What’s the secret, Mario? For a while now, Florida Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart has been boasting he’s arrived at some sort of Magic Secret Formula that will win the support of enough Republicans to get an immigration amnesty bill through the House. He tends to surface in the press every time the spirits of amnesty supporters need a boost. Here he is back in February (“We have legislative language”). Here he is last week:
“I think we finally have the policy right,” he said in a phone interview. “I think we have figured out a way to secure, to have border and interior security, holding the administration accountable for the enforcement … forcing the administration to enforce the law whether they want to or not. And I think we figured out a way to deal with the folks that are here in a way that is fair — fair, by the way, to those in the legal system … who are doing everything legally, and also deals with the folks that are here in a way that is fair and reasonable.”
If Diaz-Balart has such an enchanted formula, isn’t it about time he made it public–maybe in time for Republican voters to debate it and express their opinions in upcoming primaries? Shouldn’t good-government newspaper editorialists be demanding this?
P.S.: I’m confident that there is no magic formula for actually guaranteeing border security before an amnesty that Democrats will accept (because Democrats, especially those in the Hispanic caucus, have not really made peace with the idea of preventing future waves of illegal immigration–they’d like to preserve the option of undermining enforcement once legalization happens). I’m not confident that there isn’t a fake formula for appearing to secure the borders that Republicans will embrace in order to sneak an amnesty bill past the voters. So it’s always possible Diaz-Balart is onto something.
P.P.S.: The main thing stopping House Republican leaders, constantly urged by donors to pass amnesty, is equally persistent public counterpressure. Support for primary challenges to Majority Leader Eric Cantor and leadership favorite Renee Ellmers–both among the handful who supported Speaker Boehner’s amnesty “principles”–is probably the most conspicuous near-term opportunity to apply that pressure. Here’s Cantor’s opponent, Dave Brat. Here’s Ellmers’ opponent, Frank Roche. Both have stressed their opposition to ‘amnesty first.’ Both have shown some momentum recently. If you support them, now’s the time to donate. … Roche’s primary is in only 9 days. …