Today’s Gang of 8 Fraud: The Fence!

Mickey Kaus Columnist
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Psst, Krauthammer! Rubio has already caved on the border fence:  Charles Krauthammer says he would “like to strike [an immigration] deal now where we get the strongest enforcement possible … And that’s where, I think, everything hinges now.” His support depends on those details: “I don’t know if I’ll support the final bill.”  He says he expects Sen. Marco Rubio to press for tough enforcement measures:

“I think he’ll proactively seek real measures — universal e-verify, the tracking system for the visa violations, which as you know, accounts for 40 percent of illegals in the country, and I’m with you, a fence from left to right, from east to west, except obviously the mountainous areas. We know that fences work.” [E.A.]

Huh? Rubio has already caved on the fence. The bill he “negotiated’ only requires (on page 24)  that the Department of Homeland Security come up with a “Southern Border Fencing Strategy”

to identify where fencing, including double-layer fencing, infra-structure, and technology should be deployed along  the Southern border. [E.A.]

This is the same Department of Homeland Security that has already decided that fencing shouldn’t be built “from left to right, from east to west,” undermining what many thought Congress had passed in 2006.   They would rather rely on “virtual” fencing that requires lots of DHS personnel and doesn’t offend Mexico –and also doesn’t work very well.  DHS isn’t going to reach a different conclusion just because Rubio’s bill gives it an extra $1.5 billion to spend on fencing.  It will probably just buy more useless but diplomatically uncontroversial high tech “fencing” gear. Nothing in the bill says it can’t.

If you wanted a bill to require that an actual fence be built, you would write a bill that required that an actual fence be built, with real consequences if that doesn’t happen.

If you want to write a bill that won’t result in a fence being built, you will give discretion to the DHS as to “where” it should be built, in what form–and, implicitly,  where it shouldn’t be built.  You will require only a “plan.”

 If you want to write a bill that won’t result in a fence being built but that might con conservatives into thinking it will be,  you will throw in lots of meaningless references to possible “double layer fencing” even though DHS might not decide to build even a foot of that kind of fencing (and none is mandated).

That’s what Rubio and his gang have written. Does Krauthammer–who despairs of getting any actual “enforcement first” bill through Congress, given Dem opposition–think  Rubio is now going to pull a 180 and decide to really mandate an actual fence, and that Schumer and the Democrats will go along?

What if Krauthammer were this gullible about the Middle East?

Mickey Kaus