Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
It increasingly appears as if a compromise on additional border security has now been worked out by the Gang of Eight" in the U.S. Senate, and the comprehensive immigration bill is taking shape. Ed Kilgore at the Political Animal blog writes,
it looks like the Gang of Eight (and the largely Democratic coalition of senators supporting them) are going to announce
a new border enforcement “compromise” that will be attributed to
Republicans Bob Corker and John Hoeven. It basically involves massive
new spending on border control agents and fence-building that would
occur before newly legalized immigrants can get on the famed “path to
citizenship.” But it doesn’t embrace a “hard trigger” of border
enforcement netrics, as conservative typically want, and also doesn’t
hold up the initial legalization of undocumented immigrants, as most
Senate Republicans voted for just last week in the Grassley Amendment.
In effect, this is pretty much the Gang of Eight’s border enforcement
provisions with congressionally prescribed steps for improving
enforcement (not just leaving it up to DHS) and a very large bag of
money (and you can probably thank CBO’s positive report yesterday on the fiscal impact of immigration reform for making that feasible).
It seems from Greg Sargent’s report on the deal
this morning that immigration reform advocates are already on board
with this compromise, albeit not with any enthusiasm. The two questions
now are (1) how many Senate Republicans now accept the deal, and are any
of them named John Cornyn? and (2) how do House Republicans react?
UPDATE: A motion to table
the much-discussed Cornyn Amendment to the Gang of Eight immigration
bill passed the Senate by a 54-43 vote, presumably paving the way to
consideration of the Corker/Hoeven border enforcement “compromise.” Interestingly, Marco Rubio voted against tabling Cornyn, while Rand Paul voted
with the remaining Gang of Eight Republicans and all but two of the
This is an excellent development for the "Gang of Eight" bill.
UPDATE: Sen. Bob Corker appeared on MSNBC this morning and said his plan, which will apparently be incorporated into the bipartisan bill is "almost overkill." (It would double the size of the Border Patrol and add 700 miles of border fencing, among other things).