Yesterday Sen. Rand Paul spoke on a conference call organized by Michael Bloomberg‘s Partnership for a New American Economy and – together with Grover Norquist – promoted comprehensive immigration reform (what most call “amnesty”).
Now, either because he got pushback or to take the sales job to his Tea Parties base, Paul offers a guest editorial at Breitbart News ( peekURL.com/z96LtY3 ). I’ll briefly describe how it’s wrong and how he’s attempting to deceive you. If you’re a Rand Paul supporter, I hope to change your mind.
I am for immigration reform because I am against allowing 12 million more illegal immigrants into our country. If we do nothing, 12 million more illegal immigrants will come. We must be in favor of reform—smart reform that starts with border security.
Characterizing that position as “amnesty” is simply untrue.
What we have now is a lawless border. Current policy is a beacon for more illegal immigrants. The Obama administration’s lawless executive orders legalizing people who came here illegally will only encourage more illegal immigration – unless we act now with real, strong, verifiable border security.
I am for immigration reform because what we have now is untenable. I voted against the Gang of Eight’s comprehensive immigration reform bill because it did not secure the border first. I will only support reform that has border security first as verifiable and ascertained by Congress, not the president.
My plan will not give the president the authority to simply declare that the border is secure. It will require yearly votes of Congress to ensure the president doesn’t get around the law.
My “Trust but Verify” plan will ensure that our border is secure. Under my plan, national security and border security will move as the first element of any reform and would require annual votes of Congress to establish that the border is truly secure. No other reform could go forward until this happened.
1. The first paragraph is the “we already have defacto amnesty” line popularized by Marco Rubio. Paul’s talking point is deceptive because it assumes we must choose between the current situation and some form of mass legalization. There are other options that Paul is ignoring, such as attrition. If Paul and his colleagues really wanted Obama to enforce immigration laws, they could make it happen. To some extent, Paul’s first paragraph is an extortionist’s threat: give me what I want or things will get worse.
2. For various reasons, the mass legalization Rand Paul wants would encourage more illegal immigration. It would give more power to far-left groups that currently support illegal immigration, such as the American Civil Liberties Union. Paul’s plan wouldn’t punish employers that knowingly hired illegal aliens in the past, it would let them off the hook and encourage them to keep hiring illegal aliens if they can. And, as can be seen currently, weakness on immigration – such as talk of mass legalization – can lead to a mad rush for the borders. Rand Paul’s plan would also reward political corruption, such as those politicians who’ve looked the other way on illegal immigration because of large donations from business groups. Rand Paul’s plan would reward such behavior and encourage more of it.
3. In the second paragraph, Rand Paul plays word games. His plan is what most people would refer to as “amnesty”. But, to avoid confusion, let’s play his game. Let’s not use the shorter “amnesty” but the longer “mass legalization”. Instead of arguing with Rand Paul whether his plan is amnesty or not, let’s just show how his plan will harm the U.S. See reform not amnesty for more on that aspect.
4. There is one group for whom Rand Paul’s plan – and all other immigration “reform” plans so far proposed – are definitively amnesty. As alluded to above, all those businesses that knowingly or not hired illegal aliens will get off the hook. Illegal aliens will be forced to pay some kind of fines (unless those are waived) and will face other “tough” punishment. But, their employers will get a full and complete amnesty for their past hiring of those illegal aliens. In some or many cases those employers knew what was going on but looked the other way, or knowingly accepted fake documents. They won’t face any sort of punishment for that.
5. Rand Paul is in the “secure the border first” crowd: as discussed at the link you have to ask what comes second. In Rand Paul’s case we know: mass legalization of millions of illegal aliens.
6. Whether putting Obama or Congress in charge of declaring the border secure, that’s letting the fox guard the henhouse. Obama, George W Bush, Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan and previous Congresses brought us to the current situation. Rand Paul certainly isn’t doing all he could to secure the border right now, nor are most other leading politicians. Some of those politicians might be marginally better than Obama on immigration, but generally speaking trusting leading politicians – Democrats or Republicans – on immigration isn’t a wise idea because they’ve shown themselves to be quite corruptible (generally either by racial power in the case of the Democrats or business donations in the case of Republicans).
