A way out of the impending immigration disaster
The medium-term prospects on immigration seem dire. Even if the “enforcement-only” Republican majority in the House of Representatives holds firm against President Bush and the Senate, and no amnesty and “guest worker” bill is passed during the current year, the pundits all expect the Democrats to win control of the House in the November elections, in which case there will be nothing to stop a Democratic-controlled House from passing an amnesty and “guest worker” bill in the next Congress. It is for this reason that Tony Blankley urges conservatives to accept a grand compromise now, in which they would go along with the “guest worker” plan in exchange for (or so Blankley hopes) real border security and law enforcement. But such a “compromise,” which Powerline also endorses, is nothing but abject surrender calling itself political realism.
How can this grim situation be turned around? Ron Maxwell, the movie director, who recently wrote a deeply felt article on the immigration issue at the Washington Times, has been talking up a very promising approach that would prevent any open-borders plan from being passed either in the current Congress or in the next. Normally when the House and Senate have passed differing versions of the same bill, there is a joint House-Senate conference where the differences are ironed out, after which each body votes again on the resulting compromise legislation. Maxwell says that in the event S.2611 is passed by the Senate, the House members attending the joint conference would come under unrelenting pressure to reach some sort of compromise, and might very well yield. Therefore the House Republicans should simply refuse to attend any conference on the bill, declaring up front that since they absolutely oppose any amnesty and “guest worker” provisions, there is no point in their coming to a meeting the sole purpose of which is to adopt a modified form of those provisions. Not only would this principled stand by the House Republicans stop the amnesty and “guest worker” package cold in its tracks for the current year; it would galvanize conservative voters and propel the Republicans to victory in the 2006 Congressional elections, assuring that no amnesty and “guest worker” bill would be passed in the next Congress as well. This would provide time for immigration reformers to build up national support for “enforcement-only” legislation.