Opinion: Morning Examiner

Morning Examiner: The Gang of Eight’s big government power grab

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll,Morning Examiner,Big Government

Libertarians and conservatives don’t agree on every policy issue but, especially under President Obama, they have largely been united in opposing almost all expansions of federal government power.

One issue that has always divided conservatives and libertarians, however, is immigration. Libertarians believe individuals should be empowered to choose where they live regardless of where governments tell them they can, while conservatives believe the federal government must play a key role in protecting U.S. sovereignty.

So it is in no way surprising that libertarian groups like the Cato Institute and Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Refom have been highly supportive of the Gang of Eight’s efforts to increase immigration to the United States.

But no matter how strong your limited-government principles are, when you go to bed with a liberal like Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., you are going to wake up with big-government fleas. And Schumer took his supposedly conservative small government counterpart, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to the big-government cleaners. Just a cursory reading of the bill’s 844 pages reveals a slew of new government programs and powers. The Gang of Eight bill:

1) Creates a new Bureau of Immigration and Market Research empowered to determine the number of guest workers employers can hire annually and which businesses can hire those guest workers.
2) Creates a grant program for liberal advocacy groups like the National Council of La Raza to use federal tax dollars to help currently illegal immigrants obtain citizenship.
3) Creates an Office of Citizenship and New Americans to indoctrinate immigrants on what the federal government thinks it means to be an American.
4) Creates a new Task Force on New Americans designed to lobby the federal government for more federal and state benefits for immigrants.
5) Creates a new United States Citizenship Foundation to help currently illegal immigrants obtain citizenship.

And that isn’t even the Gang of Eight’s biggest power grab of all. In his five-page “Frequently Asked Questions” defense of the border security measures in the bill, Rubio asserts: “The security triggers are not left at the discretion of politicians with agendas. Real measurable results must be achieved, and politicians cannot override them.”

This is completely false. All of the security triggers in the bill are at the total discretion of a politician with a political agenda, namely the current Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, and whoever the next DHS secretary will be. The completion of every single security trigger in the bill is ultimately in the hands of the DHS secretary. Nothing in the bill empowers U.S. citizens to challenge the secretary’s determinations through either the courts or Congress. Once Obama signs the Gang of Eight bill, the executive branch will have complete discretion over the entire path to citizenship process.

If the libertarian movement’s goal is to limit the size and scope of government, then this Gang of Eight immigration bill is big step in the wrong direction.

From The Washington Examiner
Editorial: Questions senators should ask Thomas Perez
Phil Klein: Key Obamacare author warns of "train wreck," shows Dems fear 2014 health care politics
Sean Higgins: Thomas Perez tried to cover up quid pro quo
Tim Carney: Kermit Gosnell and the abortion movement’s dark past
Conn Carroll: Marco Rubio’s completely worthless border security triggers

In Other News
CNN, Explosion hits fertilizer plant north of Waco, Texas: A massive explosion at a fertilizer plant in the small Texas town of West left at least two people dead, sent dozens more seeking medical attention and prompted a widescale evacuation in the community of 2,600 people.
The Washington Post, Every proposal on gun control fails in Senate: President Obama’s ambitious effort to overhaul the nation’s gun laws in response to December’s school massacre in Connecticut suffered a resounding defeat Wednesday, when every major proposal he championed fell apart on the Senate floor.
The Boston Globe, Boston Marathon bombing suspect shown on camera: In a potential breakthrough in the investigation into the Boston Marathon bombing, investigators have isolated ­images of a suspect carrying and perhaps dropping a black bag believed to have held one of two bombs that exploded 12 seconds apart Monday near the finish line of the historic race, said an official briefed on the investigation.
The Washington Post, Arrest made in ricin case: Fire crews arrive at the unmarked postal building by the Beltway every few days, donning protective rubber suits and carrying away suspicious letters addressed to members of Congress. At a similarly secret building in the District, agents set aside letters once or twice a week to the president containing powder or other cause for concern.
The New York Times, Mortgage Relief Checks Go Out, Only to Bounce: Many struggling homeowners got exactly that this week when they lined up to take their cut of a $3.6 billion settlement with the nation’s largest banks — lenders accused of wrongful evictions and other abuses.
The Wall Street Journal, Labor Pick Faces Backlash Over His Aggressive Record: Republicans worry that Thomas Perez will prove an aggressive labor secretary, a notion to which his tenure as head of the Justice Department Civil Rights Division lends some support. Under his leadership, the division has begun a record number of investigations of local police departments, and last year it filed more briefs in voting-rights cases than were filed in the previous nine years combined.
The Los Angeles Times, U.S. takes step toward possible military intervention in Syria: The Pentagon is sending about 200 troops to Jordan, the vanguard of a potential U.S. military force of 20,000 or more that could be deployed if the Obama administration decides to intervene in Syria to secure chemical weapons arsenals or to prevent the 2-year-old civil war from spilling into neighboring nations.
Politico, Republicans pull plug on Mark Sanford: Blindsided by news that Mark Sanford’s ex-wife has accused him of trespassing and concluding he has no plausible path to victory, the National Republican Congressional Committee has decided not to spend more money on Sanford’s behalf ahead of the May 7 special election.

Lefty Playbook
In The New York Times, Gabrielle Giffords writes that the “gun lobby” controls the U.S. Senate.
Irin Carmon claims the media is conspiring with conservatives to ban all abortion.
BuzzFeed reports on Michael Bloomberg’s plan to keep pushing on gun control.
Think Progress attacks Regal Cinemas for cutting employee hours because of Obamacare.

Righty Playbook
Rich Lowry details how Chuck Schumer completely played Marco Rubio on immigration.
George Will on what’s behind the funding of the welfare state.
Jim DeMint says delaying eligibility for federal benefits to newly legalized immigrants merely puts off the day of reckoning.
Andrew Biggs says low-skilled immigration will only drive up entitlement spending and debt.
David Freddoso posts a new Conservative Intel showing Obama’s approval rating underwater and strong opposition to the Chained CPI.

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