As I noted yesterday, one potential problem area in the framework for immigration reform is determining when the path can eventually be cleared for pursuing green cards for immigrants who have paid their debt to the US under the legalization program. We know that they will need to wait until after those currently waiting in a queue for a green card have completed the process. Fair enough. We also know that an entry-exit system will need to be in place at the US border. Also fair enough. But Congress will also likely require a demonstration that the border is "secure" and that's where a fight is likely to take place The framework mentions a commission of governors and attorneys general in southwest border states making a determination. The first question is whether that commission's findings will be just a recommendation or will actually be enough on its own to stop the process. It's hard to imagine someone like Jan Brewer ever - EVER - saying anything that would result in Latinos in her state getting to move to becoming voting citizens.
That's why I hope that the real standard for determining whether the border is secure will be based on things we can actually count - the number of Border Patrol agents on the border, whether the net amount of illegal immigration is declining, whether all of the new technical equipment being promised in the bill is actually put in place, etc. What would not be reasonable is saying that all illegal crossings have ceased. That is simply not going to happen and to insist on this is really just saying one is anti-immigration, not just anti-illegal immigration. The Wall Street Journal explores this topic here.