Democrats are desperately attempting to make the Arizona state crackdown on illegal immigration a national election-year issue. The border violence is already a big issue for voters, but not in the way Dems would like.
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer got a 16 point bounce in approval rating after signing the tough new illegal immigration bill into law while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) — who’s taken the lead in pandering for Hispanic votes pushing an amnesty bill this year — hovers around 40% in the polls against every possible Republican challenger in new polling released Thursday.
That’s an outright political disaster for the incumbent Senate Majority Leader.
Reid, along with Democrat Sens. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and Robert Menendez (N.J.), released their immigration proposal (pdf) yesterday that talks big on border security (without adequate funding) and enacts a “pathway to citizenship” amnesty.
The plan would sell American citizenship to those illegally entering this country by requiring them to simply pay the government a fine.
“What is being billed as a comprehensive immigration and enforcement package is actually far more permissive than the 2007 bill,” said Republican Sens. Jon Kyl (Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (S.C.) in a joint statement about the Democrats’ proposal. “It doesn’t provide the funding to ensure that the border is actually secured, it doesn’t end chain migration, and there is no real temporary worker program. Both of us have been involved in serious efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform, and believe, given the increase in violence along the border, that additional border security measures must be funded immediately.”
Graham has been working with Schumer on an amnesty plan but walked away from the effort when it was hastily pushed forward for action this year.
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced an actual border enforcement bill in the Senate on Wednesday that offers immediate funding grants to local law enforcement in the border regions to help combat the drug cartel violence bleeding across the border.
“For many in Washington, border violence is merely a talking point, but for those who live along our southern border it has become a fact of life,” Cornyn said. “Talk is cheap, but talk means nothing until we follow through and deliver the tangible resources our law enforcement needs to keep border residents safe.”
Asking for input from local Texas law enforcement personally combating the border violence on a daily basis, Cornyn authored The Southern Border Security Assistance Act creating a $300 million border grant program for state and local law enforcement within 100 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. The funds would immediately help these cash-strapped forces purchase equipment, upgrade critical information systems, and hire additional officers.
Cornyn’s bill also requires additional federal judges to handle the caseload from increased criminal prosecutions along the U.S.-Mexico border.
A summary of the bill can be found on Cornyn’s website.
“Our government has abdicated its responsibility when it comes to border security for far too long, leaving state and local taxpayers no choice but to pick up the slack to protect communities from cartel, gang violence, and cross-border trafficking,” Cornyn said. “This bill will require the federal government to do its job.”