GOP "Standards for Immigration Reform": how it's wrong, how it won't work, what you can do

The GOP "Standards for Immigration Reform" have been released. It's a short summary of the guidelines the Republican Party leadership will use for their own amnesty push.

First I'll quote the full document, followed by a discussion of some of the ways it won't work and it misleads. That's followed by some very effective things you can do to stop the GOP effort.

Our nation’s immigration system is broken and our laws are not being enforced. Washington’s failure to fix them is hurting our economy and jeopardizing our national security. The overriding purpose of our immigration system is to promote and further America’s national interests and that is not the case today. The serious problems in our immigration system must be solved, and we are committed to working in a bipartisan manner to solve them. But they cannot be solved with a single, massive piece of legislation that few have read and even fewer understand, and therefore, we will not go to a conference with the Senate’s immigration bill. The problems in our immigration system must be solved through a step-by-step, common-sense approach that starts with securing our country’s borders, enforcing our laws, and implementing robust enforcement measures. These are the principals guiding us in that effort.

Border Security and Interior Enforcement Must Come First
It is the fundamental duty of any government to secure its borders, and the United States is failing in this mission. We must secure our borders now and verify that they are secure. In addition, we must ensure now that when immigration reform is enacted, there will be a zero tolerance policy for those who cross the border illegally or overstay their visas in the future. Faced with a consistent pattern of administrations of both parties only selectively enforcing our nation’s immigration laws, we must enact reform that ensures that a President cannot unilaterally stop immigration enforcement.

Implement Entry-Exit Visa Tracking System
A fully functioning Entry-Exit system has been mandated by eight separate statutes over the last 17 years. At least three of these laws call for this system to be biometric, using technology to verify identity and prevent fraud. We must implement this system so we can identify and track down visitors who abuse our laws.

Employment Verification and Workplace Enforcement
In the 21st century it is unacceptable that the majority of employees have their work eligibility verified through a paper based system wrought with fraud. It is past time for this country to fully implement a workable electronic employment verification system.

Reforms to the Legal Immigration System
For far too long, the United States has emphasized extended family members and pure luck over employment-based immigration. This is inconsistent with nearly every other developed country. Every year thousands of foreign nationals pursue degrees at America’s colleges and universities, particularly in high skilled fields. Many of them want to use their expertise in U.S. industries that will spur economic growth and create jobs for Americans. When visas aren’t available, we end up exporting this labor and ingenuity to other countries. Visa and green card allocations need to reflect the needs of employers and the desire for these exceptional individuals to help grow our economy.

The goal of any temporary worker program should be to address the economic needs of the country and to strengthen our national security by allowing for realistic, enforceable, usable, legal paths for entry into the United States. Of particular concern are the needs of the agricultural industry, among others. It is imperative that these temporary workers are able to meet the economic needs of the country and do not displace or disadvantage American workers.

One of the great founding principles of our country was that children would not be punished for the mistakes of their parents. It is time to provide an opportunity for legal residence and citizenship for those who were brought to this country as children through no fault of their own, those who know no other place as home. For those who meet certain eligibility standards, and serve honorably in our military or attain a college degree, we will do just that.

Individuals Living Outside the Rule of Law
Our national and economic security depend on requiring people who are living and working here illegally to come forward and get right with the law. There will be no special path to citizenship for individuals who broke our nation’s immigration laws – that would be unfair to those immigrants who have played by the rules and harmful to promoting the rule of law. Rather, these persons could live legally and without fear in the U.S., but only if they were willing to admit their culpability, pass rigorous background checks, pay significant fines and back taxes, develop proficiency in English and American civics, and be able to support themselves and their families (without access to public benefits). Criminal aliens, gang members, and sex offenders and those who do not meet the above requirements will not be eligible for this program. Finally, none of this can happen before specific enforcement triggers have been implemented to fulfill our promise to the American people that from here on, our immigration laws will indeed be enforced.

1. System is broken is a standard talking point. How that talking point is deceptive is detailed at that link. So, the "Standards for Immigration Reform" start with a big lie.

2. If the GOP had worked at it, they could have passed limited legislation any time in the past decade or more that would have dealt with national security issues. Since they didn't do that when they had a chance, how can they be trusted to do it now?

3. Secure the border is another talking point. The border should be secured, but the GOP means it in the sense of "secure the border first, then legalization". Once again: why didn't they do that in the past, why aren't they just focusing on that now, and how can they be trusted. They even admit they can't be trusted: "a consistent pattern of administrations of both parties only selectively enforcing our nation’s immigration laws". Today's GOP leadership isn't exactly a top-to-bottom reboot: many of them were around during the George W Bush terms or earlier.

