Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced an immigration bill a couple of days before the Senate adjourned until November 15th. There was, of course, no time to act on that bill except to refer it to committee where it will likely die. Republicans weren’t impressed.
According to a Politico article:
Republicans think the legislation is just a game to gin up the base, potentially in heavily Hispanic parts of the country.
The fall push for immigration reform is “for effect rather than reality,” said Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.). And Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), who previously sponsored the DREAM Act but doesn’t support it now, called it nothing more than a “cynical ploy for votes.”
“Sooner or later, we’ve got to do it, but anything done in this time period is just for show,” Hatch told POLITICO. “Apparently, [Menendez] thinks there is some benefit, but it is cynical and it’s not right to do it at this point. And it’s very unlikely for it to have any success. In fact, it’s impossible.”
Ironically, Senator Hatch introduced his own lame-duck immigration bill the very next day. He said his bill would go a long way towards securing the border and clamping down on identity theft and drug cartels.
Not everyone was impressed with his efforts either. According to the Salt Lake Tribune:
Eli Cawley, chairman of the Utah Minuteman Project, says he doesn’t believe Hatch is serious about the issue and overlooked the businesses that hire undocumented immigrants.
“I think he completely misses the boat when it comes to the real problem with illegal immigration,” Cawley said.
Without going after the businesses that hire the immigrants, and their connections with those who smuggle them across the border, the flow of immigrants will continue, Cawley said.
Ben Johnson, the executive director of the Washington-based American Immigration Council, says Hatch’s bill is simply more of the same rhetoric that’s been tossed around for a while and does nothing to move the debate forward.
“The reality is that there too many politicians, and I think, unfortunately, Senator Hatch is beginning to fall into that category, introducing legislation not in any effort to actually get it passed but to send messages to their constituents,” Johnson said.