Border Deal Boosts Immigration’s Chances in the Senate

More money, more fences and more border patrols clear path for reform.

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Jonathan Ernst / REUTERS

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN) jokes with Senator John Hoeven (R-ND) at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, June 20, 2013.

It required hours of late-night haggling, heated disputes and a wonky economic white paper to emerge as an eleventh-hour savior. But Senate negotiators announced an agreement Thursday on an amendment that stiffens security along the southern border as part of a rewrite of U.S. immigration laws, clearing aside a primary obstacle and paving the way for passage through the chamber.

The deal, which Republican Senators John Hoeven and Bob Corker hashed out with the original architects of the bill, would strengthen the legislation’s security and enforcement policy, a sticking point for a cadre of GOP members whom its sponsors sought to win over. “It has the ability, if passed, to bring a bipartisan group together on immigration reform,” Corker predicted when the measure was unveiled on the Senate floor Thursday afternoon.

Supporters have sought to garner 70 votes for the legislation — a splashy figure they argue would amp up the pressure on the Republican-controlled House. Now they seem likely to approach or exceed that tally. But the political victory comes at a hefty cost.

(MORE: Senate Close to Crucial Border Deal)

The so-called border “surge” amendment – a coinage that borrows from John McCain‘s label for the influx of troops that bolstered the flagging U.S. effort in Iraq – would roughly double the number of agents patrolling the U.S.-Mexico border, from 18,500 to nearly 40,000. It would require 700 miles of fencing to be erected along the 1,900 mile border. And it would require employers to adopt a system to verify workers’ status, as well as establishing a mandatory system to track entries and exits at international airports and seaports where customs officials are deployed.

It’s hard to say how much it will cost, because legislative language hasn’t been unveiled. But it will be significantly more than the $6.5 billion already set aside for border security in the underlying bill.

“Americans want immigration reform – of that there is no doubt. They want us to get it right,” said Hoeven. “We secure the border, but we also take away the incentive to come across.” Under the plan, Congress must verify the conditions have been met within 10 years, before immigrants are eligible for green card status.

Navigating the delicate line between Republican demands for tougher border security and Democrats’ desire to preserve the pathway to citizenship proved tricky. As the Senate was voting to table a border amendment put forth by Texas Republican John Cornyn, members were hashing out the final details of the alternate proposal. First floated late last week, negotiations kicked into overdrive behind the scenes during the past 72 hours.

(MORE: Boehner in a Bind on Immigration)

Hoeven and New York Senator Chuck Schumer, the Democrats’ lead dealmaker, had a long phone conversation Tuesday that Schumer euphemistically described as “spirited.” That day, Lindsey Graham, one of the top negotiators on the Republican side, suggested the fate of the bill could hang in the balance. “We needed a rock solid requirement,” says a Republican Senate aide briefed on the talks, “done in a way that didn’t alienate Democrats.”

The knot was unraveled late Tuesday by an economic analysis of the bill, issued by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), that found it would save nearly $200 billion over the next decade, as well as an additional $700 billion between 2024 and 2033. With cost concerns allayed by the CBO report, negotiators felt free to put $30 billion from the measure’s estimated savings toward an additional 20,000 border patrol agents.

Democrats were keen to ensure that the concessions on border security would be their last. They didn’t want to “open up a can of treats two days later on something else,” says a Democratic Senate aide close to the discussions. By Thursday afternoon, they appeared satisfied, even though the process of drafting the legislation was yet to wrap up.

“Barring something unexpected, we’re extremely enthusiastic that a bipartisan agreement is at hand,” Schumer said, hailing the bipartisan support for the amendment as a “huge breakthrough” which augurs a “a strong, bipartisan final vote.”

Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a member of the Gang of Eight who gave peers jitters by skewering the bill’s border provisions, spoke in favor of the deal. Earlier Thursday Republican Mark Kirk of Illinois announced he would support the legislation, and Nevada Republican Dean Heller, a swing vote, told reporters he would back it if the border amendment was incorporated.

(MORE: Border Security: Will it Block a Final Deal on Immigration?)

Corker estimated the deal would add at least 15 Republicans to the positive side of the ledger, likely pushing it over the 70-vote bar. But the boost didn’t come cheap.

