Must Include Results On Border
bill we're set to vote on amounts to just another unenforceable
promise. For this reason, and others that follow, I cannot support
The following column
authored by U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) appeared in the :
I know of no one,
including me, who believes our broken immigration system is
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
This is not to say that border security doesn't
merit greater funding. But if we're going to spend taxpayer dollars,
let's at least be honest about it.
It shouldn't take
Obamacare-style accounting tricks to garner the necessary votes. Furthermore,
any new spending must come with a guarantee that the border will, in
fact, be secured and legal commerce facilitated.
this bill is fundamentally flawed: It makes a lot of eyebrow-raising
promises - such as doubling the number of Border Patrol agents and
building an additional 700 miles of fencing - but it has no reliable
mechanism for ensuring accountability and measuring
Rather, it requires only an ill-defined certification by the Secretary
of Homeland Security, who can single-handedly determine whether or not
the border is "secure." Americans should ask themselves: Do we want to
place such tremendous power in the hands of a political appointee? I
Our broken border is not a problem that can be
fixed with money alone. Nor is it something that can be fixed with hastily
drafted amendments that are long on symbolism but short on
The solution, I believe, lies at the intersection of two
deeply held American traits: compassion for our fellow man and respect
for the rule of law. This bill was not a serious attempt to find that
This debate is not over - we've only reached
My hope is that the House of Representatives will
rescue this bill by strengthening its security provisions. This will
allow us to assemble a conference committee where we can deliver the
guarantees and the results Texans deserve, not the hollow promises
they've been getting. This will be a fundamental requirement for any bill
to have a chance of passing both chambers of Congress.
must get this right. The future of a great nation is at stake and the
consequences will reverberate for generations.