Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona

Is It Worth It? $30 Billion to Buy Immigration Reform Votes of ‘Nativists & Racists’

teabag01-alt2-sm72The lamestream media is all a-flutter with the latest Congressional grand bargain story.

Two Republican Senators– Bob Corker and John Hoeven– have struck a deal with the infamous “Gang of 8” to add $30 billion+ of military industrial complex corporate welfare to buy Immigration Reform votes of Teapublican Senators. For that tidy sum, we in the Borderlands will get more drones, more border fence, thousands of Border Patrol agents, and increased militarization of our home. This is an obscene waste of money by so-called “fiscal conservatives”, when border crossings are at a 19-year low. What happened to the kinder, gentler GOP that was temporarily concerned about their greedy-racist-scary-old-white-guy reputation and who (at least for one news cycle) thought about reaching out to Latinos– and I don’t mean to cuff them. (Bad joke, sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

I planned to rail on more unnecessary spending on weapons and hatred, but after I read the AZBlueMeanie’s rant and MSNBC’s Chris Hayes’ commentary at Blog for Arizona, I decided to share.

So, what they said…

Here is the article…
The price for GOP nativism and racism: $30+ billion wasted dollars

Tea-Publicans love to rail against government spending, the federal deficit, and the national debt, and loudly proclaim that they are fiscally conservative. Bullshit.Ronald Reagan quadrupled the national debt in eight years. George W. Bush doubled it again during his eight years, and left office with the economy cratered from the worst economic catastrophe since the Great Depression.These “deficit peacocks” like to preen that they are against wasteful government spending, except when they are not.

The latest example: the border security “surge” proposed by Tea-Publican Senators Bob Corker and John Hoeven to secure more votes in the U.S. Senate for the “Gang of Eight” comprehensive immigration bill. They propose to waste $30 billion dollars or more to buy off nativists and racists in the anti-immigrant wing of the GOP — a dubious proposition — hatred is priceless; it defines who they are, and is their only reason for living.

MSNBC host Chris Hayes did an impressive job laying out the particulars on his program All In on Thursday evening. Transcript Thursday, June 20:

in order to stabilize and further build support from their side of the
aisle, Republican Senators Bob Corker and John Hoeven struck a deal with
the gang of eight, a deal that suddenly makes comprehensive immigration
reform seem more possible, more likely to actually happen than it has in

That is the progress. That`s progress. It`s excellent news. And it`s
also infuriating because of how they are luring Republicans into the fold.
Corker and Hoeven have an amendment where they are calling for a border,
quote, “surge.”

Here`s what we know about it: it would require an additional 20,000 border
agents on the U.S./Mexico border, doubling the number that are there right
now — 700 miles of fencing at the U.S. border, 350 miles more than we have
right now. And full implementation of electronic entry and exit system, of
international entry points, complete with U.S. Customs and Border
Protection officers.

The price tag? Well, it`s all for a cool $30 billion, or more.


REPORTER: So it`s about $30 billion total?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Correct. Maybe slightly higher.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It will be more than that.


HAYES: You know, another bill or so. Yes, probably more than $30 billion.

Now when you were evaluating — you right now watching this — the American 
voter, the American citizen, the American taxpayer, you`re thinking: is 
this a smart way to spend money?

I would like you to keep in mind these two important things. The Migration 
Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, found that in 2012 we spent $18 
billion on immigration enforcement agencies, a 43 percent increase from 
2006. Here`s the kicker. That $18 billion, that`s more than we spent on 
all other law enforcement agencies combined by 24 percent.

And do you happen to know what the net migration between Mexico and the 
United States currently is? It is zero. Zero.

The most recent numbers show that from 2005 to 2010, the net migration is 
zero. A huge change from 1995 to 2000, the net migration from Mexico to
the U.S. was more than 2 million people. But from 2005 to 2010, the number 
of people coming here from Mexico was about the same as the number of 
people going to Mexico from the U.S.

So we`re already spending almost $18 billion a year on a problem that does 
not exist. And Republicans in the Senate are poised to add $30 billion to 
that all over a handshake deal to win votes. And remember, these are the
exact same people who say they care about spending and the deficit.

* * *

HAYES: If you listen to Bob Corker, you`d think he`s interested in
lowering the debt. But two days ago, when the CBO came out with an 
estimate saying the Senate immigration bill before they added the 
amendment, would save almost $200 billion over 10 years, we heard from not 
one Republican, Bob Corker or anyone else, who was rushing to switch their
vote and support this money-saving legislation.

No, instead Senator Corker struck a deal to spend over $30 billion more
And his supposedly deficit conscious colleagues came rushing to his side to
switch their votes and support the bill once $30 billion was added to the
price tag.

This is the party that won`t stop talking about debt and deficit. This is
the party that would have you believe their number one concern is that
we`re spending our children into oblivion. And yet, they do not appear to 
have been persuaded to support immigration reform because it saves $200 
million. No, no, quite the opposite. They`re being persuaded to support 
immigration now that Republicans have tacked on tens of billions of dollars 
in additional spending to the bill.

And here`s why and this is the way to understand everything that`s
happening with Republicans and immigration. This is the deal, this
amendment. It isn`t about stopping people at the border. It`s not about 
policy and it`s obviously not about the deficit. It`s about paying a price 
to appease the deep fears of the Republican base, fears that were so
eloquently described yesterday on the lawn of the Capitol.


coming here who want to come to cut your lawn and have a better life. But
there are people who want to cut your throat.


HAYES: The cost of keeping people like that quiet is $30 billion, courtesy 
of the U.S. taxpayer.

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela J. Powers

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals–not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election.

My platform focused on economic reforms to grow Arizona’s economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, grow local small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs.

In the Arizona House, I was a strong voice for fiscal responsibility a moratorium on corporate tax breaks until the schools were fully funded, increased cash assistance to the poor, expansion of maternal healthcare benefits, equal rights, choice, unions, education at all levels and protecting our water supply.

After three terms, I retired from the Arizona Legislature in January 2023 but will continue to blog and produce my podcast “A View from the Left Side.”

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