Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., produced a press release today claiming that his new “Border Security, Economic Opportunity & Immigration Modernization Act” creates “six security trigger steps that must be met before any currently illegal immigrant is given access to a green card.” And it is true. His bill does create six such triggers. But it also creates a huge loophole that makes them entirely irrelevant. From the bill:
(B) EXCEPTION.—The Secretary shall permit registered provisional immigrants to apply for an adjustment to lawful permanent resident status if —
(i)(I) litigation or a force majeure has prevented one or more of the conditions described in clauses (i) through (iv) of subparagraph (A) from being implemented; or
(II) the implementation of subparagraph (A) has been held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court of the United States or the Supreme Court has granted certiorari to the litigation on the constitutionality of implementation of subparagraph (A); and
(ii) 10 years have elapsed since the date of the enactment of this Act.
In other words, if the Chamber of Commerce sues to block creation of the E-Verify program, and they either win, or that suit is still pending after ten years, then the secretary of homeland security is empowered to grant permanent legal residence to all legalized immigrants regardless of the actual security situation on the border.
Or maybe environmentalists will sue to block construction of the border fence. Or maybe the ACLU will sue to block the visa-exit system. There are a thousand ways liberal groups could sue the federal government to slow border enforcement. And as long as just one of these suits are still pending 10 years after the bill has become law, the secretary of homeland security is empowered to grant permanent legal status to everyone who benefited from the law.