Weatherford Democrat

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June 30, 2013

CORNYN: Immigration reform starts at the border

By U.S. SEN. JOHN CORNYN

I know of no one, including me, who believes our broken immigration system is acceptable.

And while Americans are an extra­ordinarily compassionate and generous people, they have learned from painful experience to be skeptical about endless Washington broken promises to restore law and order to our dysfunctional immigration system.

Border states, like Texas, have borne the brunt of the federal government’s failure to deal effectively with this issue.

Now, more than ever, we don’t need promises, we need guaranteed results.

Crucially, this requires Congress, among other things, to establish a legal definition of a “secure border” and make its attainment an irrevocable requirement in the broader context of immigration reform.

This has been the crux of my efforts to amend the bill, both in the Judiciary Committee and on the Senate floor, with my RESULTS amendment.

Unfortunately, the bill we’re set to vote on amounts to just another unenforceable promise. For this reason, and others that follow, I cannot support it. We can and must do better.

For starters, it’s based on dishonest accounting. Before the Schumer-Corker-Hoeven amendment was added (which increases spending by roughly $40 billion), the bill’s proponents claimed it would reduce the deficit by $197 billion over 10 years. This is false.

The only way supporters are able to claim these “savings” in the first place is by raiding the Social Security Trust Fund to the tune of $211 billion. This is called “double-counting,” and it’s a favorite in Washington’s cookbook of budget gimmickry.

The Gang of Eight effectively pledges to use the same money to pay for (a) the current bill, and (b) future Social Security benefits. This, of course, is impossible. An honest accounting of the numbers leaves us with a $14 billion increase in the deficit.

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