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In my article yesterday (which many conservative readers of these pages were none too fond of) I suggested, as Marco Rubio has, that credible border enforcement is a an absolute prerequisite to anything even vaguely representing amnesty or even leniency for illegals.
The word “credible” is of utmost importance.
Today, The Hill is reporting that “Under a bipartisan Senate framework, Democrats say, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano would have final say over whether the border is secure enough to put 11 million illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship.”
On the one hand, I understand the initial lean toward the Secretary of Homeland Security having the authority to declare the border “secure enough.”
But thinking about who that person is today, and understanding that even if “Big Sis” Napolitano left during the Obama administration, her replacement would likely be no less feckless and unserious than she is, and leaving the decision to a political appointee will keep immigration a political football which immigration reform should try to avoid.
Republicans should come up with definable metrics for what would constitute a “secure enough” border, and then create a six-person standing committee, a majority vote (4 out of 6) of which would be required to make that declaration. The committee should include a representative of each border state (CA, AZ, NM, TX) along with two non-politician and non-bureaucrat citizens appointed by the House and/or Senate Homeland Security Committees. The committee should at all times include an equal number of Democrats and Republicans.
In the mean time, this seems like starting the discussion with a poison pill. I wouldn’t let Napolitano or this DoJ be in charge of security at my house, and I sure wish we had a choice along our border.