William Kristol and Rich Lowry: Kill the Immigration Bill

Tuesday, 09 Jul 2013 04:31 PM

By Lisa Barron

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Conservative editors William Kristol of the Weekly Standard and Rich Lowry of the National Review say that while they have differed on immigration reform in the past, they both agree that the Gang of Eight bill that passed out of the Senate is a "comprehensive mistake."

"There is no case for the bill, and certainly no urgency to pass it," they wrote in a joint editorial. "The case against the bill has been as responsible as it has been damning. It's become clear that you can be pro-immigrant and pro-immigration, and even favor legalization of the 11 million illegal immigrants who are here and increases in some categories of legal immigration —and vigorously oppose this bill."

Kristol and Lowry argued that the bill does not adequately solve the problem of illegal immigration.

"The enforcement provisions are riddled with exceptions, loopholes, and waivers," they said. "Every indication is that they are for show and will be disregarded, just as prior notional requirements to build a fence or an entry/exit visa system have been — and just as President Obama has recently announced he's ignoring aspects of Obamacare that are inconvenient to enforce on schedule."

Kristol and Lowry continued, “Finally, there is the sheer size of the bill and the hasty manner in which it was amended and passed. Such bills reflect a mistaken belief in central planning and in practice become a stew of deals, payoffs, waivers, and special-interest breaks."

The two editors said the changes to legal immigration are also flawed because the bill "unleashes a flood of additional low-skilled immigration."

They argued that Republicans in favor of supporting the bill are needlessly panicking, pointing to Sen. John McCain of Arizona who said, "I think Republicans realize the implications for the future of the Republican Party in America if we don't get this issue behind us."

"This is silly," stated Kristol and Lowry. "Are we supposed to believe that Republican Senate candidates running in states such as Arkansas, North Carolina, Iowa, Virginia, and Montana will be hurt if the party doesn't embrace Chuck Schumer’s immigration bill?"

As for the argument that at the party needs to perform better with Hispanic voters than they have in the past, the editors maintained, "It's most important that the party perform better among working-class and younger voters concerned about economic opportunity and upward mobility. Passing this unworkable, ramshackle bill is counterproductive or irrelevant to that task."

"House Republicans should make sure not to allow a conference with the Senate bill," the two concluded.

"Passing any version of the Gang of Eight's bill would be worse public policy than passing nothing. House Republicans can do the country a service by putting a stake through its heart," they said.

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