Rep. Paul Ryan Has an Immigration Plan. It's Awful.

Allahpundit riffs well on Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Not From a Border State) and his immigration plan. Essentially, it calls for some sort of legal status for illegal aliens while the border is being secured. There's a legion of devils hiding in the details in all that.

Solution: No one comes out of the shadows until the border’s secured. The status quo on legalization holds in the meantime. There’s no rational reason why a country needs to make concessions to illegals before, or concurrent with, strengthening its borders, just as there’s no rational reason to think the GOP would use the security trigger to delay legalization ad infinitum. Everyone understands the demographic realities of the last election. Everyone knows how eager the Republican establishment is to attract Latino voters. And everyone knows how gleefully Democrats will demagogue them for dragging their feet on legalization while the border saga is playing out. Left to their own devices, Republicans would legalize illegals sooner rather than later. There’s no similar reason to believe that Democrats, left to their own devices, would eventually get around to tackling the border once legalization had happened.

But I digress. “Probationary” legalization while security improvements are being made is the same nonsense in the Gang of Eight proposed, and it’s unacceptable for the same reason. Namely, in reality, there’ll be nothing probationary about it. Once “probation” is granted and illegals gain a temporary right to stay in the U.S., Congress will never muster the will to rescind that right even if the new border security efforts fall apart (or, more likely, if Obama simply refuses to carry them out). It’ll be like any other entitlement — once it’s in effect, congressional cowardice at upsetting people’s expectations will ensure that it’s with us forever.

Read the rest.

Simply put, the GOP has no reason to advance an immigration reform right now. The current issue environment favors the Republicans for holding the House and re-taking the Senate this fall. As Byron York wrote Monday, immigration is a fight that the American people just don't want to have right now.

A fight is coming. Perhaps the only people not fully engaged might be the broad majority of Americans, who don't see any urgent need for reform. In a new survey from Pew, in which voters were asked what should be the top priority for the president and Congress, immigration reform ranked 16th out of 20. In a new poll from Gallup, just three percent named immigration as the nation's most pressing issue.

The Democrats want this fight because they believe it is favorable "us vs them" ground for them to fight on. Some in the GOP want it because they want the cheap labor. Neither of those factions has the plight of the lower end of the American work force at heart. Neither is putting national security first, and neither really wants to end illegal immigration. It's not entirely that they don't care -- they're just putting their own interests first.

Ryan's and Marco Rubio's involvement on this issue, in the manner in which both are working, is strategically misguided -- dumb, really. They're bright men but fail to see a glaring and fatal problem lurking in any reform attempt over the next three years. Any law passed by this Congress will be watered down to satisfy the likes of partisans like Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer. There is no avoiding that. It will depend on the Obama administration for enforcement. This administration is not even enforcing its own Obamacare law fairly. There is no reason to trust this president or his attorney general or anyone else within it with immigration policy or any new reform. They will pick and choose which parts get enforced, and they will pick for partisan gain. It's as simple as that.

The best thing Republicans can do is make the argument that Barack Obama talks a good game but is standing in the way of meaningful border security and immigration policy reform. He wants the issue to remain alive to use it as a weapon. Obama has lost the public even on issues like healthcare, where he was once strong. He has cost the Democrats their edge on that and handling the economy. Most Americans don't want to talk about immigration, they want to talk about jobs and other, more urgent, things. Obama's Democrats are ripe for defeat because their credibility is shot through.

Instead of offering Ryan's plan or the Senate plan, Republicans should be arguing that the president and party of healthcare "reform" -- Obamacare -- are not competent to handle immigration reform, and cannot be trusted to live within whatever law is passed.