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Opening Arguments

No mas

This should sound awfully familiar, because it is:

It’s has been widely assumed this morning by some immigration advocates (and by yours truly, too) that the new immigration reform plan’s process of citizenship for the country’s 11 million undocumented immigrants is contingent on a commission of Southwestern officials declaring the border secure.

Not true. I’ve now got clarification from Senate staff working on the bill, and it turns out that the enforcement commission’s judgments will only be advisory, and are entirely nonbinding. Congress’ actions will not be dictated by what this commission concludes; neither will actions taken by the Department of Homeland Security. The citizenship process will be triggered  by other means (more on this soon).

This is central to the debate. If this commission had the power to dictate when the citizenship process begins, it could endanger the entire enterprise by giving people like Jan Brewer veto power. Second, this enforcement commission is being seen as a major concession Republicans won in exchange for agreeing to grant citizenship to the 11 million.

But the commission isn’t, for all practical purposes, really a major concession at all.

This is why some conservatives scream "no more compromose" all the time, because conservatives get screwed by them every time. Conceded tax hikes come immediately, while promised spending cuts are vaguely off in the future and, surprise, surprise, don't really happen. So now a conceded "path to citizenship" will happen, and a lot more quickly and with many fewer complications than many suppose. And promised border securityis just vaguely out there and won't really happen. That was the result of the last immigration compromise, and it's the main reason we have 11 million illegals to deal with now.