A group of eight U.S. Senators announced an immigration proposal on Monday, Jan. 28, 2012, followed by President Barack Hussein Obama giving his own immigration address the following day.
Several difficulties not faced up to publicly include the undeniable fact that, because so many illegal aliens come from narrowly focused ethnic and national origins, any amnesty would, by definition, have a racist impact, something that technically would violate the plain text of the U.S. Constitution. Amnesty also would add to the perverse incentives created by past amnesties, or assumptions of amnesty, to encourage life-endangering illegal entry.
The group of Senators was bipartisan in terms of political party, but is mostly moderate or liberal-leaning. It included, at the press conference, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. Dave Durbin (D-Ill.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ). Not at the press conference, but part of the group, are Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Michael Bennet (D-CO).
Notably absent from the would-be coalition are both Republican Senators from Texas, Sen. John Cornyn and newly elected Sen. Ted Cruz.
McCain openly addressed what sounded dangerously close to political pandering, noting that Hispanic voters have concern over the subject matter. The largely liberal-leaning news media has argued that Hispanics helped tip the balance in the 2012 election, even though Republicans held onto control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Senators’ proposal purports to focus on illegal aliens, citing a figure of 11 million rather than the figure of 20 million cited in the past. It essentially would provide amnesty and a conversion from illegal alien to immigrant provided certain standards are met and steps taken.
Among other things, their proposal also includes a focus on tweaking border security, including technology and drones; tracking temporary visas and exit dates more closely; providing amnesty to illegal aliens after a background check, fines and payment of back taxes, and apparently English-language proficiency, with illegals moving to the back of the line for green cards; green cards for holders of U.S. graduate degrees; special categories for agriculture and children of illegal aliens; more stringent enforcement of employers with regard to the bona fides of workers and employment verification, a requirement that an employer show an American was not available for a job given to an immigrant, and the flexibility to expand or contract immigration relative to economic growth or recession.
Some of the Senators lamented the fact that past amnesty was followed by even larger numbers of illegal aliens, and the fact that more adequate enforcement did not accompany past amnesty. The proposal reportedly would condition amnesty, overall, on increased border control.
> [PDF] Senators’ Framework for Immigration Reform – archived to c-span.org
> Resource Link: Immigration Deal at a Glance – Roll Call 1.29.13
> Texas Senators Keep Their Distance From Immigration Bills – Roll Call 1.29.13
Here is the video from the Senate press conference:
Meanwhile, the following day, Obama delivered an address on immigration and illegal aliens. High on rhetoric and vague on specifics, Obama nevertheless tracked some of the same themes as the Senate Group of Eight, such as amnesty, enforcements, English-language requirements, and special consideration for the children of illegal aliens.
Even after confusion and misdirection surrounding Obama’s remarks about Benghazi, the White House continues to bury documentation of transcripts on its websites, giving priority to presenting visitors with a wall of verbiage by largely anonymous would-be, in-house “bloggers”, fronting for an infographic. Extra searching for a link to the transcript does produce one, nevertheless.