There's a storm gathering around one of the provisions in the Gang of Eight amnesty bill, but it needs to gather faster, because the amnesty shill are ramming this thing through Congress faster than they'd ever consider moving on a bill that would actually help American citizens - say, by reducing the tax and regulatory burden on the private sector to spur job growth. Anyone who thought Congress was a lumbering dinosaur incapable of swift, decisive action can only marvel at the speed they're moving on amnesty.
One of the reasons for that speed is that Gang of Eight proponents don't want the American people to know what's in the bill - the same way they didn't want us to read the last bill they passed in a blind haste, ObamaCare. (And look how that's working out.) If we have time to study the bill, we'll notice things like the provision that waves drunk-driving illegal aliens right to the head of the line for legalization, ahead of all those poor chumps who have been struggling to legally comply with America's immigration laws.
Kurt Schlicter blew a gasket over this today, noting that the immigration bill allows three strikes for drunk-driving illegal aliens before the government will even think about deporting them - and even then, deportation can (and will) be waived at the discretion of the bureaucracy.
For the Gang of 8, the choice is clear. If it???s a choice between the lives of your kids and keeping the coalition together behind their immigration reform scam, your kids lose.
Under the Gang of 8???s plan, you can stay in America legally ??? and become a citizen ??? even if you are a chronic drunk driver.
Their immigration bill is packed with obnoxious features ??? the ???path to citizenship,??? the entitlement giveaways, the utterly toothless ???border security??? lies ??? yet this one dwarfs them all in terms of pure, shameful cynicism. That the Gang of 8 is perfectly willing to let American kids (and, for that matter, immigrant kids) die seems like a harsh charge. But conservatives must judge policies not upon the vague, amorphous intentions expressed by their proponents but by their real-world consequences.
The real-world consequence of this immigration reform bill will be more dead kids. Maybe yours.
Mickey Kaus at the Daily Caller noted last week that Senator John Cornyn's (R-TX) amendment to the immigration bill (which ended up getting defeated) would have barred illegal aliens with misdemeanor DUI convictions from entering the legalization process... and according to Kaus' sources, that's a big, but secret, reason the Democrats hated Cornyn's amendment:
Pro-Gang Democrats (and Republicans) understandably don???t want to publicize their DUI defense. DUI offenders are not an inherently popular group, and accidents in which undocumented immigrant drivers kill innocent civilians tend to be well publicized. It???s not a coincidence that Obama???s executive mini-amnesty of so-called ???Dreamers??????issuedbefore the 2012 election???claimed to exclude DUI offenders. But the broader Gang of 8 legislation, written after the election, allows two free misdemeanors???apparently including DUIs???before an illegal immigrant is disqualified. (If you search the Gang of 8 text for ???intoxicated,??? you will discover only provisions related to ???habitual??? drunk drivers???defined as ???[a]n alien convicted of 3 or more offenses on separate dates related to driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated.??? [Emphasis added])
The DUI issue may be a sort of Ninth Planet affecting the immigration debate in a way that???s invisible to most of the MSM???s reporters. It would certainly help explain some of the vehement Gang of 8 opposition to Cornyn???s amendment, which otherwise doesn???t seem all that different from what the Gang has proposed. ???
This all seems insane to the casual observer, but it's actually pretty straightforward: as Kaus surmises, "For the pro-amnesty side, the exclusion of DUI offenders is apparently a deal-killer. There must be a lot of them!" The goal of this bill is to import a new electorate that appeals to the ruling class, and cheap labor for the Big Business types. Rules that would keep a sizable number of applicants from boarding the Amnesty Express cannot be tolerated. A lot of the offenders have families (which they are endangering when they drive drunk, of course.) If the family enters the "pathway to citizenship" but Dad's a DUI offender and isn't eligible, what happens to the family? Especially since the family's application would expose Drunk Driving Dad to detection, and deportation, by the government that hasn't bothered looking for him until now?
Schlicter relates the story of how he was once on a DUI jury for an obviously guilty drunk driver from Central America, but it ended in a hung jury because "one idiot woman dressed like a flower child???s bad trip" refused to vote guilty, on the grounds that "maybe it's not wrong in his culture." Blogger Maetenloch at Ace of Spades notes there might be some truth to that assertion, backed up by an NPR piece from several years ago on the high incidence of drunk driving among young men who have recently immigrated to the U.S. from South America:
While NPR tries to portray the DUI problem as purely situational, the real issue is that in rural Mexican culture drinking-and-driving doesn't have the same stigma it does here and in fact it's considered part of machismo to always be able to handle your drink. Which means never admitting you're too drunk to jump in your truck and drive home.
The end result is that illegal aliens are responsible for a wildly disproportional number of DUI arrests as well DUI-related crashes, hit-and-runs and fatalities. So much so that a special exception has been added to an already generous amnesty bill to keep widespread DUI arrests from gumming up the illegals' legalization process.
To make the grisly farce complete, Mothers Against Drunk Driving apparently has no problem with leaving illegal alien drunk drivers on the streets. Here's an example of what immigration politics have helped MADD grow comfortable with, from The Times of New Jersey:
Trenton resident Jorge DeLeon of Elm Street was killed early yesterday morning during a head-on crash with an alleged drunken driver; the accident also seriously wounded DeLeon???s two young passengers, officials said.
The Mercer County Prosecutor???s Office has filed charges against the other driver, including death by auto and DWI.
Sgt. Adam Grossman, a spokesman for the N.J. State Police, said DeLeon was driving northbound on Route 29 near the Route 129 exit in a Nissan Quest with a 6-year-old male and a 4-year-old female just before 3:30 a.m. ???They were struck head on by a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction,??? he said.
DeLeon was pronounced dead at the scene, State Police said.
[...] The other vehicle, a Dodge Durango, was driven by Manuel Gutierrez Vazquez, 27, a resident of the 1500 block of Collins Road in Camden. He suffered a fractured right arm in the crash, and was transported to Capital Health Reigonal Medical Center.
Onofri said Vazquez has been charged with DWI, one count of death by auto, two counts of assault by auto and one count of causing death or serious injury while unlicensed. He also said that Vazquez is not in the United States legally, and has never possessed a U.S. driver???s license.
He also said Vazquez was arrested a few weeks ago in Texas for drunken driving.
Vazquez was released from the hospital and lodged at Mercer County Correctional Center in lieu of bail, which was set by Superior Court Judge Patrick McManimon at $250,000 cash.
That's only two strikes. Unless there's more on his record, this guy's still eligible for amnesty. Of course, the government obviously has no interest in deporting him, even without the Gang of Eight bill.
The entire political class is drunk on amnesty as it drives America toward the guard rails of citizenship, foot planted firmly on the accelerator, screaming "Shut up!" at the frightened passengers in the back seat. The interests of existing citizens are not a factor, in any area from economics to public safety. On the topic of drunk drivers, we should be moving in the opposite direction. Not only should there be zero tolerance for drunk drivers in any immigration bill... how about stripping citizenship from native-born multiple DUI offenders and deporting them?