“It’s nonsensical from a policy perspective,” says Angela Kelley, vice president for immigration policy at the left-leaning Center for American Progress. “The CBO score gave them the dollars to spend. It’s incredibly costly. I don’t know if it’s what’s actually needed at the border.”

Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which opposes the bill, panned the amendment as “nothing more than a fig leaf designed to convince the American people that our immigration laws will be enforced in the future in exchange for granting amnesty to illegal aliens now.” The deal’s border security strategy requires a vast array of bells and whistles: observation towers, helicopter surveillance, seismic imaging and infrared systems, not to mention the drones that have already begun to patrol the border. But “there is little in this amendment,” Stein argued, “that should give the American people confidence that a new surge of illegal immigration will not occur over the next decade.”

Even if the deal is questionable from a policy perspective, proponents of immigration reform recognized the need to strike it. “There is a degree of certainty that this amendment brings about what the final vote is going to look like,” Kelley says. “That degree of comfort and security is really important, and they were smart to reach the agreement that they did.”

PHOTOS: Fatal Frontier, The Perils of Crossing the Rio Grande

85 comments
AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

This is an immigration bill that makes sense.  First and foremost no policy will be effective until we can actually secure our Southern border, period.  Securing the border then allows us to turn our attention to the 11 million illegals working and living in this country.  I absolutely do not support amnesty.  But I do understand and accept a path to citizenship.  And, something must be done to accommodate those "illegals" that were brought to this country when they were very young and who have known no other country as their home. 

There is a lot in this bill that makes sense.  And I'm very glad that the security issue was placed in a priority one position.  Past immigration policies failed because border security wasn't addressed properly. 

It's about time we spent money and effort to secure our own country instead of trying to ensure the security of other countries.  Look how well THAT is working!

KahnKeller
KahnKeller

so... this time is really.... you know.. the last amnesty that will be given....and uhhhh... this time the border will be...you know... secured...and the immigrations laws will be....ummmm.... enforced.... correct....  say what was the old saying...." fool me once ... shame on you... fool me three or four times.... shame on me".... note to scumbag politicians... you are making a big.... mistake... and we will remember...

columbare1
columbare1

This border security bill in exchange for legalizing illegals was supposedly done in 1986 by then President Reagan.  However they legalized 3 million illegals but never secured the border. Now we have 12 million illegals encouraged by the legalization of the 3 million.  Do not fall for this bait and switch deal again.  Bring our troops home from foreign wars and put them on our borders and fully seal off illegal immigration.  No path to citizenship for people who break our laws to get here. Let them get in line with the rest of the world that wants to come here.  E verify all workers no jobs for illegals they take jobs from American citizens and hold down the wages of us all.

CarlosKeith
CarlosKeith

"But the political victory comes at a hefty cost."

Not really--the amendment isn't worth the paper it's written on.  Laws requiring things like a fence, entry-exit visa, etc. have been passed before but never materialize.  Call/fax/email your senators (and other senators) to oppose the Corkin-Hoeven amendment. 



HarryTC
HarryTC

With the Feds (Obama) and California, granting a third Amnesty to 30 million illegals, wages will spiral down even more. Prices are going up while the average dollar per hour wage for the USA continues down. For every dollar paid by those illegals, there are $5 paid back in welfare, schooling, ObamaCare, college fees to the families of those illegals. All this while the average legal American cannot afford to send their own children to college.

Think, how will you sell a $30,000 car to a man who makes $12 per hour? Yet illegals do this every day, wonder who is providing the money????

therealdude
therealdude

It's going to be very interesting to see what happens to it in the House since it's becoming obvious that Mr. Boehner doesn't have control. Frankly, I will be surprised if it gets through the House or if it does get through, pass without the addition of a poison pill amendment that Democrats would not accept.

drudown
drudown

Funny, why does it always seem like the GOP proposes immigration "reform" that never involves the most obvious "solution"...a fortified border. Instead of spending billions on a "virtual" border or even more Borer Patrol agents...why doesn't the US just fortify its border so it may actually regulate ingress/egress.

Get real.

valentine.godoflove
valentine.godoflove

THE DEMOCRATS HAVE THE STUPID OLD MUSTACHE PETE ANCIENT REPUBLICAN SENATORS AT THEIR FEET ......LIE PET DOGS.....I HEARD SENATOR CORKET TN R....THANK DEMOCRATS "FOR ALLOWING THEM IN".....

