In God We Trust, In Congress Not So Much

Every civic-minded American should be closely following the congressional debate over immigration reform, an issue that will significantly affect the nation’s future, but we spent most of Monday evening watching the Wichita Wingnuts play a minor league baseball contest against the Laredo Lemurs.
At the risk of sounding unambitious as well as unpatriotric, we just can’t muster the willpower to plow through the 1,200 or so pages of the bill currently being considered. In our own defense it should be noted that none of the Senators or Representatives championing the bill have bothered to read it, either, and we suspect that they don’t take what’s in it any more seriously than we do. There will be a lot of new immigrants in it, and that part can be counted on, but all the parts about border security that have been included to make it more palatable to the supposedly Meskin’-hatin’ redneck majority of Americans are unlikely to ever be enforced. Illegal immigration is already illegal, after all, and any law promising to at long last enforce our currently ignored laws will be just as easily ignored.
Law professor William A. Jacobson, a more energetic observer of current events than ourselves, has read enough of the bill to notice that it makes itself easily ignored. He found a provision that grants the Secretary of Homeland Security the power to waive all other provisions at her discretion. Given that the Secretary of Homeland Security is Janet Napolitano, an open borders advocate who has publicly stated her belief that the border is sufficiently secure already, and given that the next person to hold the job might not be any better, these few lines of the bill effectively negate the rest.
Such cynicism about the legislative process is not healthy for the country, of course, but neither is naïve faith in legislators who have repeatedly proved themselves untrustworthy. When Congress proposes a bill that the public can actually read, and is given time to read, and it can be easily understood but circumvented only with great difficulty, we might consider offering our support. Until then we urge resistance, and will spend our time at the old ballpark next to downtown. Sometimes the good guys prevail there, as they did in a lopsided win on Monday, and that’s more than can be said for the country’s politics in recent years.

— Bud Norman