Is A Revived Border Fence Tough Enough To Coax ‘Yes’ Votes From Senate Conservatives On Immigration Reform?

do not use

Two days ago, it looked as though an effort by conservatives to force completion of a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border had died on the Senate floor.

But Thursday, it appeared that a revived, retooled border security amendment had made its way back into the discussion, with some Senate Republicans — at least those who are eager to see an immigration reform bill passed — tacking the proposal back onto the Gang of Eight’s controversial, yet bipartisan legislation.

The move is designed to appease conservatives who’ve sworn they won’t support the immigration package on a final vote, especially after Tuesday’s failure of a proposal that would have mandated the border fence, which has been partially constructed in parts of the far Southwest, be finished.

The overall bill still includes a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal aliens who’ve crossed the border from Mexico to seek better economic fortunes, and many Senate conservatives have promised there’s no amount of sweetening the deal — by throwing in border fences or anything else — that will persuade them to vote for an immigration package that grants amnesty to illegal aliens.

Still, it was a Republican — Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee — who helped re-sell Senate conservatives on a reworked version of the border fence amendment. “For people who are concerned about border security, once they see what is in this bill, it’s almost overkill,” he said Thursday.

Aside from the fence itself, Corker’s border security markup apparently promises to double the number of patrol agents working the border region and to budget additional money for drone surveillance.

Gang of Eight Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), whose stock among conservatives has taken a devastating hit as his support for immigration reform (read: amnesty) has increased, also touted the Corker plan Thursday, as did Vice President Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, unwavering conservatives in the Senate don’t look like they can be persuaded. Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said amnesty in any form will depress current wages and unload a flood of unskilled labor on the American economy that wouldn’t abate for more than a decade.

“This legislation — if it were to pass — the wages of American workers will fall for the next 12 years,” he warned. “They will be lower than inflation rates… It’s going to increase unemployment and it’s going to pull down wages. That is exactly the wrong thing that ought to be happening at this time. How in the world can we justify passing a bill that hammers the American working man and woman that’s out trying to feed a family?”

Session got his information from a Congressional Budget Office report released this week that attempts to estimate the long-term economic effect the immigration bill would have on the United States if it becomes law.

Among other findings, the CBO “…expect[s] that a greater number of immigrants with lower skills than with higher skills would be added to the workforce, slightly pushing down the average wage for the labor force as a whole… However, CBO and JCT [the Joint Committee on Taxation] expect that currently unauthorized workers who would obtain legal status under S. 744 would see an increase in their average wages… [An] increase in the average wage would not occur for a dozen years.”

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

  • Paulie

    90% of illegals don’t get here by swimming the Rio Grand. More fence is a waste of money. Only by going after the people who hire them will we resolve our problem of criminals flooding into the U.S. Only when we take away the businesses of those who give them jobs.

    • Michael Shreve

      Agreed , an ENFORCED law, six month in jail AND a $5000 for ANYONE hiring a foreign invader even for yard work, would be a GREAT step. One way verification. Phone or internet, submit a valid state ID or DL number and name for verification and affirmative defense.

      • Meteorlady

        They don’t just do yard work. They have moved into the trades – construction – drywall, cement work, electrical, plumbing, irrigation, framing, roofing, etc. I see more of them doing that than yard work.

    • Walt

      Here is a summary of the 1986 law, the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), the monumental failure that was supposed to solve this problem. Note that the sections related to employer enforcement and scrutiny were made toothless and considered too much of a bother for employers.
      Making federal prison terms MANDATORY for employers that hire criminal invaders MUST be part of the solution!

      • Meteorlady

        When Reagan granted amnesty in the Democrats promised to secure the border, pass immigration reform so that we only allowed immigrants in that were able to support themselves.

        that failed miserably since the Dems reneged on their promise and we are importing more uneducated and under educated immigrants than every before. In some cities they are overwhelming the social entitlement system.

        As a business owner, I can tell you that I don’t hire any latinos because their paperwork is so good I can’t tell how is legal and who is not.

        If the government wanted to fix this problem they would start by passing eVerify then prosecuting those that hire them. They would also cut the number of legal visa applicants by 1/2 so that Americans can get some jobs back. After that they would secure the border. It’s not only illegals we have to worry about, it the training camps in South America and Mexico that train people from know terrorist producing countries to assimilate into our society as Latinos. So obviously Homeland Security is not doing their job.

        Our constitution allows us to call upon the Military to defend us against foreign invaders and that is precisely what is happening today.

    • podunk1

      You got that one nailed right!

      Add some costs to it – WE NEED TO PUT CITIZENS TO WORK!

      Our legislators are neither stupid nor misguided. Our issue is
      recognizing deception, theft, and seditious destruction of free Constitutional government! It’s not why demonic people
      do what they do, we must stop it to protect our country! Cowering and compromising is criminal aiding and abetting!

