Sen. Marco Rubio prepared to blow up comprehensive immigration reform

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

I have said before my theory is that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) wanted on the "Gang og
Eight" so that the GOP could have a Latino blow up the negotiations on
comprehensive immigration reform. This way the GOP can say "See! A Latino is opposed to the legislation, not just us old white guys,"
as if using a token Cuban-American is going to insulate the lily white
GOP from the electoral backlash of Latino voters nationwide.

It appears that we may now have arrived at the point Marco Rubio is preapred to blow up the negotiations on
comprehensive immigration reform. Marco Rubio: I will vote against my own immigration bill unless changes are made:

Sen. Marco Rubio, the leading Republican behind the Gang of Eight
comprehensive immigration reform bill, says he will not vote for the
legislation he helped write and has staked his political future on,
unless substantial changes are made before final Senate consideration.

Speaking with radio host Hugh Hewitt
Tuesday, Rubio said the Senate should “strengthen the border security
parts of this bill so that they’re stronger, so that they don’t give
overwhelming discretion to the Department of Homeland Security.” He said
he was working with other senators on amendments to do just that.

* * *

But now he says he will vote against the bill approved by the committee,
unless major changes are made. It is hard to tell if Rubio really
disagrees with the substance of the legislation approved by the
committee — he suggested to Hewitt that he would vote against the bill
because it wouldn’t pass without the changes, not because he objected to
particular passages in the bill — but the result would be that the
principal author of comprehensive immigration reform would vote against
it in the Senate.

And what are the major changes that Sen. Rubio is demanding? Ezra Klein reports at the Wonkbook: The immigration bill is moving right:

On Tuesday, Sen. Marco Rubio told Fox News that the bill didn’t have
the 60 votes necessary to overcome a Republican filibuster in the
Senate. In fact, right now, the immigration bill doesn’t even have his vote. In part, that’s because of “how little confidence people have that the federal government will enforce the law.”

So Rubio is working on making the law harder to enforce. Politico reports
that Rubio has partnered with Sen. John Cornyn on a sweeping amendment
that would require “stricter border patrol provisional ‘triggers’ before
registered immigrants are allowed to apply for green card status. His
amendment would require 100 percent operational control of the Southern
borders and that 90 percent of illegal border crossers be apprehended.
It would also require 100 percent border surveillance, or situational
awareness, of each one-mile segment of the Southern border and
installment of a national E-Verify system before registered immigrants
can pursue green cards
.”

That sure sounds as if no one is ever getting a green card. That
level of operational control — unless operational control is defined
quite far down — is nearly impossible. And that’s the Senate bill.

* * *

Wherever the Senate bill ends up, the House bill will end up well to the
right of that. It will have to end up to the right of that both for
political reasons — Speaker John Boehner needs to show his members
they’re getting something — and for the simple reason that the average
House members has beliefs that are further to the right than the
sixtieth senator. House Republicans tell me to expect a lengthy, ugly
process that ends with something that is an immigration-reform bill, but
that Democrats might not be willing to credit as being an
immigration-reform bill.

* * *

The poison pills that Republicans could add to the bill — like 100
percent operational control of the border — sound good to most
Americans. Republicans believe they can sell these arguments in the next
election. If it loses them future elections, well, that’s for their
future selves to worry about.

The Democratic theory has long been to pass a bill they like in the
Senate, expect a bill they don’t like from the House, and then use the
conference committee to jam House Republicans on the premise that House
Republicans know they can’t kill immigration reform. But now Senate
Republicans are organizing to give Democrats a bill they don’t like in
the Senate, a bill they absolutely hate in the House, and if this kills
immigration reform, well, plenty of their members would be just fine
with that.

A month or two ago, I heard a lot of optimism from both sides on immigration reform. I’m hearing less lately, from either side.

When comprehensive immigration reform fails, voters need to remember that The Republican Savior, Marco Rubio, is the Tea Party saboteur who is most responsible. And he fantasizes about running for president in 2016.

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