SENATOR CORKER IS A WOMAN.....A GIRLIE MAN.....NO SBALLS .....HE SOUNDS WEAK....DURING THE DEFENSE OF STALINGRAD.....KRUSCHEV THE COMMMISAR WOULD HAVE HIM SHOT BYT THE NKVD .

NO AMNESTY !!    WORK PERMITS.....YES.

WHERE IS THE LEADER WHO WILL SAVE US FROM THIS OBAMA DESTRUCTION OF THE CONSITUTION AND THE USA ?

valentine, world historian, comedian.....lol

ToddGilbert
ToddGilbert

The only reform need is enforcement.  

Fastgirl
Fastgirl

How is a bill that will raise unemployment and lower wages, as this bill will do, for the next decade good for this country?

drudown
drudown

@HarryTC

While I vehemently oppose the proposed "reform" on a wide range of reasons (e.g., it will operate as a material inducement for successive migrations from every Continent; it violates the Equal Protection Clause; it is fiscally imprudent and without consideration; it dilutes our voting rights one way or the other), considering that presently illegal immigrants simply stroll into ER rooms for medical care...explain to me how Obamacare is going to "increase" costs if said "amnesty" is granted? The opposite is true in states that implement it (see, http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/24/us-usa-budget-healthcare-idUSBRE86N1AJ20120724 ). 

HarryTC
HarryTC

Drudown, I clicked "like" but now says Unlike. What's up with that?

jason024
jason024

@ToddGilbertStrange since we DON'T have the manpower to round up 11 MILLION people how are we just going to magically enforce anything without the manpower or resources? Let alone protecting the rights of LEGAL citizens. You can't just detain every Mexican looking person you see.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@Fastgirl I haven't seen any data for raising unemployment, but it's expected (according to the CBO) to only lower wages slightly.  

In trade you get to fill many many jobs that would normally go unfilled.  Not only do those jobs help the employer, help the economy in general (creating other jobs), but also raises tax revenue (this is how it cuts the deficits). 

In fact, i'm surprised there is any legitimate study that says it will raise unemployment.  I'm not an expert, but i would assume it would have no effect on unemployment, or possibly lower unemployment.

ToddGilbert
ToddGilbert

@jason024 @ToddGilbert  They would not be rounded up as you say, but papers could be checked if you are pulled over or police are called to a residence. They shouldn't be given drivers licenses in the first place so then they would not be able to produce ID a reason for a further check. It would not be that complicated.

Fastgirl
Fastgirl

There are many here illegally who aren't Mexican.

boshness
boshness

@jason024 @ToddGilbert Lots of Tea Partiers are 'locked and loaded and ready to go'. I have a feeling they'd be itching to do it for free, maybe give them a lock of hair for each scalp they bring in so they could add to their trophy case. One word from Beck and they'd be on it. We would soon be rid of the problem, along w fruits, veggies, clean sheets in hotels, and dishes in restaurants. Then we would have America back, just like we wanted it. 

Fastgirl
Fastgirl

 The same report said that this bill won't stop illegal immigration ( it will only reduce it by 25%) and would be mostly low skill workers. We already don't have enough jobs for low skilled workers here the call by businesses is for much higher skilled workers. The goal should be to do what is best for those that are in this country legally by  increasing after tax take home pay not a decrease wages for everyone. How is this good for this country?

HarryTC
HarryTC

Good point, the problem is probably three times as big as most people realize. In California, the Hispanic population is , by census, 51%, and half of those are illegals. However, the biggest growing trend is Asian, and Islamic Muslim types! They all are Socialist types looking for the free ride they feel they deserve!

AlphaJuliette
AlphaJuliette

@boshness @jason024 @ToddGilbert Oh, great!  Locked and Loaded Tea Party vigilante's.  Just what we need instead of a reasoned and well thought out policy that secures our borders and puts illegals on a path to citizenship. 

drudown
drudown

@boshness @jason024 @ToddGilbert 

Look. I'm a liberal. 

