Senator Menendez drove a nail into the compromise’s coffin today when he blasted the “hateful rhetoric” in the country directed at McCain-Kennedy 2.0. I have spent a week interviewed guests and talking to experts and the callers, and there hasn’t been any hateful rhetoric, nor have I heard it on other shows. What I do hear is profound suspicion of the Congress and perfectly reasonable objections to the obvious problems in the bill.
Blasting away at opponents –especially those who might have been won over by responsive amendments– is a sign of desperation, as is the increasingly cement-handed massaging of the bill. Senators have a few hours left to make some dramatic changes in 2.0 that will give them some arguments for when they meet their constituents next week. Thus far zero big changes have been made, and cutting the number of guest workers to 200,000 doesn’t qualify.
To keep their hope alive, the proponents of the compromise should not leave D.C. without mandating that the entire fence will be built before any Z visa issues, that the Border Patrol will be dramatically expanded and pay and training improved before any Z visa issues, by detailing the expanision in the staffs of the DHS and FBI charged with processing and investigating the Z visa applicants and by declining to extend to any illegal alien from “countries of special interest” any status whatsoever. The national security arguments against the bill are the most powerful, and the Senate is simply not responding in a serious way to those arguments and thus losing the opportunity to salvage the bill.
When I heard Todd Bensman was to appear on Laura Ingraham’s show this morning I knew that his crucial set of articles had broken through decisively, even though not many senators seem to have read them. The point of his series –that many terrorist sand terrorist sympathizers have certainly entered the country illegally across our borders– is an issue ignored by the bill’s proponents, and when confronted with it, they attempt to argue that it would be better to get their fingerprints and legalize their work and travel around the country –and back and forth from abroad to the U.S.– than to keep them in the position of a lawbreaker. This is not credible, and thus the bill is not credible. The four areas bolded above are each part of dealing with this threat, and the refusal to do so dooms the bill.