Congress has passed a $600 million border security bill, sending additional troops and weapons and death planes to defeat the Mexican Menace. So, now that they've gotten their "war stuff," will Republicans work with Democrats on comprehensive immigration reform? Heh.
The GOP line on immigration reform has been: Secure the border immediately, and then we'll talk about boring system-overhaul stuff. Well, here's your $600 million of American "fuck yeah," Republicans — specifically, "1,500 new border personnel, a pair of unmanned drones and military-style bases along the border."
Sen. Chuck Schumer apparently buys the Republicans' line, thinking that this border security concession will entice Republicans to participate in a larger "bipartisan" effort, like you might read about in a civics textbook:
"In my many meetings with folks on the other side of the aisle to try to gain their support for comprehensive reform, I repeatedly heard them say that once we showed we were serious about passing border security legislation, they would be able to begin working with us to fix other aspects of our broken immigration system," said Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), the Democrats' point person on immigration reform.
"It is my hope that the bill we are passing today will break the deadlock that has existed in Congress and will clear the path for us to finally resume bipartisan negotiations in good faith," Schumer said. "With this bill's passage today we have clearly shown we are serious about securing our nation's borders."
Well, we hope for resumed good-faith bipartisan negotiations too. But as energy, financial and health care reform efforts have shown, giving this batch of Republicans their candy without securing anything in exchange — such as, say, the promise of "yes" votes on comprehensive packages — will just lead them to ask for more candy, then different candy, then stranger candy, until eventually they just say "screw you, socialists" and filibuster everything and probably win tons of midterm elections.
But maybe it will be different with immigration!
[Photo of Arizona border fence via Getty Images]