But you can't have tens of millions of Foreign Nationals waltzing into the US looking for a "better life" because their country of origin is not providing it. So, spare me the "tea bagger" theory, i.e., any objection to "amnesty" is some fruit of racism or ignorance.

manlyman
manlyman

I think we know the answer to that fastgirl. Votes for libs.

manlyman
manlyman

It will simply be a case of both sides keeping their end of the bargain, and we know how that works out when dealing with liberals. Just another "move along, nothing to see here" moment, just another way todivert attention from the most corrupt and scandalous administration inhistory.

manlyman
manlyman

Oh you're referring to that rediculous piece of fiction known as the CBO report right jase? And we have always been for punishment of employers that hire them illegally. There's no doubt as to which side of this issue you stand on. It's obvious that you're just another liberal content with amnesty for all, as long as they vote democrat. I think fastgirl makes her views quite crystal clear. If you have trouble with them perhaps a readingcomprehension

manlyman
manlyman

More than doubling border patrol is a step in the right direction, (tho I'll believe it wheni see it), after all this is democrats we're talking about. We know their track record of keeping their end of bargains. I suspect that this is just another pork laden bill shoved up our backsides that nobody has read, that will do absolutely nothing but more harm to our soveriegnty as a country. Doubling border patrol is not the biggovernment

manlyman
manlyman

Wow tom, you sound like a liberal.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@Fastgirl Well lets see:

1.  It mitigates the problem possibly do the degree that it becomes irrelevant, even in cases that doesn't completely solve it.

2.  It's cheaper / more efficient to deal with the symptoms than solve the problem. (Or it's impossible to solve the problem).

3.  It delays the problem until a more suitable solution can be found. 

There are probably others, but those are the ones i can come up with on the top of my head.  

There is also a huge difference between a bill that doesn't solve the problem, and a bill that _you_ don't think will solve the problem.  

It's been my experience that it's stupid to wait for the perfect solution.  It's possible one doesn't exist, and even if it does, it's extremely unlikely you will get it to pass.   

It's not about ideal solutions.  Everyone's ideal solution is different, because everyone's perception of the problem is different and/or everyone is interested in solving different, but related problems (ie border security vs amnesty).   It's about benefit vs cost.  You keep saying this bill doesn't solve the problem, but i haven't heard you deny the good things in the bill, nor have i heard you say the bill will do anything bad.  Logically it's obviously better that it passes than fails.

I've answered your question, now you answer mine.  This bill is expected to help the economy, decrease the deficit, and increase border security.   Why would you want to throw all those things away?

tom.litton
tom.litton

@Fastgirl There constituents want Amnesty, so they are fighting for amnesty.  It makes sense to me.  If they agree to border security without amnesty, then they will not have the votes to pass amnesty later. 

Also remember the polls don't tell you how strongly people feel about it.  That is to say 62% of American's think borders should be secured first, but that doesn't mean they really care about amnesty (or securing the borders for that matter).  It just means that when asked the question 62% of people thought "securing the borders first, yes that seems reasonable". 

However, i would bet, and i'm sure the democrats are betting, that the people who want amnesty, really want amnesty and will vote for politicians that fight for it.

Fastgirl
Fastgirl

Only 32% want amnesty. The rest want our borders secured first. Why are the Dems so afraid of securing our borders first?

Fastgirl
Fastgirl

I like most Americans want bills passed that solve our problems. What is the point of passing bills that don't solve the problem?

tom.litton
tom.litton

@Fastgirl The problem is that the price for securing the border is amnesty.  There are a lot of people that care about border security and a lot of people that care about Amnesty.  The only way you can get something passed in the current congress is to put them together.

tom.litton
tom.litton

"Most Americans want bills that solve our problems. You obviously don't. Wonder why that is?"

That is childish condescending argument. 

I could just as easily say: Most American's want congress to solve our problems.  You obviously don't.  Wonder why that is?"

Of course i want bills that solve problems.  The difference between us is that i'm willing to accept a bit more risk of bills failing if it means doing something.   I believe doing something is better than doing nothing, and i'm willing to accept things that i don't agree with or don't think will work if the alternative means doing nothing.  

You obviously think that congress should do nothing unless they can guarantee it will be effective.   Would you rather this bill fail and see that nothing will get done at least until the next presidential election?  Or would you rather see this bill pass, and vote for more people that will increase border security in the next election?


tom.litton
tom.litton

@Fastgirl I don't know why the previous bill failed.  My guess is that it solved the problem at that time, but then the country didn't enforce the border as well as it should later, especially the last decade or 2.  

