On Tuesday’s broadcast of “The O’Reilly Factor” on the Fox News Channel, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer said the Senate’s bipartisan immigration reform plan is more toothless than its proponents let on.
“The proposed Senate bill is a little softer than advertised,” he said. “It is true that you have to get certification that the border is closed, is enforced [and that] the border security is working before you can go on to a green card and go to citizenship. However, what most people have not noticed is [that] in the Senate bipartisan bill, there is essentially instant legalization. The day it’s signed, everybody gets what you call probationary status.”
“What that means,” Krauthammer continued, “is that everybody who is here comes out of the shadows, registers with the government, tells them where they work, where they live. It is utterly inconceivable that that is ever going to be rolled back because a commission somewhere says the border isn’t sufficiently enforced.” (RELATED: Congressman says bipartisan immigration reform will fail)
The proposal’s provision requiring illegal immigrants living in the U.S. to go to the “back of the line” before obtaining citizenship is similarly softer than it might appear, Krauthammer said.
“What that means is they are going to have to wait years and years for citizenship,” he said. “But they are not going to the back of the same line that people waiting in Hong Kong and in Brazil are in, because they don’t get to get into the country to settle in the country, to work in our country for years. They have to wait in Brazil.”
Krauthammer, who chalked up waning illegal immigration to the sluggish economy, noted that he favors amnesty as long as the border is secured. He added, however, that some proposals for securing the border are more ridiculous than practical.
“[T]his talk about high-tech fences is absurd,” Krauthammer said. “In ‘06, the Congress passed a lot of money to build a high-tech fence across the border. In two years ago, Janet Napolitano canceled the project. She spent a billion dollars to do 53 miles of it, and realized it doesn’t work. … What about a regular fence? And don’t tell me it doesn’t work. The Israelis constructed one across the West Bank, and the terror attacks are down by 99 percent.”
“If you hear the word ‘fence,’ you will know that they are serious,” he added. “It’s very simple [that] fences have worked for 5,000 years, and they work everywhere. Why don’t we build one, and then legalize people who are here illegally?”