It troubles me greatly that here in California, illegal aliens are entitled to taxpayer-subsidized in-state tuition at our state universities, while legal students from out of state have to pay the full freight.
Dana Rohrabacher, who was my representative for many years, discloses in a Washington Times piece that the Senate bill "nationalizes" this policy, providing in-state tuition for illegal aliens across the nation. This is yet another example of the Senate providing illegal aliens with rights which far exceed those of ordinary Americans. (Refer to the last few days' posts for further examples...) Rohrabacher writes that the Senate is showing "contempt for middle-class Americans."
Senator Rick Santorum appeared on Sean Hannity's radio show yesterday. Santorum is facing perhaps the toughest re-election fight of any senator, and, reading between the lines, it seemed clear he felt that voting for the immigration plan would damage his re-election chances. Santorum seemed to advocate what might be termed a "third way," closer to the House plan: forget the "comprehensive immigration reform" bill and instead use appropriations bills to fund the National Guard and increased border security.
Santorum has a reasonable point. If we actually enforced the laws currently on the books and also adequately funded border security, it's questionable whether "comprehensive reform" (translation: amnesty and guest worker programs) is necessary. There's no reason we couldn't address these issues in a couple of years, after having proven the borders are closed, which is one thing that makes the White House leaning on the House, rather than the Senate, so baffling.
Paul Mirengoff of Power Line believes that obstruction of this terrible bill is the most prudent move for Republicans, and that to pass it would be suicidal.
I think the only hope for the bill is if the White House can convince the Senate -- not the House -- to compromise heavily in conference and strip many of the "giveaway" provisions out of the legislation. Americans like me who would prefer to support the President whenever possible could probably accept a guest worker or amnesty program if we're not insulted by the Senate elites handing over our hard-earned tax dollars to illegal aliens in the form of very limited back tax liability, in-state tuition, the earned income tax credit, and Social Security benefits earned illegally, while also assuring the illegal aliens of prevailing wages and unusual job security (they can't be fired without "just cause"). And of course, a willingness to accept guest workers or amnesty is predicated as well on extremely strong improvements in border security. The last-minute provision that we must "consult" with Mexico on any new fencing is a non-starter.
Rohrabacher, comparing the current Senate bill to the 1986 amnesty program, concludes: "The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again expecting a different result."
Update: Welcome to readers of Santorum Blog.