Will this be different?  I hope so.  It will be up to people like you to make sure border security doesn't get to relaxed again. 

Fastgirl
Fastgirl

We have been down this road before and that is why we are in the position we are in today. The border needs to be secured first then we can give those who are here amnesty.

Fastgirl
Fastgirl

You are a laugh a minute. How do you think we got where we are today with millions of people living here illegally. Congress passed a bill like the one you are advocating passing and guess what? It didn't solve the problem. So according to you we should just keep passing the same flawed bills that don't work over and over again. Most Americans want bills that solve our problems. You obviously don't. Wonder why that is?

tom.litton
tom.litton

@Fastgirl Yes.  Who wouldn't agree with that?  I fail to see your argument, unless your implying this bill doesn't solve the problem.  

To that i say:  It's still better to pass it and hope your wrong then to do nothing.  At the very least we will learn what doesn't work.  It isn't the progress anyone would hope for, but still better than doing nothing.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@Fastgirl And i wouldn't disagree with those 62% of americans.  I think this bill does a better job at securing the border then what we have now, and it's much better that we do something now, even if it doesn't turn out to be enough.  Otherwise people will continue crossing the border making the problem worse.

Fastgirl
Fastgirl

Congress needs to pass bills that actually solve our problems not make us feel better. Isn't Congresses' job to problem solve not to make us feel better?

Fastgirl
Fastgirl

That is you opinion and you are entitled to it. The majority of Americans think otherwise: A new CNN/ORC International survey found that 62% of Americans say border security should be the main focus of U.S. immigration policy, while only 36% say a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens should be the top priority.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@Fastgirl Well, once, i hope.  That is the goal isn't it?  

Are you suggesting because we dropped the ball last time we should just give up?

Fastgirl
Fastgirl

Americans were promised border security and strict enfrocement when we did this the last time around. What did we we end up with? Millions of people entering this country illegally. The majority of Americans want bills passed that solve our probems not just to pass a bill for the sake of doing something. A CNN poll realeased this week  found that 62% of Americans say border security should be the main focus of U.S. immigration policy, while only 36% say a pathway to citizenship for illegal aliens should be the top priority. How many more times do we need to do this before we get it right?

tom.litton
tom.litton

@Fastgirl The answer is obvious:  It depends on the bill.  In this case, yes, I think it is better for the country:  It helps the economy, cuts the deficit, does a better job securing the border, and helps employers verify employee status.   All of those are good things.

Fastgirl
Fastgirl

No you inferred it. Both parties think they will get more of the Hispanic vote if they pass amnesty for illegals. Is passing a bill just so you can get more votes doing what is in the best interest of this country? I will let the posters here decide for themselves.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@Fastgirl It does 3 of those 4 things.  It may not do them as well as you wished, but it would be hard to argue that it isn't an improvement over the status quo.

So the choices seem to be to pass this bill, and work towards improving the security piece further, along with the inequality problem in america.

Or kill the bill and wait 4 years and hope you win the next presidential election and gain enough in congress to push a more stringent bill forward.  Meanwhile more immigrants will cross the border, which means more people will need to be granted amnesty.   And there is a significant chance you will end up with a very similar bill 4 years from now (and even more significant chance you will end up waiting another 6 - 8 years for a better congress).

tom.litton
tom.litton

@FastgirlYou implied it.  You very clearly implied it in the quote that i gave (which you did say).   If that isn't what you meant, then what does this mean:

"Does this sound like a segment of the population that is going to vote Republican? I thought our elected officials were supposed to do what is best for this country not what is best for illegal immigrants."

Putting those 2 sentences together clearly implies because they aren't going to vote republican, then it isn't what's best for this country. 

Fastgirl
Fastgirl

You need to practice what you preach. And learn to read. I never said that "only Republican ideas are 'what's best for this country.'" You did. Nor did I say the everything you believe is wrong or evil or that "there is only one inevitable solution: Kill each other until one of us can sunjugate the other". You did. I was just expressing my opinion just like you lecture me that everyone has a right to do. You need to remember that all people have a right to disagree with you and  to have their voices heard and not be labeled evil or wrong as you have been doing. You need to learn that this country belongs to all Americans not just you to do with as you please. 

