The Los Angeles Times breathlessly reports today that there has been another major breakthrough in the Gang of Ocho’s negotiations over immigration reform. From The LAT:
According to aides familiar with the closed-door negotiations, the bill would require illegal immigrants to register with Homeland Security Department authorities, file federal income taxes for their time in America and pay a still-to-be-determined fine. They also must have a clean law enforcement record.
Once granted probationary legal status, immigrants would be allowed to work but would be barred from receiving federal public benefits, including food stamps, family cash assistance, Medicaid and unemployment insurance.
Now compare those supposedly “new” details to the Gang of Ocho statement released way back in January. There is absolutely nothing new mentioned in today’s LAT article. Registering with DHS, paying back taxes, a fine, a background check, ineligibility for federal benefits… all those items were already in the January statement.
What progress have they made since then? Have the metrics for determining whether or not the border is “secure” enough to trigger citizenship been agreed to yet? How will conservatives ensure that border security is maintained at that level? How will all this extra border security be paid for?
Last week, the AFL/CIO admitted that, despite previous optimistic headlines to the contrary, there never was any labor/Chamber of Commerce agreement on a guest worker program. The paucity of details in this LAT article suggests there has been a similar lack of progress on the citizenship front.
It is looking more and more likely that the Gang of Ocho is a dead end for the pro-amnesty crowd. It is only a matter of time before Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., admits it and moves on Obama’s amnesty bill by himself.