In 1986, President Reagan granted amnesty to about 3 million illegal immigrants (predominantly from Mexico) in exchange for the promise of strong border enforcement. Although he kept his promise on amnesty, Congress, not surprisingly, reneged on its commitment to secure the border which, except for about 55 miles near San Diego, has yet to be secured, even though the number of those here illegally in America has risen to somewhere between 11 to 20 million people. Tellingly, we don’t know the actual number.
In short, President Reagan was swindled with bait-and-switch legislation not significantly different than that being proposed today by the U.S. Senate’s “gang-of-eight,” which, disappointingly, includes Sen. Marco Rubio.
In 2006, President George W. Bush, emphasizing the lessons to be learned from the San Diego fence, signed into law the Secure Fence Act, authorizing the Secretary of Homeland Security to build another 700 miles of fence and otherwise secure the border. Now, we’re all abundantly aware of the sheer nothingness that this initiative produced.
In this context, references to the Secretary of Homeland Security are especially instructive. The Senate’s current legislative proposal on immigration cedes authority to “The Secretary” 1,014 times over its 844 pages of perilous comprehensiveness.
This is alarmingly reminiscent of the 2,700-page Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) legislation which granted authority to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who has already distantly supervised the production of more than 15,000 pages of largely incomprehensible regulations.
Two final points: 1.: A step-by-step immigration proposal forthcoming from the House of Representatives is bound to be far more in keeping with securing the citizens of a sovereign nation; 2.: At least in this subscriber’s opinion, The Tampa Tribune did a disservice to its readership with its “Signpost to Citizenship” editorial of April 21. It’s dangerous and disingenuous for any newspaper to pretend it knows and understands the content of so-called comprehensive legislation that will continue to be written by government bureaucrats for many years to come.
I don’t know whether this current proposal will turn out to be a labyrinth of smoke and mirrors, bait-and-switch or what it will become but, importantly, neither does The Tampa Tribune.
As the parody of Wendy’s successful ad campaign asked, “Where’s the Fence?”