Bobby Jindal has written an article on immigration reform. Reihan Salam comes down pretty hard on it. Jindal is against the Gang of Eight plan, but the main difference I see between Jindal and the Gang of Eight is that Jindal wants the process of certifying the border secure to happen before the present population of illegal immigrants get regularized (Jindal would call it “guest worker”) status. That’s not nothing, but it is mostly beside the point. The CBO estimates that one major channel for future illegal immigration under the Gang of Eight plan would be the low-skill guest worker program, as temporary worker overstay their visas. And that is with the CBO making the optimistic assumption that mandatory employment verification would be implemented in a timely manner by this administration. So if you are really about preventing the creation of a large new class of illegal immigrants, stopping the Gang of Eight’s guest worker program and mandating near-term employment verification are probably even more important than “border security.”
I strongly suspect that Jindal knows all this. He sounds a lot like John McCain and Lindsey Graham before the most recent election. McCain and Graham would say that any immigration reform would need border security provisions before such a plan could get much conservative support. We all know what happened to McCain and Graham after the electoral heat was off. Jindal also comes out for increased low-skill immigration. By not taking on the guest worker program, by not focusing on internal enforcement, and by coming out for increased low-skill immigration, Jindal basically agrees with the Chamber 0f Commerce-Chuck Schumer Axis that produced the Gang of Eight plan while offering conservative opponents a border certification process.
H/T to Ramesh Ponnuru for several of the polling links.