Byron York reports on a comment by Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano, that could and should kill off the Gang of Eight’s immigration reform effort.
Republicans working to craft a comprehensive immigration reform bill say there is one rock-bottom requirement for any deal: The border must be secure, and proven to be secure, before any path to citizenship is created for the millions of immigrants currently in the country illegally. That is the one non-negotiable GOP demand. And on Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano flatly rejected it.
“Relying on one thing as a so-called trigger is not the way to go,” Napolitano told a breakfast meeting of journalists. Asked about her department’s recent revelation that it will not produce a long-promised method of measuring border security, known as the Border Condition Index, Napolitano said, “We’re confident that the border is as secure as it’s ever been. But there’s no one number that captures that.” Without a way to measure border security, many Republican reform advocates say, there’s no way to go forward with a reform agreement.
It’s easy to claim that the border is more secure than ever, when some local officials on the border are faking crime statistics.
The Obama administration has no intention of truly securing the border, and no intention of even finding a way to convince any skeptic that it has done so. They’re going for the brass ring of “reform,” which will mint millions of new voters. That’s the game here.
Napolitano’s comment may get one prominent Republican Gang of Eighter to wise up.
Added [Rubio spokesman Alex] Conant: “Senator Rubio will not support any legislation that does not include real security triggers to make sure our borders are secured.”
The Obama administration won’t agree to include any such triggers in any reform package. The impasse will hand Democrats another victory, though: A bloody shirt to wave while it characterizes Republican opposition as racist.