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Opinion: Morning Examiner

Morning Examiner: Corker-Hoeven’s clueless amnesty amendment

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll,Morning Examiner,Immigration,Bob Corker

Conservative opponents of amnesty always knew this day was coming. From the beginning of the immigration debate, pro-amnesty Republicans knew they needed a tough-sounding amendment that could both provide enough rhetorical cover for moderates who wanted to vote for Schumer-Rubio and yet still be acceptable to Democrats.

Today, The Washington Examiner‘s Byron York reports, Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and John Hoeven, R-N.D., will present such an amendment.

Gang of Eight 3.0
According to York, Corker-Hoeven maintains the same basic amnesty-now-for-enforcement-later framework of Schumer-Rubio, while making some minor tweaks to the four triggers Schumer-Rubio required before currently illegal immigrants could receive citizenship.

Under Schumer-Rubio, legalized immigrants could not become citizens until: 1) a border security plan has been “substantially deployed”; 2) a border fence is “substantially completed”; 3) a mandatory employment verification system has been implemented; and 4) an electronic exit system has been implemented at all air and sea ports.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, submitted an amendment last week that also tweaked the Schumer-Rubio triggers, but in a way that was ultimately unacceptable to Democrats. Corny required: 1) 100 percent border awareness; 2) 90 percent border crossing apprehension; 3) mandatory employment verification system has been implemented; and 4) a biometric entry and exit system has been implemented at all air and sea ports. Democrats objected to the 100 and 90 percent numbers claiming they were unachievable.

Corker-Hoeven will reportedly require: 1) 20,000 more border patrol agents; 2) almost 700 miles of border fence; 3) other border gadgets like sensors and drones; 4) a mandatory employment verification system; and 5) an electronic exit system  at all air and sea ports.

A weaker worthless amendment
If Democrats do sign off on the Corker-Hoeven amendment, they will undoubtedly secure a good 60 to 65 vote threshold for final passage of Schumer-Rubio. But that’s it. They will fail to reach 70 votes because the Corker-Hoeven amendment completely fails to address the fundamental problem with Schumer-Rubio that the Congressional Budget Office exposed yesterday: It doesn’t solve anything.

Not only will Schumer-Rubio leave 3.5 million illegal immigrants in the United States without any legalization, let alone citizenship, but it also completely fails to end future flows of illegal immigration. According to the CBO, Schumer-Rubio will only decrease annual illegal immigration by about 25 percent. And adding even a million border patrol agents won’t help either, because the CBO says these illegal immigrants will almost all have entered the country legally. “Unauthorized residents would find it harder both to enter the country and to find employment while unauthorized,” the CBO wrote. “However, other aspects of the bill would probably increase the number of unauthorized residents—in particular, people overstaying their visas issued under the new programs for temporary workers.”

And here is the kicker: Corker-Hoeven weakens visa tracking! The Cornyn amendment would have required a biometric visa entry/exit system at all ports of entry as recommended by the 9/11 Commission. Corker-Hoeven rejects this security measure for a much weaker biographic visa traffic system that experts say is easily compromised.

What’s the point?
Moderate Republicans have no burning desire to vote for amnesty for amnesty’s sake. Those that do vote for it will do so because they want the issue to go away. But if Schumer-Rubio passes with the Corker-Hoeven amendment, it won’t. Millions of illegal immigrants will be left in the country and millions will keep coming thanks to the guest worker programs and weak visa tracking system. If Schumer-Rubio becomes law, Republicans will only be forced to pass another amnesty, again, sometime in the next decade.

From The Washington Examiner
Byron York: Breakthrough in Senate immigration talks; announcement set for Thursday
Steve Contorno: Rand Paul cheered, Marco Rubio jeered by Tea Party protestors at Capitol
Conn Carroll: What will happen to the 3.5 million people Schumer-Rubio doesn’t legalize?
Richard Pollock: Revolving door spinning at Consumer Finance Protection Board, raising ethics issues
Joel Gehrke: GOP aides say window may be closing on Gang of Eight bill
Susan Ferrechio: IRS says it must pay $70 million in employee bonuses
Phil Klein: Obamacare implementation behind schedule
Brian Hughes: Obama on verge of unveiling climate plan
Michael Barone: Negotiations with Taliban likely to succeed only when they are defeated
Joseph Lawler: Ben Bernanke recommits to the Federal Reserve’s stimulus plans

In Other News
The Wall Street Journal, Markets Flinch as Fed Eyes Easy-Money End: Bernanke said the Fed could start winding down its $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program later this year, setting up a high-stakes test to see if the economy and markets can begin to stand on their own.
McClatchy Newspapers, Supreme Court begins releasing final decisions of term today: How will they vote on same-sex marriage and affirmative action?
The Washington Post, Obama, in Berlin, calls for U.S., Russia to cut nuclear warheads: President Obama on Wednesday called for reducing the number of deployed U.S. strategic nuclear warheads by one-third if the Russian government agrees to a similar cut, reviving a goal outlined early in his presidency to work toward a world without nuclear weapons.
New Hampshire Union Leader, Apology issued for naming of Boston bomber as a victim of gun violence at Concord rally: The organizers of the Mayors Against Illegal Guns campaign on Wednesday apologized for including Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev among a list of shooting victims’ names that were read during a demonstration in Concord on Tuesday.
Politico, White House seeks NBA assist on Obamacare: The Obama administration has reached out to the NBA about a potential marketing partnership to promote the health law

Lefty Playbook
Think Progress attacks Rep. Phil Gingrey, R-Ga., for wanting public schools to teach gender stereotypes.
BuzzFeed reports that Exodus International is closing down.
Markos Moulitsas says the Republican Party will die unless it passes amnesty.

Righty Playbook
National Review on the CBO’s Schumer-Rubio score.
Investor’s Business Daily says the Schumer-Rubio CBO report show the pill will shaft the poor.
Brietbart posts pictures contrasting the 200,000 Germans who showed up to see Obama in 2008 and the 4,500 that showed up yesterday.

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