Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) blasted the Senate immigration bill early Monday, criticizing lawmakers for refusing to focus on border security while insisting on amnesty for undocumented immigrants.
Writing in a Facebook post, Palin said that the forthcoming Senate vote on a comprehensive reform package amounted to Congress trying to "Pelosi" the bill forward. She described that verb as "pass[ing] it in order to find out what’s in it," an apparent reference to a controversial quote from then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in 2010 about the passage of Obamacare.
Palin went on to claim that the "amnesty bill before the Senate is completely toothless on border security." She said the Senate's earlier rejection of a number of amendments suggested that lawmakers were only interested in giving undocumented immigrants an unaccountable pathway to citizenship.
Through all of Palin's apparent concern about the pending legislation, the former vice presidential candidate made no mention of a recently reached border security deal. HuffPost's Elise Foley reported on the compromise last week:
The bill mandates that significant increases to border requirements be met before undocumented immigrants can move from provisional status to legal permanent residency. Given those increases, it's likely to be expensive: aides said they expect a cost of about $30 billion for 40,000 border agents to be hired and deployed, rather than the 21,000 agents in the original bill. The deal would also require 700 miles of fencing and more funding for aerial drones and surveillance of the U.S.-Mexico border. Some of these strategies are similar to what is being used in Iraq and Afghanistan, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the gang of eight, told reporters of the amendment.
Either unaware or unsatisfied by those developments on border security, Palin wrote that giving undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship would only help further "bankrupt" the government. The Congressional Budget Office has predicted the bill would reduce the deficit by about $200 billion over the next 10 years and by about $700 billion over the following decade, but Palin cites a highly controversial Heritage Foundation report that claimed immigrants would provide no net economic benefits, and would only cost the nation by drawing from entitlement programs.
Despite her opposition, Palin appeared to concede that the Senate would pass immigration reform.
"As the Senate moves to pass amnesty, the only bright spot in this travesty is the rallying revolution we can look forward to," she wrote. "For just as opposition to Obamacare became a rallying cry for the 2010 midterm elections, opposition to this fundamentally transforming amnesty bill will galvanize the grassroots in next year’s elections. And 2014 is just around the corner."
While many have similarly predicted that the Senate will pass the bill, the fate of the package in the GOP-controlled House appears far less certain.