IMMIGRATION REFORM: Here comes the bill
The one, definitive fact of the Senate's massive immigration bill, should it see the light of day, will be its enormous cost. The ditch diggers of deficit spending already have seen to that.
By specifying the bill's spending as “emergency requirements,” the 844-page measure skirts spending caps designated under the Budget Control Act of 2011, according to Romina Boccia of The Heritage Foundation. To be exempt, the so-called “emergency” must be unforeseen, temporary and require immediate action; the immigration bill meets none of those criteria.
As yet, the Congressional Budget Office hasn't tallied the bill's full tab. But a Senate aide puts the estimated cost at $17 billion over a decade, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Among some of the bill's more questionable allocations:
• Grants “as necessary” for people in border regions to have satellite telephone service because they don't have cellular service.
• Funds “as necessary” to upgrade the Justice Department's communications network.
• A $50 million subsidy for nonprofits to assist “eligible” immigration applicants to understand and abide by the new law.
Any senator with two cents of smarts can simply oppose the bill's “emergency” designation, which would then require a vote by 60 senators to waive this point of order.
And when will that happen? When illegal aliens start climbing U.S. border fences to get back into Mexico.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.