Thursday, February 7, 2013

Border Security As Precondition For Passing CIR

Senator Grassley of Iowa released his Senate floor speech on the Senate floor on Feb 04. It is a long speech, but it can be summarize in two points. (1) Reagan immigration reform (IRCA) in the 1980s was a failure because the legalization program failed to ensure border security and block of flood of undocumented immigrants from the Southern border before legalization of undocumented immigrants was implemented. (2) This time around, the border security must be achieved and assured before implementation of legalization of undocumented immigrants.

Senate Gang of 8 had initially proposed making secure borders as a precondition for legalization of undocumented immigrants. This is also the point of key conflict with the President's immigration reform framework. In fact, this is the key difference between the Republican party and the Democratic party on the legalization portion of CIR. 

NBC online news site carried an opinion of a leading immigration law professor discussing two yardsticks: Objective vs. Subjective measure yardsticks. Obviously, the bargainers should use and find objective yardsticks to thaw the ice.

The opinion is so interesting that we have decided to cite the relevant portion of the report in full as follows:

Cornell University Law School professor Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration law expert, said one possible compromise between the two sides would be an enforcement mechanism based on objective criteria, like a certain number of Border Patrol agents along the border or amount of money spent on security. 

But he said that if Republicans insist on a subjective measure, such as whether a poll finds the majority of Americans think the border is secure, or whether Republican governors of border states agree the border is secure, common ground will be much more difficult to find. 

Asked about the political feasibility of objective measures in a final immigration bill, Yale-Loehr said, “I would hope that an objective one would satisfy the conservatives enough that they could live with it while not antagonizing the other side too much.”  

This analysis should give at least a starting point and guidance for CIR power players of the White House, the Senate, and the House!

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