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Bloggings: Immigration Reform is Coming. But Will it be Reform? By Roger Algase

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The long awaited bipartisan Senate Gang of Eight ("GOE") immigration reform bill may be introduced as early as this week, according to most news reports. Hearings in Senator Patrick Leahy's (D. VT) Judiciary Committee are expected to begin shortly.


A key member of the GOE, Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio, was all over the Sunday talk shows promoting the bill (along with, many suspect, his own 2016 presidential prospects). So we can all sit back, relax, and watch the first real immigration reform in a generation take place on our TV screens (or maybe our iPhones) in real time, right?


This all sounds very nice, until one takes a look at what is actually expected to be in the reform package. According to the April 14 Huffington Post, Rubio is describing the "reform" proposal as "more onerous than current law". Therefore, with regard to immigration reform, we not only need to look at the question "when?" which has occupied so many of us, but also the questions "what?" and "why?".


An April 14 article in the New York Daily News, by Albor Ruiz: The much- touted immigration reform bill may disappoint undocumented immigrants, warns, in describing what is currently known about the bill: "According to what has been reported, the legislation looks more like an impassable mine field than a road to legalization."


The article continues: "The border measures are so unrealistic that they seem designed for failure. Imagine, continuous surveillance of 100% of the border with a rate of effectiveness of 90%, that is capturing 9 out of 10 potential immigrants who try to cross the border illegally. Who are these people kidding?"


The article also describes many other hoops that unauthorized immigrants would have to go through during the at least 13-year wait to become a lawful permanent resident (not a US citizen - that would take even longer).


According to the same article, if at any time during the long green card waiting period, the immigrant loses his or her job and is out of work for more than six months, which is not unusual in today's economy, he or she would be subject to deportation.


Other news reports state that the cut-off date for people who are eligible for legalization (i.e. provisional relief from deportation) under the proposed new law would be set at December 31, 2011. Everyone who arrived after that date would be deported.


And,going back to the Albor Ruiz article, these, and many other restrictions (such as no "Obamacare") are just in the Senate bill. The Republican-controlled House can be expected to throw in even more in its own version (not to mention the inevitable attempts which will be made to amend any reform bill to death by Senate Republicans, as in 2007).


What is the point of putting in all these unrealistic conditions and restrictions? Are they simply poison pills designed to turn Liberals away from the bill so that it can fail and Democrats can be blamed the failure? Or are they sops to the anti-immigrant lobby to try to mute the opposition of the Neanderthals who want to keep America as white as possible for as long as possible?


Marco Rubio and other GOE members in both parties are desperately trying to argue that their legalization proposals are so tough that they do not amount to "amnesty". But those who still hope to kick out millions of Latinos and other minority immigrants from the country will never be convinced of this, even if every unauthorized immigrant is required to walk on the Rio Grande without sinking in order to gain the right to stay in America.


Besides, the anti-reform argument has now already moved on from 2007. The restrictionist lobby is no longer merely shouting "Amnesty! Amnesty!". They are also shouting. "No American jobs! Low American wagesI" See: Sessions, Schumer spar on immigration reform, Politico, April 14. 


In other words, no matter how much the GOE tries to appease the anti-immigrant crowd on the "amnesty" issue, opponents are going to try to kill reform anyway with pseudo-economic scare tactics. So why the rush to compromise.? By the time "reform" is finally unveiled in the Senate, it may turn out to be a new kind of "RINO"- Reform in Name Only.





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