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Mr. Colbert Goes to Washington - So What’s New?

Posted By James Carafano On September 28, 2010 @ 10:00 am In Security | Comments Disabled

It was only fitting that Stephen Colbert, host of a comedy faux news show, testified before Congress in character and make-up regarding the treatment of migrant workers. It just demonstrates how unserious Congress is with tackling our broken borders and deeply flawed immigration system. That is, if there was a point to it all—even some of the Congressional “leadership” did not get it. According to reports [1], “House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D–MD) said comedian Stephen Colbert embarrassed himself last week when he testified before Congress. ‘I think his testimony was not appropriate,’ Hoyer told Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace.” The House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi (D–CA), on the other hand, thought it was “great,” though that may say more about her judgment, rather than his performance.

Colbert’s appearance came on the heels of Senate Majority leader Harry Reid’s (D–NV) wrong-headed effort to tag the Dream Act [2] onto the defense authorization bill. Reid knew the Senate would never stand for a measure that was little more than a “stealth amnesty bill.”

Reid did not come even close [3] to getting the votes he needed for cloture on the bill. All he managed to do was kill, at least for now, a bill that Congress used to consider a “must pass” each year for national security.

Although the attitude of the Congress is down right discouraging, don’t look to the Administration for a more serious tone on addressing the immigration issue. The Administration has invested considerable effort in demonizing states [4] like Arizona. And even when the Administration says it wants to enforce the law, such as a recent Homeland Security memo that came to light which would supposedly target resources on deporting “criminal” aliens, it turns out that out to be more of a joke than a real enforcement effort. “My sources tell me,” writes [5] Heritage Senior Legal Fellow Hans von Spakovsky [6], “that this vague memo has created much confusion among ICE [Immigration and Customs] law enforcement personnel and will lead to much less focus on enforcement. It abuses “prosecutorial discretion” to order ICE employees to look the other way on most illegal aliens. It may also lead to other problems, such as liberal, activist, federal circuit court judges citing the memo as a basis for not affirming deportation orders against aliens who don’t fit the very limited criteria of ‘violent’ criminals spelled out in the memo.” In short, a memo purported to promise tougher enforcement is bound to just result in less enforcement.

All the shenanigans from our leaders in Washington would be hilarious except for one thing—these issues are no laughing matter.

Colbert is right. We ought to do something about migrant labor. No one should have to work in this country illegally or without decent pay or working conditions. Fixing the problem, however, requires real solutions—ones that respect the rule of law; value the sovereignty of the nation; let the marketplace work; and allow employers to get the employees they need when they need to grow the economy and create more jobs. There are Solutions for America [7] that will achieve these ends. For far too long, the United States has failed to enforce its immigration laws. Its visa system does not adequately serve the needs of the economy, legal immigrants, or U.S. citizens. Cartel violence and continued illegal immigration along the U.S. southern border have many Americans concerned. Americans are demanding a border and immigration policy that will keep the U.S. free, safe, and prosperous—not an amnesty that simply exacerbates the problem. The Heritage solution is fair, compassionate, and practical. It starts with eight steps that will strengthen our borders, make us safe, and grow jobs. These are steps that Congress and the President can take now [7]—or they can entertain themselves with stand-up routines, make-believe legislative efforts, and faux enforcement.


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2010/09/28/mr-colbert-goes-to-washington-so-what%e2%80%99s-new/

URLs in this post:

[1] reports: http://larrykinglive.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/27/house-leader-says-colbert-testimony-was-not-appropriate/

[2] the Dream Act: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/09/Adding-DREAM-Act-to-Defense-Bill-Is-Another-Form-of-Amnesty

[3] did not come even close: http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/0910/092110cdpm2.htm

[4] demonizing states: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2010/05/white-house-must-stop-playing-politics-with-immigration-and-arizona-law

[5] writes: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Commentary/2010/08/Pampering-Illegals-Endangering-Americans-The-Obama-Administrations-Immigration-Policy

[6] Hans von Spakovsky: http://www.heritage.org/About/Staff/V/Hans-von-Spakovsky

[7] Solutions for America: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Reports/2010/08/Developing-a-Strong-Border-and-Immigration-Policy

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