Wednesday, Jan. 21, the House Homeland Security Committee took up H.R.399, the Secure Our Border First Act of 2015, introduced by the committee’s chairman, Michael McCaul.
The question that must now be asked is, “Secure our borders first before what exactly?”
Either the GOP and McCaul are really dumb or they are completely out of touch with reality. McCaul’s bill authorizes the government to spend $1 billion a year for the next 10 years on a plan that is nothing but a waste of time. As Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson summed it up: “It’s extreme to the point of unworkable.”
For instance, the bill requires the Department of Homeland Security “to be able to observe and interdict all illegal incursions in the high-traffic areas within two years, and in the entire southwest border area within five years.” Really?
The bill also recommends 27 miles of double fencing, yet admits this measure is “inadequate.” What a joke!
And the madness continues…
The bill states that “every alien apprehended must face a consequence.” They already do, dear Mr. McCaul et al. That is why deportations under President Barack Obama have been higher than any of your own Republican presidents and any president to date.
Yet the legislation passed the House Homeland Security Committee late last Wednesday on a party-line vote of 18 to 12, and the full House of Representatives is expected to take it up this week.
As usual, Republicans are clear out of ideas on how to solve the immigration problem. It is easy to spout empty rhetoric and attack practical solutions offered by the president but hard to actually offer results that can work and be effective in the new America.
They are even now going after H-1B, with two of its biggest critics, Sen. Chuck Grassley and Sen. Jeff Sessions appointed to head the Senate’s immigration subcommittee
As Computer World’s Patrick Thibodeau wrote: “The biggest enemy facing U.S. Senate Republicans in raising the H-1B cap are Senate Republicans.”
One only needs to look at a recent CBS News poll to get a sense of where the population is, and that is 55 percent says Congress should let the president’s solution stand.
The reality is clear. America’s immigration system is broken. The challenge to the Republican Party if it wants to matter in 2016 is can they pass laws that, as the president says, “live up to our heritage as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants” or will it continue to be the same old “nativist” politics as usual?
The president is right. As he stated clearly in his State of the Union address, “Passions still fly on immigration, but surely we can all see something of ourselves in the striving young student, and agree that no one benefits when a hardworking mom is taken from her child, and that it’s possible to shape a law that upholds our tradition as a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants.”
The writer is CMO of Hard Beat Communications, which owns the brands News Americas Now, CaribPR Wire and Invest Caribbean Now.