7. Why is Rand Paul holding “national security and border security” hostage to his mass legalization plan? If he were truly concerned about the security of the U.S., wouldn’t he at least push that separately? Yet, Rand Paul is tying them together: demanding mass legalization as a precondition to securing the border.
Rand Paul then details his high-tech plans for border security, which will include “and yes, surveillance drones”. Then:
My plan takes border security a step further than anybody else in Congress. Under my plan, Congress will vote every year on border security. If Congress votes that the border is not secure, elements of immigration reform will cease to go forward and visa programs will be slowed. If Congress does not think the border is secure after five years, every element of immigration reform will be stopped.
8. See #6 above. Congresses come and go, some will be better on immigration than others. The very people who’ve shown themselves to be corruptible on immigration will be the ones voting on whether to continue aspects of Rand Paul’s plan. His plan will give more power to the people and groups that currently try to undercut border security: the ACLU, the National Council of La Raza, and hundreds more. They’ll use that increased power to make sure that, for instance, politicians weaken some aspects of Rand Paul’s plan to allow certain programs to continue (like DACA) even if the border isn’t judged secure. Rand Paul’s last sentence above is cruelly deceptive: he knows that once his plan is started it’s not going to be stopped. The forces that would oppose stopping it or halting parts of it are too strong and have too much money.
Rand Paul continues:
Our nation is a nation of immigrants. Throughout history, our nation has been flooded with immigrants who have moved here with a flavor for the home country, yet they have assimilated into what we know today as America. That idea, and the American Dream, must be protected and preserved.
Immigrants are drawn to the magnet of free market capitalism here in the United States. Our nation should have open arms to immigrants who want to come her and work hard to make a new life in a free nation. As a libertarian-minded senator, I am attracted to the idea of somebody coming to this country with a couple dollars in his pocket, and then through hard work, make the American Dream a reality.
9. See nation of immigrants and immigration tradition fallacy for a discussion of the hoary talking points uses in the first paragraph above.
10. The people and groups that Rand Paul’s plan will give power to tend to oppose assimilation, such as the NCLR. There is little current external pressure on immigrants to assimilate. Those who try to assimilate immigrants tend to get smeared by the far-left and tend to back down. Rand Paul’s plan would make that worse.
11. The U.S. is a lot more than just the shopping mall/flea market Rand Paul envisions. Some immigrants have opinions on various topics that simply aren’t compatible with fundamental American concepts. We can’t have people coming here just because they want to make money: that’s not what the U.S. is all about.
Rand Paul ends with this:
I do not support amnesty, which is why I don’t support our current system with no border security and a blind eye to the problem.
I support legal, not illegal, immigration. We must embrace immigration and immigrants, and we must recognize that our country has been enriched by those who seek the freedom to make better lives for themselves. However, our current system is broken, and we cannot move towards reform until our border is truly and fully secure.
Rand Paul is still playing word games, still using bogus talking points (system is broken), and still holding border security hostage to his mass legalization plan. He’s also not putting numbers on the (no doubt high) legal immigration he wants.
We could move forward on border security right now. Rand Paul could go on a crusade demanding that Obama enforce immigration laws at the border and at the workplace. Rand Paul could speak out against the various actions Eric Holder and other administration officials have taken to encourage more illegal immigration. Instead, Rand Paul is holding all that hostage to a massive legalization plan that would have massive negative impacts on the U.S.
If you were and still are a Rand Paul supporter, I want to change your mind. Contact me at @24AheadDotCom.
If, on the other hand, you realize how deceptive Rand Paul is and want to oppose his plans, then make the arguments on this page to those who haven’t seen the light. That could take you as little as a few minutes: search Twitter for those who tweet approvingly to @SenRandPaul, and then make the points on this page to them.