubio at one point seems to suggest to Levin).

“Oh, and the commission isn’t “made up of the governors” of the border states–they only control four of the 10 commission seats. The other six are “Washington” appointments (see pages 14-15)

“Aside from those things, everything Rubio said about the commission was true.”

Whether the statements of Senator Rubio were intentionally misleading, or whether he is simply being led around by the nose by staff or other senators on the plain language of the bill, what is deeply troubling is that by appearing on the Mark Levin Show, repeating falsehoods(whether or not he knew them to be falsehoods,) Senator Rubio has done much to contribute to the lack of ill will and distrust over this legislation.  Whatever other supposed virtues this legislation may have, it’s wrecked by the propaganda being spread in this instance by Senator Rubio.

As this goes on, Rubio’s own spokesman, Alex Conant, is on Twitter comparing immigrants, legal and illegal, to slaves, H/T Twitchy:

Alex Conant @AlexConant

@conncarroll We haven’t had a cohort of people living permanently in US without full rights of citizenship since slavery.

If this is the attitude of Rubio’s spokesman, one must wonder about the strategy being employed by Rubio. The claim that immigrant are akin to slaves is a ridiculous notion, and frankly, Rubio should fire Conant.  It leaves open the question as to whether Senator Rubio might endorse such notions, and while I doubt that to be the case, it won’t help the Senator’s cause. Likewise, it isn’t helpful when one sees a conservative senator going around arm-in-arm with Charles “Chuck-U” Schumer(D-NY,) one has every reason to believe that Rubio may have relied on the characterization of the bill provided by the likes of Schumer.  I wonder if Rubio isn’t being made a patsy, but then again, I’m not sure it matters because there is something disturbing about a purportedly “conservative” senator relying on the explanations of the legislation of anybody.  Why isn’t he reading the language?

Schumer has taken a slightly different approach, going on the offense and claiming that some would use the occasion of the Boston Marathon Bombing to stall or obstruct the Immigration Reform legislation.  I must say that given the disclosures about the actual provisions of the bill revealed over the last week, I sincerely hope some conservative senators will do precisely that.  It makes no sense to pretend that this ridiculous immigration bill will accomplish anything but to make our nation less secure, and the Boston bombing clearly exposes that for the average citizen. The dishonesty being employed by proponents of this legislation is very much like an Obama campaign, and that’s all the more despicable when you think that a rising star in the Republican party may have diminished himself into nothing more than a flash in the pan.  That’s a sad prospect, one that could be headed-off if these politicians would simply read the legislation they’re advocating.  Senator Rubio owes us an explanation for the incomprehensibly misleading statements made on Levin’s show, but one probably won’t be forthcoming.  Draw your own conclusions as to the reason(s).

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  • C Bartlett

    There are also several excellent articles by Daniel Horowitz detailing the specifics about this horrendous proposal on “The Madison Project” website. (Many are also crossposted on Daniel has done a superb job of breaking down the actual legislation (844 pages…) and summarizing many of the (unintended?) consequences. One of his statements is that we, as conservatives, should never embrace anything with the word “comprehensive” in it. Republicans should be offering smaller pieces of legislation to solve one issue at a time. In order to pass some reforms that really need to happen, we are being held hostage to pass things that will do lasting, permanent damage to our country. It will probably also lead to a permanent Democrat majority so they can do even more damage to our economy.