After months of negotiations, the bipartisan Senate “Gang of Eight” agreed on a comprehensive immigration reform proposal that would offer a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, reform the existing legal immigration system, strengthen border security and the entry-exit channels, as well as mandate an electronic employment verification system.
The bill is not perfect, and as the senators working on the bill have stated, not everyone will like everything that’s in the bill. Rather, the legislation was crafted by the bipartisan group in such a way that would most likely pass the left-leaning Senate as well as the right-leaning House. A realistic path to citizenship was most important for Democrats, while Republicans fought hard for tougher border security.
Wednesday’s 844-page bill was the result.
Despite having something for everyone, many on the conservative side of the spectrum have continued to denounce immigration reform as nothing more than amnesty.
Conservative pundits from Rush Limbaugh to Mark Levin have blasted Republican Marco Rubio for caving in to pressure from the left, while continuing to degrade 11 million human beings by referring to them as “illegal aliens.”
As John McCain noted during Thursday’s immigration reform press conference, one of the reasons Republicans have agreed to meet at the table to discuss immigration reform was to appeal to the increasingly powerful Hispanic vote. While he conceded that passing immigration reform wouldn’t be enough on its own to sway the 71% of Hispanics that voted Democrat during last year’s election toward the right, he admitted that it was important that the party take this first step.
So far, it appears that many on the right have yet to receive that memo, as the conservative blogosphere continues to mislabel immigration reform as amnesty and falsely exclaim that our borders are porous, despite the facts stating otherwise. The demographics of this country are changing, and it’s important that everyone on both sides of the table understand that.