The Gang of Eight are expected to release the illegal immigration reform plan as soon as Thursday of this week. Mark-ups will begin the first week in May. Thus debate will begin on the issue, which Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy seems hell bent on pushing through. In fact, he plans to hold only one hearing on the legislation, which will be next Wednesday.
The Senate's immigration Gang of Eight plans to announce a deal within a week but a committee markup is not expected until at least the week of May 6, providing a long period for debate and changes, Senate aides said Tuesday.
Aides said the legislative proposal could be released as soon as Thursday, but is more likely to be ready early next week. The schedule outlined by the aides is meant to satisfy Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who has said repeatedly that he wants a full debate and amendment process, to maximize the chances that the final vote is an overwhelming majority.
Senator Marco Rubio's (R-FL) spokesman Alex Conant issued a statement on Tuesday saying:
"Senator Rubio has said from the outset that we will not rush this process, and that begins at the committee level. The Judiciary Committee must have plenty of time to debate and improve the bipartisan group's proposal, so it's good that senators and the public will have weeks to study this proposal before the Judiciary committee will mark it up."
"Senator Rubio will be requesting that his Senate colleagues arrange multiple public hearings on the immigration bill," he said. "We believe that the more public scrutiny this legislation receives, the better it will become."
Well yeah, but at the same time, Senator Rubio is also willing to reward those who have come here illegally, instead of dealing with them according to the law. That is what his own reform bill is about.
I told you last week that the Gang of Eight's reform is not only backwards, but will end up costing tax payers trillions of dollars. It looks to legalize illegals before it even considers working on border security. It is simply kicking the can down the road on immigration without really addressing the problem.
Keep in mind that Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX) introduced the Federal Border Security Results Act of 2013. According to the Texas Tribune it will be separate from other immigration reform that establishes a "path to citizenship."
The Republican lawmakers said the bill spotlights holes in border security that must be addressed during the current immigration reform debate. During a conference call with reporters, however, they also said they are not attempting to slow down progress on that reform or tell the department how to do its job, but rather inform members about border security as the debate moves forward.
"What we want to do is not make the same mistakes we did in 1986 when we passed immigration reform and did not enforce the border security provisions," McCaul said. "What this bill essentially does is, as we proceed forward on any debate on immigration reform, [ensure] that we keep in mind that we first and foremost get that operation control that's necessary so that we're not having the same discussion 15 years from now."
The bill requires that DHS, after 60 days of the bill's adoption and every 180 days thereafter, submit a detailed report that describes how much "operational control" federal agents have on the border. It also mandates that the agency submit within four months a plan to the appropriate committees to maintain control over "high trafficking" areas, which requires consideration of not only expanding drone use, but also nonintrusive detection equipment, radiation portals and fingerprint readers at ports of entry. The bill also requires DHS to formulate a plan to reduce waits at the nation's ports of entry by 50 percent.
It doesn't seem that the American people are going to win on the issue of immigration. Rather it seems that we are being set up for another broad sweep of amnesty in some form without ever enforcing the law against illegal immigrants.