Texas Gov. Rick Perry has apparently come up with the perfect GOP delusion on immigration: reforming it magically no longer matters!
Texas Gov. Rick Perry, no stranger to the tough debate over the nation’s immigration laws, thinks recent legislation passed by Mexico’s Congress, a major priority of President Enrique Pena Nieto, may have set in motion a reversal of the flow of undocumented immigrants northward. In a short time, Perry said in an interview Saturday, undocumented immigrants may be streaming back over the U.S.-Mexico border, headed for lucrative energy sector jobs back home.
“The landscape on immigration is fast changing,” Perry said. “My instinct is that immigration and immigration reform are going to be substantially less of a flashpoint than they have been in the last several years.”
So what miracle is this that will see undocumented workers flood back south to Mexico? Drill baby drill!
The change, Perry predicted, will come as private investors begin taking stakes in Pemex, Mexico’s state-owned oil monopoly. In December, Mexico’s Senate ratified outlines of legislation that would allow private investment in the company, which could eventually lead to complete privatization. Outside analysts believe the new rules will eventually make Mexico one of the world’s largest oil producers.
The new jobs that result from the energy boom, Perry predicted, will attract immigrant labor that would otherwise come to the United States.
Well, if you're, say, Halliburton or Exxon/Mobil, getting in on the ground floor of Mexico's oil boom, with cheap labor and zero Environmental Protection Agency in the way, has got to be the economic equivalent of snorting Viagra off of supermodels. America's energy giants will be stabbing each other in the back (and the front) to get the lion's share of this.
Bonus points: dangerous and heavily armed Mexican drug cartels means private military contractors will be making fat cash too conducting "security operations" and "dealing with the locals" for the oil guys.
It's Iraq all over again. Only a lot closer. No wonder Rick Perry can barely contain himself.
Now whether or not this "reverses" the flow of undocumented immigrants from the south, Republicans can say it will and just ignore immigration reform. In this scenario, Obama gets zero credit and the demographic changes in border states slow dramatically, so they think they can ignore it completely, anyway.
“At that point in time, this whole issue of immigration reform, I think loses a lot of steam. And then the immigration debate may become, how are we going to efficiently allow people into this country to fill the agricultural or hospitality or construction jobs that these people had historically been filling,” Perry said.
Perry said that takes the pressure off Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives, where immigration reform legislation has stalled in recent months after passing the Senate.
“I would suggest [Congressional Republicans] continue to push for a federal solution to securing the border, working with the states,” Perry said.
I'm betting voters might not agree.