Fastgirl
Fastgirl

You need to learn to read. I never said I supported doubling the border patrol. Did I?

Fastgirl
Fastgirl

You need to go reread my posts. I never said anything about how evil liberal propsals  were or how great GOP proposal were.  What I said was "In order for any bill to pass it should secure our borders, be tough on enforecment, be good for our economy and should increase wages for everyone not lower them." In fact I never said anything about not being for severe punishments for anyone who breaks the law. In my book that falls under the tough enforcment part of the law.

jason024
jason024

@Fastgirl"In order for any bill to pass it should secure our borders, be tough on enforecment, be good for our economy and should increase wages for everyone not lower them."

Have you not seen the ridiculous proposals the GOP  has put forward? The bill as originally crafted without all of the wasteful spending on militarizing the border actually REDUCES the deficit.  If you are  serious about this problem, you would be for severe punishments (jail time) for employers who hire them in the first place yet nothing you have said mentions it. 

Funny how you criticize the "evil liberal" ideas and say nothing about how bad the GOP proposals are.

dunedweller
dunedweller

@Fastgirl Funny how you say "believe in bigger government" like it's something republicans don't do. What do you think more than doubling border patrol is?

tom.litton
tom.litton

@Fastgirl"Does this sound like a segment of the population that is going to vote Republican? I thought our elected officials were supposed to do what is best for this country not what is best for illegal immigrants."

I thought we were having a decent argument until you said that.  Implied in that is only Republican's ideas are "what's best for the country."  If you really believe that everything that i believe is wrong and evil, then there is only one inevitable solution:  Kill each other until one of us can subjugate the other.

You have to remember that people that disagree with you have a right to have their voices heard as well.  It isn't your country alone to do with as you please. 

Fastgirl
Fastgirl

Probably? If Republicans think that hispanics are going to vote for them because they pass amensty for illegals they are wrong. By a 75% to 19% margin, Latinos are more likely to believe in a bigger government. Only 31% of Latinos in an LD survey said they would be more likely to vote GOP, if the Republican party took a leadership role in immigration reform. The polling indicated that Latinos are 9pt more likely to say they are liberal than the general population. Even on social issues, Latinos, "especially second- and third-generation, are no more conservative than the general population. In fact, second- and third-generation Latinos are more likely to believe abortion should be legal and homosexuality accepted by society than the general population." Does this sound like a segment of the population that is going to vote Republican? I thought our elected officials were supposed to do what is best for this country not what is best for illegal immigrants.

ToddGilbert
ToddGilbert

@Fastgirl They are also hoping that the new legals will vote democrate which they probably will.

Fastgirl
Fastgirl

You will never see how because you are for granting illegals amnesty no matter if it is good for this country or not. The majority of Americans want bills passed that solve our problems not just for congress to pass bills so we can say we did something and to feel better. You obviously fall into the latter group. We have been down this road before and don't seem to be learning from our past mistakes. In order for any bill to pass it should secure our borders, be tough on enforecment, be good for our economy and should increase wages for everyone not lower them.

tom.litton
tom.litton

@Fastgirl The report that says it is it will reduce the border by 25% was based on the old bill, not the new compromise right? Still how is a 25% reduction not better than a 0% reduction?  

There are some very low paying low skilled jobs that american's (rightfully in my opinion) don't want to do.  Those would otherwise go unfilled.

There are 11 million illegals, many that are already well integrated into our society.  These people are never, ever going to be deported.  Nobody is even talking about doing it.  How is bringing them into the system not an improvement?  At the very least, it makes it easier to ensure they pay taxes.

I agree that the government should do more to help raise the wages of people that are currently here legally.  In my mind, these 2 things are separate issues.  Yes, there are some cross over effects (the aforementioned slight wage decrease, along with doing more to secure the border).   But the goal here isn't to have the lowest earners earn slightly more, but rather to have everyone earn significantly more.  

If your arguing they should be focusing on the growing inequality in this country instead of immigration reform, then i can see that.  If your arguing that immigration reform will someone help or hurt the growing inequality problem, then i really don't see how.