Democrats, apparently, are completely willing to blow up immigration reform if Republicans insist on adding Sen. John Cornyn’s, R-Texas, RESULTS amendment to the bill. The Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent explains why two of the new triggers in the Cornyn plan are deal breakers for Dems:
But Congress doesn’t control the border security metrics: DHS does. If DHS wants to produce data showing that 90 percent of illegal border crossings are being apprehended, it will.
By contrast, if a Republican president is in control of DHS, and the DHS wants to produce data showing that only 80 percent of illegal border crossings are being apprehended, it will.
Whether or not the triggers under the Cornyn have or have not been met are left entirely up to the Executive Branch. If a president wants them to be met they will. If a presidents doesn’t want them met, they won’t.
But the exact same is true of the border security triggers in S. 744 right now! If a future president doesn’t want illegal immigrants to get citizenship, they will say that the border security plan has not been “substantially deployed,” which is S.744′s first trigger. If a future president doesn’t want illegal immigrants to get citizenship, they will say that border fence hasn’t been “substantially completed,” which is S.744′s second trigger. The exact same “possibility of manipulation” exists under both bills!
Under S.744, it is the Executive Branch that decides whether or not the triggers have been met, Congress doesn’t get a say. Same with the Cornyn amendment.
Cornyn tried to change this by working the Comptroller General into the mix, but he ran into separation of powers problems similar to those in Bowsher vs Synar. As a result, the Cornyn amendment only requires the Comptroller to submit a border report, which, like S.744′s Border Commission, is completely powerless to stop citizenship.
Bottom line: under S.744, certification of the completion of the border security triggers was at the complete discretion of the Executive Branch. The exact same is true under the Cornyn amendment. Democrats are just making up reasons to blow up immigration reform.