Friday, March 19, 2010

Schumer and Graham announce another doomed immigration plan

The Washington Times is reporting that President Obama has given his approval to an immigration reform framework developed by Senators Charles Schumer and Lindsey Graham:
President Obama gave a thumbs up Thursday to the outline of a plan to legalize illegal immigrants and create a flow of low-skilled foreign workers for the future, saying the immigration bill being worked on by a Republican and a Democrat is "promising."

In their broad blueprint, Sens. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, and Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, call for illegal immigrants to be put on a path to citizenship, offer green cards to keep high-skilled foreign university graduates and would create a temporary program for low-skilled workers, with some also getting the chance to become citizens.

The senators also proposed to turn all Social Security cards into tamper-proof IDs to be checked by employers when they are about to hire a worker. The cards would include biometric information designed to prevent counterfeiting -- but the senators said the information would not be stored in a government database.

"I congratulate Senators Schumer and Graham for their leadership, and pledge to do everything in my power to forge a bipartisan consensus this year on this important issue so we can continue to move forward on comprehensive immigration reform," Mr. Obama said in a statement soon after the two senators published their blueprint in a column submitted to The Washington Post.
The Washington Post op-ed column submitted by Schumer and Graham, entitled "The right way to mend immigration" can be found here.

The Senators must live in a parallel universe of happy oblivion.  When Congress took up immigration reform in 2007 with the support of President Bush, unemployment was under 5%, consumer confidence was at a six-year high,  few were focused on the impending gloom and doom of a government takeover of health care, and no one was thinking about potential malfeasant manipulation of the 2010 census.  Still, the attempt sparked an uprising by voters, and was soundly defeated before it ever came to a vote by a bipartisan majority.

Today with unemployment stuck at 9.7% and the Present Situation Index (one component of the Consumer Confidence Index)  at its lowest level in 27 years, it is extremely unlikely that Americans will take kindly to creating a path to citizenship for people in the country illegally. 

One Texas lawmaker put it plainly:
Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, said flatly that it can't pass.

"The bill doesn't have a prayer, because the American people oppose rewarding lawbreakers, which then encourages illegal immigration," he said. "Allowing millions of illegal immigrants to stay and take jobs away from citizens is like giving a burglar a key to the house. Illegal immigrants should return home and play by the rules like millions of legal immigrants."

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