Schumer and Graham: The Men With a (Immigration) Plan
Washington Post writer Spencer Hsu reports that senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have
had ghostwritten for them written an op-ed in the Washington Post that provides an outline of the immigration reform bill they plan to introduce in the coming weeks; the plan’s “four pillars” are:
There isn’t anything terribly original here; Hsu points out that most of these elements were part of the failed comprehensive proposals under the Bush administration as well, which were eventually abandoned in favor of stricter enforcement of current immigration laws and building both a virtual (and bug-ridden) and real fence along the border; while perhaps rhetorically appealing to some on both sides of the aisle, neither solution was likely to have any real effect on the informal economy or most of the millions of illegal aliens already in the United States.
requiring biometric Social Security cards to ensure that illegal workers cannot get jobs; fulfilling and strengthening our commitments on border security and interior enforcement; creating a process for admitting temporary workers; and implementing a tough but fair path to legalization for those already here.
But in the run-up to a midterm election where many Democrats in marginal seats are already running scared of Obamacare and likely facing Tea Party-energized Republicans and independents, scaring up enough votes for the Schumer-Graham plan in both chambers of Congress will be a serious challenge.
With a biometric social security card that looks suspiciously like a mandatory national ID card (at the moment, the social security card is an optional form of ID for people who can prove the right to work with a citizenship document), a “path to legalization” that strongly resembles the paths in the past that were spun by opponents as “amnesty,” and a guest worker system that working-class union members and non-union employees alike probably fear will amount to “foreigners stealing American jobs,” the bill’s chances of passage in any form, particularly before November, seem very slim.