No one could confuse the political discussions in the U.S. today with those of even 25 years ago. Nothing has remained the same. Things unthinkable then are commonplace now.
Consider the old bromide that “politics ends at the water’s edge.” This was rooted in the idea that while there may be robust discussion internally on issues of international import, there is an assumption that in the end a bipartisan consensus must be established around policies that touch upon our international relations.
A corollary to that is policy issues that define us as a nation in the eyes of the world – concerns like foreign affairs, national defense and immigration – should not be decided solely on a polarized and partisan basis.
So now we find a concerted effort by Democrats and their tech oligarch allies pushing a deeply polarizing amnesty program for millions who’ve broken our immigration laws. Rumor has it that they are trying to justify such a divisive move by claiming amnesty has budgetary impacts. Obviously, this is a ruse: Amnesty has grave substantive impacts on virtually the entire range of U.S. public policy interests – criminal justice, law and order, social cohesion, environmental stewardship, public education, labor fairness, infrastructure burdens, etc.
Any such amnesty bill would alter future immigration patterns virtually forever. Because these are partisan proposals, they lack the necessary balance to assure that all stakeholders’ interests are represented. The concerns of most Americans a) that lawbreakers not be rewarded; b) that an amnesty not incentivize more illegal immigration; c) that the program won’t be riddled with fraud; and d) and that chain migration can’t mean that amnesty sets off a virtually tsunami of uncontrolled future immigration with no shut-off mechanism.
The budget reconciliation process has become a tempting target for opportunists to try to get around the Senate rules for conventional debate. Doing so, they hope, would mean no minority votes would be required.
Cynically pushing a bill of this kind through a partisan budget reconciliation is both unwise and dangerous. It creates an impression that our entire society is no longer built on fairness, fair play and honesty; that one party can simply use immigration for partisan gain. It treats lawbreakers better than those who’ve respected our borders and legal system.
Against the backdrop of the Biden administration immigration enforcement collapse and its complete abdication of its responsibility to execute our immigration laws in the manner Congress intended, such an amnesty program looks horribly irresponsible at best, downright sinister at worst.
A bill of this kind passed on a party line vote should tell Americans everything they need to know about the motivations at work here. Repeating the mistakes of the past to try to ensure Democrats can re-engineer the electorate to guarantee a century of one party control is hardly what the people deserve.
Dan Stein is president at Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).