Last night the United States Senate voted on the Corker (R-Tenn.) amendment to the Gang of Eight's immigration reform proposal which would beef up the border security portion of Senator Rubio's proposal. The amendment passed 67-27, which will bring about a vote about a vote on the entire legislation later in the week. The Senate bill, headlined by Senator Marco Rubio, is expected to pass with well over 70 votes in the chamber.
The amendment will double the border patrol agents from 20,000 to 40,000, devote billions to surveillance equipment on the border, and up the requirement in border fencing from 350 miles to 700 miles.This amendment may seem as though the Senate is getting tough on border control, but in reality the bill will provide for amnesty for 11 million illegals residing in the United States.
Earlier in the day, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) wrote an op-ed on RedState voicing his displeasure regarding the legislation. Cruz points out that in the two-and-a-half year period where deportations will be halted that illegal immigrants will work to force themselves into the amnesty provision to become American citizens. Cruz encourages readers to vote no based on his readings of the bill and the similarities between this bill and the immigration reform plan of 1986.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has faced his fair share of challenges this year, and throughout his term as Speaker. He has been disregarded as someone who cannot appeal to those on the right-wing of his party because of his controversial "sell-out" on the fiscal cliff deal. Largely this is true.
As a member of the "right-wing base," I can tell you that we do not trust Speaker Boehner, or the Rubios, McCains, or Grahams of the Senate that seek to allow amnesty before securing the border in its entirety. Boehner must be careful, as he barely survived the right-wing revolt of 2012. While this amendment may seem like it appeals to the conservative base, we are much more resistant to immigration reform than our predecessors in 1986.
The move was absolutely an appeal to getting it through the House of Representatives. However, I believe this controversial piece of legislation will allow for the Hastert Rule to take place and will not pass the House. Speaker Boehner can not afford for another piece of legislation to go against the conservative wing of our party that will not allow amnesty under any circumstances. In terms of border security and immigration status it does not do enough to appease those like me on the right-wing of the spectrum and it is because of this that the House will not pass the Gang of Eight Proposal.
Senator Cruz as usual is right in his decision to oppose the proposal to grant amnesty to 11-12 million illegals within our nation's borders. I imagine that Speaker Boehner will not bring the immigration amnesty bill before the House the way it is currently constructed, because it will further tarnish his legacy as speaker and will disenfranchise Republican voters in the 2014 election. The best thing Boehner can do is refuse to bring the bill to the floor until the border is secure. Then, he can allow all other pieces of legislation to come to the floor.