I confess I'm not an expert on the details of the current immigration proposals, so I learned something yesterday from Greg Sargent's article about an immigration plan being developed by a bipartisan group in the House that might, according to Sargent, be acceptable to House Republicans. Here's one part of the plan:
* The plan would put in place a new trigger involving E-Verify that would be required to end that period of "probation." The plan would stipulate that E-Verify -- the system to allow businesses to determine eligibility to work in the U.S. -- must be fully operational after five years. If it isn't, all of those on probation would lose that status and revert to illegal status. This is significantly tougher than the Senate bill, which requires E-Verify to be operational for the path to citizenship to be set in motion, but would not revoke provisional legal status if it isn't operational.I've never believed that Republicans (in Congress and in the rank-and-file) would ever go along with E-Verify, which requires that the residency status of everyone -- yes, rock-ribbed native-born Fox-watching white people, too! -- be checked in a national database by potential employers. Right-wingers regularly rail against surveillance -- not the anti-terrorism surveillance of the Bush years, of course, because that seemed only directed at Muslims and dirty politicized hippies, but certainly the NSA panopticon under Obama, and certainly anything that even vaguely threatens a gun registry, and, well, anything else that affects them personally. Right-wingers were furious yesterday when word of a massive license plate scanning program emerged. And, seemingly apropos of nothing, the Sage of Wasilla tweeted this yesterday:
Govt: stay out of our garage, refrigerator, church, gun safe, bookshelf, etc. America: you willing to give up freedom for more govt control?— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) July 17, 2013
So, in the Senate immigration bill, the path to citizenship is predicated on getting E-Verify fully operational in five years? And if Greg Sargent is correct, the House proposal says E-Verify must be fully operational in five years or undocumented immigrants lose their legal status?
I just don't see Republicans being at all willing to accept E-Verify directed at everyone, but even if it does become law, I don't see them allowing full implementation without throwing sand in the gears -- we know from Obamacare and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that they love to prevent or stall the implementation of laws they don't like.
So I don't think a real path to citizenship is coming anytime soon, even if the House does start coming around on immigration reform.