Everything promised by the GOP members of the “Gang of Eight” in the comprehensive immigration reform proposal was predicated on locking down the southern border; but as the details have been revealed it’s clear that “locking” is surely not the right word.

A key parameter of the proposal is the creation and empowerment of the Southern Border Security Commission (SBSC.)  The commission would be formed if within five years of passage the Secretary of Homeland Security has failed to increase border security to a level in which 100 percent of the border is under surveillance and 90 percent of those attempting to cross illegally are caught.

No the SBSC wouldn’t be your standard Washington study group that never accomplishes anything, supposedly; no it would have the authority to actually secure the border where the Department of Homeland Security had failed.

After wasting five years, should we not have achieved 100 percent situational awareness; whatever that means, and 90 percent apprehension rate in all areas of the southern border, the SBSC can make policy. Yet we all know, from the various law suits associated with the Arizona immigration laws, that only the federal government has the authority to secure U.S. borders. In all likelihood five years down the road we’ll see more time wasted in law suits and meanwhile we will have legalized millions of illegal aliens.

Yet even with these questionable promises, as it turns out what was promised is simply not in the bill. It’s all a sham.

In the real bill, the SBSC would only be formed if the Secretary of Homeland Security “certifies that the Department has not achieved effective control in all high-risk border sectors during any fiscal year beginning from the date that is five years after the enactment of this Act.” The Commission’s “primary responsibility,” according to the bill, “shall be making recommendations to the President, the Secretary, and Congress on policies to achieve and maintain the border security goal” of 100 percent surveillance and 90 percent apprehension.  The Commission will have six months to write a report “setting forth specific recommendations for policies for achieving and maintaining the border security goals [specified in the bill].”  That report shall contain, according to the bill, “recommendations for the personnel, infrastructure, technology, and other resources required to achieve and maintain [those goals].”

In other words: once again the fox is guarding the henhouse.

Not only will the SBSC have no authority, once they write their “report” the head of the Government Accountability Office will review the report to determine whether the Commission’s recommendations are likely to work and what they will cost.  Once the GAO reports their take on the SBSC report, the SBSC is disbanded, regardless of the situation on the border. According to the bill, “The Commission shall terminate 30 days after the date on which the report is submitted.”

Nowhere in the bill does it ever say that the SBSC can go from “being an advisory panel to a policy-making one.”  The bologna passed out by Gang sources just isn’t in there.

As far as the “money set aside in escrow” for the SBSC and its enforcement plan, the bill specifies that $2 billion “shall be made available” to the Secretary of Homeland Security “to carry out programs, projects, and activities recommended by the Commission.”  There is no money made available to the SBSC to do anything only more money for Washington to spend doing nothing.

Even after the actual text of bill was released Republican Sen. Marco Rubio argued that the Commission would not be a Washington-centric panel, the kind that are so common and so ineffective that they are the butt of jokes.  “If, in five years, the plan has not reached 100 percent awareness and 90 percent apprehension, the Department of Homeland Security will lose control of the issue and it will be turned over to the border governors to finish the job,” Rubio told radio host Mark Levin shortly after the bill was made public.  “Which is not a Washington commission, made up of congressmen or bureaucrats.  It’s largely led by the border state governors, who have a vested local interest in ensuring that that border is secure.”

Could it be that Rubio doesn’t even know what’s in the bill he’s making his benchmark legislation leading towards a potential presidential run? Here’s a tweet he posted; perhaps he should’ve read the text of the bill himself:

The bill specifies that the SBSC will have ten members.  Two will be appointed by the president.  One will be chosen by the Majority Leader of the Senate, and another by the Minority Leader. One will be chosen by the Speaker of the House and one by the House Minority Leader.  And finally the other four, one from each of the border states of California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, will either be the governor of the state or someone the governor designates.  That means that six of the ten members of the SBSC will be Washington appointments and four border state appointments; it’s just one more Washington Ponzi scheme: legalization now; finger wagging later with a nice dollop of Washington politics on the side. How many times will we allow ourselves to be duped?


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