Plan has some problems, but moves the ball down the field

WASHINGTON — Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist today praised the introduction of S 1438, the “Comprehensive Enforcement and Immigration Reform Act of 2005,” co-sponsored by Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Jon Kyl (R-AZ), even as he expressed some serious reservations about plan details.

S 1438 would institute border security upgrades, help employers comply with immigration rules, create a temporary worker visa program, and would require currently undocumented workers to return home before being granted any legal status.

“Senators Cornyn and Kyl are to be applauded in introducing a bill that recognizes that border security without acknowledging the needs of our labor markets actually leaves America less secure,” said Norquist. “The only way to truly keep our borders safe is to put a system in place the overwhelming number of workers we need can actually use in the real world.”

Cornyn-Kyl contains one element that is fairly impractical. It would require the 11 million undocumented workers already in America to return to their nation of origin (largely Mexico), and process through a newly-streamlined work visa/border checkpoint system.

“That provision is highly impractical, would never happen in the real world, and would encourage undocumented workers to avoid, not comply with, the new law,” continued Norquist. “Can you imagine the prospect of 11 million hardworking laborers having to go across a border just to sign a piece of paper, only to return to their current jobs? That’s just the kind of bureaucratic run-around people leave their home countries to avoid.”