The Secret DUI Factor
Senators Not So Much Against Drunk Driving: I’m told, by a reliable and well-placed source, that a good deal of the Democratic opposition to John Cornyn’s proposed amendment to the Gang of 8 bill has nothing to do with border security. It has to do with DUIs. Specifically, Cornyn’s amendment would bar illegal immigrants with misdemeanor DUI convictions from “probationary” legal status, which is the immediate legalization offered by Marco Rubio, et al, to most of the 11 million undocumented immigrants now living in the U.S.. For the pro-amnesty side, the exclusion of DUI offenders is apparently a deal-killer. There must be a lot of them!
Pro-Gang Democrats (and Republicans) understandably don’t want to publicize their DUI defense. DUI offenders are not an inherently popular group, and accidents in which undocumented immigrant drivers kill innocent civilians tend to be well publicized. It’s not a coincidence that Obama’s executive mini-amnesty of so-called “Dreamers”–issued before the 2012 election–claimed to exclude DUI offenders. But the broader Gang of 8 legislation, written after the election, allows two free misdemeanors–apparently including DUIs–before an illegal immigrant is disqualified. (If you search the Gang of 8 text for “intoxicated,” you will discover only provisions related to “habitual” drunk drivers–defined as “[a]n alien convicted of 3 or more offenses on separate dates related to driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated.” [Emphasis added])
The DUI issue may be a sort of Ninth Planet affecting the immigration debate in a way that’s invisible to most of the MSM’s reporters. It would certainly help explain some of the vehement Gang of 8 opposition to Cornyn’s amendment, which otherwise doesn’t seem all that different from what the Gang has proposed. …