      Our demonic administration already has the money to build a wall to the moon plus an army that could seal the border with tanks, jets, battleships, drones, Gatling guns, and soldier’s in locked arms! Those forces are in the mid-east arming and training maniacal blood enemies who are mutually sworn to kill us when they get done killing each other! Here comes Corker, parking a train load of borrowed
      cash in Obama’s vault, to build what Obama refuses to build or deploy. If Obama, Holder, and Napolitano have been mocking and openly defying the Constitution and law since their day one in
      office, and no one in the legislature has stopped it or restrained the looting of the treasury… why would anyone believe in any of them, including Corker, Alexander, etc? Amnesty is all about swallowing their poison pill.

      Is Amnesty about 30 million taxpayer subsidized alien invader progressive votes, or criminals skimming $51,820 out of an average wage $64,300 productivity by evading taxes and free wage competition with $6/hr cash worker wages and a “government subsidy” at taxpayer expense? It’s called collapsing the economy. The Heritage & media $6 trillion lifetime Amnesty cost excludes citizens permanently displaced by taxpayer subsidized criminal aliens who take home $12,000 more per year than average working citizens ($12,480 cash + $36,982 subsidy = $49025 take home, vs. 37,096)! Current 46 year working lifetime amnesty cost is $69 to $189 trillion. Mortal enemies are winning!!! Corker, Alexander, and the rest of the “yes” amnesty voters are voting for the enemy not citizens!

      Dec, 2012 BLS $42,537 avg. wage @ 34.4/hrs, is $49,462 @ 40/hrs, and becomes $64,300 with employer tax, etc. added! Joblessness erases $37,096 citizen take home pay and $27,204 tax revenue ($64,300 worker productivity). Government’s $36,545 jobless subsidy increases totals to$100,846 per jobless citizen. (Their data, simple math)

      However, our criminal government subsidizes (pays) criminal invaders $36,545 to take citizen jobs (to drive citizen wages down to compete with Chinese communist slaves!)! Therefore, jobless citizens displaced by criminal invaders cost $137,391 EACH! That’s $1.5 trillion @ 11million to $4.1 trillion per year for 30 million – and $15 trillion to $41 trillion over 10 years – AND $69 trillion to$188.6
      trillion over a 46 year working lifetime!

  • Paulie

    Local law enforcement must be our first line of defense against illegals coming here.

    • Meteorlady

      Like Sheriff Joe in AZ? He was sued to stop enforcing the laws even though it was legal for him to do so. They said he was racially profiling. Who else comes across our southern borders by Mexican and South American parasites? Oh wait… my border patrol brother told me that there are people from know terrorist countries that also come across. Why isn’t Homeland Security worried about that?

  • Warrior

    Over fifteen thousand pages of current “immigration” laws and look where we’re at. Twenty thousand pages of “oblamacare” laws and look where we’re at. Eighty thousand pages of “tax” law and look where we’re at. Anyone see a “pattern” here?
    It’s really astounding that 90% of the population isn’t part of the “tea party”.

    • Michael Shreve

      UNENFORCED laws, JUST as this one will be.

  • Jeffrey T

    Have the ranchers SHOOT THEM!! Once they get onto their land! That will curtail the influx of illegals# also tear down the water jugs left by that FFF GROUP!! NOT ONLY FENCES WE NEEDS MINEFIELDS!! ITS THE ONLY WAY TO SECURE OUR BORDER but anyone with half a brain can see whats going on!! DAS FURHER WANTS THESE ILLEGALS HERE FOR VOTES!! AND WITH THE AZ LAW WHERE YOU DONT HAVE TO PROVE US CITIZENSHIP ( FEDERAL LAW) GUESS WHY!! O B A M A!!! 3RD WORLD DIRTBAGS HAVE MORE RIGHTS THAT TRUEBORN US CITIZENS AND YOUR CHILDREN

    • Michael Shreve

      Interesting, a Texas law making it legal to shoot trespassers on sight. Posted: We shoot first and ask questions later.

  • momo

    A fence isn’t going to work, illegals will just get a longer ladder. What we need is a mine field, after a few dead illegals, they’ll get the idea not to come over.

  • Michael Shreve

    “The overall bill still includes a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million illegal aliens who’ve crossed the border from Mexico.” 11 Million my ASS.
    REWARDING foreign invaders is WRONG. NO citizenship. NO vote. NO government assistance EVER.


    Conservatives such as myself want a lot more than just a fence, we want the means to garauntee it’s completion and the means to toss from office anyone who steps in the way of our right to secure our border and our sovereignty. We want our immigration laws effective and enforced and we want to deny these political weasels in office the means to make money from special interest off the backs of thse immigrants and WTP, there must be jail time for those who make personal gain from walking on the backs of others for gain..We need a trust but verify means to control our government.