Last week, Senators Tom Cotton (Ark.) and David Perdue (Ga.), who represent the new blood of the tired Grand Old Party, introduced the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act. The bill, S. 1720, would create a merit-based immigration policy that awards green cards based on an applicant’s likelihood to succeed and contribute in this country and would open up opportunities for people of all nationalities who have been shut out of the process by our current system of family chain migration.
This week, the tired old blood of the GOP is striking back. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who may be young in years, but who is the poster boy for the party’s ossified establishment, went to work dampening any expectations that we might have an immigration policy that serves the public interest any time soon. “That bill’s not going to pass,” Rubio told a Miami TV station.
He may be right, but shouldn’t the GOP at least put up a fight? The Democrats do have the votes to prevent the RAISE Act from being brought to the floor of the Senate, but shouldn’t the Republican leadership at least exact a price for the Democrats’ obstructionism by forcing them to publicly defend the indefensible status quo? Hasn’t the Republicans’ rallying cry been, “Give us control of Congress and the Executive Branch and we’ll get things done”?
Yeah, it’s going to be a tough fight wresting our immigration policy away from the entrenched business and political interests that have enjoyed privileged status as a result of our nepotistic immigration system. These narrow interest groups are not going to surrender easily. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Rubio and the GOP leadership.