4. What the GOP proposes will not do anything against the underlying issue of politicians looking the other way on illegal immigration (because of campaign donations or in order to obtain racial power). What the GOP proposes will reward those corrupt politicians: they'll have gotten what they were paid to do and/or they'll have increased racial power. The GOP is all about moral hazards, yet here they are engaged in a massive instance.

5. Obama hasn't "stop[ped]" immigration enforcement, he's just prioritizing it in a way that suits him. How exactly would they do something about that? Even if the GOP increased funding for the Department of Homeland Security, does anyone in their right mind think that President Clinton II couldn't find a workaround to allow illegal immigration to continue?

6. One major cost of the GOP amnesty is what sounds like a national ID card, with biometrics. Even if it started out as only for immigrants, it would eventually spread to citizens as discussed here in 2007.

7. Regarding Employment Verification, see eVerify. The American Civil Liberties Union has already sued Rhode Island over their implementation of that, and if it were passed as part of the GOP amnesty, there's an excellent chance the ACLU and other far-left groups would sue to weaken or scrap it. In the extremely unlikely event that didn't happen, expect President Clinton II and the Democratic Party to do the same. What exactly is the GOP plan to deal with that?

8. Regarding skilled immigration, what guarantee is there that all or most of the foreigners who graduate from U.S. colleges would then create jobs? What if most of them end up competing with Americans for jobs? What if some of them have divided loyalties or are spies (see the "American Universities Infected by Foreign Spies Detected by FBI" link). The GOP says "exporting this labor and ingenuity to other countries", but that's not the case: we aren't "exporting" them, we're "not taking" them. They were citizens of other countries, and most will return to their native countries (or should). Braindraining the Third World will come back to bite us years or decades hence: see skilled immigration for a longer discussion.

9. Regarding guest workers, what happens when they have U.S. citizen kids? Is the GOP going to seek out and deport termed-out "guests" who've got U.S. citizen children? Today's illegal alien labor and tomorrow's "guests" already "displace or disadvantage American workers": unemployed Americans or those out of the labor market entirely could be encouraged to do jobs that foreign citizens do now, as proposed here almost five years ago. Regarding the rest of that paragraph, see immigration agriculture and Tom Vilsack.

10. Their "Youth" section is some form of the anti-American (and anti-foreign countries) DREAM Act. How that would harm American students and other countries is extensively discussed at that link.

11. They say there will be no "special path to citizenship", by which they presumably mean that those covered by the GOP program won't be fast tracked. Yet, in a process that everyone except the GOP leadership can figure out, processing all those people will have an impact on those waiting in line. See immigration line for a detailed discussion.

12. Regarding the laundry list of "tough" provisions, does anyone in their right mind think that President Obama, President Clinton II, the Democratic Party, and the far-left wouldn't work night and day to weaken those provisions? See also amnesty require for a related discussion.

13. They list groups who won't be admitted to their amnesty, but offer no clue as to what they intend to do about them. Are they going to just let them stay here? If they think attrition will cause them to return home, then why not just do attrition now? If they think (and they don't) they're going to conduct large-scale enforcement programs to find remaining illegal aliens, what's their plan to deal with the pushback from Clinton II, the Democrats, and the far-left?

14. As with all the rest, what makes anyone think the "specific enforcement triggers" wouldn't just be weakened down or ignored? We've seen that recently with a "border commission" for the Senate bill that would have been bogus. And, we saw that in 2007 (here, here, and other posts).

So, what can you do about this?

The best thing you can do might not seem like much to some, or they might not get it. But, I assure you, it could end this whole amnest effort. That's to discredit RNC chairman Reince Priebus. And, I mean discredit him: show how he can't think things through, show how his talking points are wrong, show how he deceives, and show how he's peddling snake oil: to his face and on video. Video of him being showed wrong would be played on Fox News and Drudge would probably leave the link up for over a day. That would send a very strong message to every other GOP leader: they won't want to be discredited in the same way. How to make that happen is described at the link. But, it doesn't have to be Reince: it can be any nationally-known politician, Republican or Democrat.

Other things will be less effective than discrediting a nationally-known politician. Yes, you'll have to send FAXes to Congress. But, as their current actions show, they aren't paying much attention. Many will say they won't vote for those who push amnesty, but when the time comes many of them will: politicians are already counting on that happening.