Just in case anyone thought that the debate over border security was really about border security, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has now made it official: it is not.

Even with 40,000 border patrol agents and an additional $30 billion dollars to be spent militarizing the Mexican border, as agreed to by Senate Gang of Eight member Charles Schumer (D-NY) with two Republican border security "surge" proponents, Senators Bob Corker (TN) and John Hoeven (ND), this will not be enough to satisfy the anti-immigrant Republican right wing.

So said Rand Paul on June 23, speaking on CNN's State of the Union, according to the Huffington Post and other media reports. See Huffington Post, Rand Paul Opposes Immigration Reform Even With Border Surge Amendment, June 23.


Paul announced that he will not support the pathway to citizenship for unauthorized immigrants unless his amendment providing that Congress must first vote on whether border security has in fact been achieved is adopted

Of course, anti-Latino Republicans will make sure that Congress never agrees that border security has been achieved, even if the Mexican border were turned into another Berlin Wall.

If it were not obvious already that opposition to immigration reform on the Republican right is based on hate, not border security or any of the other pretexts which have been used to block reform, it is obvious now.

Gang of Eight (GOE) negotiators in both parties have been working on the assumption that if enough concessions were made, if enough people were thrown under the bus, a CIR deal could be reached that would pass Congress and reach the president's desk.

Rand Paul has now made it clear that he and his right wing cohorts will never agree to let this happen. Agreeing to eliminate the DV green card lottery and the thousands of African immigrants who benefit from it each year was not enough. Continuing to bar green cards for same sex couples (if the Supreme Court upholds DOMA), was not enough. 

Cutting back family-based immigration for the many Latin American and other minority immigrants who depend on it was not enough. Cutting off unauthorized immigrants waiting to become eligible to apply for green cards from health care and other government benefits was not enough.

Nothing is enough to satisfy right wing bigots who do not want to allow America's Latino and other brown-skinned population to increase under any circumstances, and who still hold to their dream (in small letters) of driving 11 million minority unauthorized immigrants out of the country, no matter what the human or economic cost may be, even if it means turning America into a police state.

Anyone who wants to understand what is really involved in the battle for immigration reform should read Keith Rushing's Huffington Post Black Voices article: Race is at the Root of the Divide over Immigration Reform (May 23). 


Rushing writes:

"Fear, resentment and rejection of people of color has motivated a lot of the anti-immigrant laws and rhetoric in recent years..."

He continues:

"The expansive view of what it means to be an American will contend with that narrow, xenophobic and Nativist perspective that seeks to maintain America as a bastion of white privilege. Members of Congress will have to decide which view they support."

Senator Rand Paul and the many immigration opponents who agree with him, especially in the Republican-controlled House, are making it clearer each day which of these two views they support.

Meanwhile, other immigration opponents are trying to make it so expensive for unauthorized immigrants to become permanent residents or US citizens that they will find it impossible to do so. As Marielena Hincapie and Janet Murguia write in Politico (Undermining immigration reform with high costs, June 23):

"Amendments to add additonal hurdles could make compliance so expensive that immigrants may be priced out of applying for citizenship or financially debilitated if they do apply. One amendment denies working, taxpaying immigrants the same tax credits that other workers rely on to make ends meet. Another would seize the Social Security payments that these immigrant workers have already made. Some in the House of Representatives suggest simultaneously denying immigrants health care coverage under ACA and making them deportable if they can't pay their medical bills,"


Neither the impossible to achieve border security proposals nor the proposals to make the road to citizenship unattainable financially for millions of immigrants come from people who are serious about immigration reform. All they want is more excuses to keep millions of minority immigrants from ever becoming Americans.