You've seen them on television and heard them on the radio, those commercials boasting that "conservatives" like Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan are working to make sure we have a tough, enforceable immigration system that closes our borders and makes all those illegals go to the back of the line to await possible future citizenship. Well, here is my solemn pledge to you: if you believe that, then I want to sell you an iconic old bridge in New York City that connects Brooklyn to Manhattan. If you're interested, I can make you a really good deal on it.
Rubio, by far the most disappointing member of the so-called Gang of Eight, is also either the most naïve man in the United States Senate or the most duplicitous. Recently, on the Spanish-language Univision TV network he bragged about his obvious sell-out to the illegal immigration lobby. Perhaps the senator thought that because the interview was in Spanish, it somehow wouldn't make its way into the hands of a translator who actually cares about an issue as important as the invasion of our country by tens of millions of lawbreakers. In any case, Rubio brazenly admitted to an illegal alien-friendly audience that border security will, in fact, take a back seat to legalization and, ultimately, citizenship.
"Let's be clear," the senator stated. "Nobody is talking about preventing legalization. The legalization is going to happen. That means the following will happen: First comes legalization. Then come the measures to secure the border. And then comes the process of permanent residence."
So who is feeding us these lies using Rubio and Ryan to scam conservatives? They are paid for by a group known as Americans for a Conservative Direction. Sounds good, right? Sounds like the kind of organization we should want to support. Don't bet the farm on it.
It turns out that this group is being financed by none other than billionaire Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and CEO of Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg a conservative? David Horowitz -- an ardent communist turned conservative and a man who knows one when he sees one -- has called Zuckerberg an "uber-leftist" and Americans for a Conservative Direction an "Orwellian front group" filled with "Arlen Specter Republicans."
A series of opinion pieces published on left-wing websites have criticized Zuckerberg for supporting such stalwart "conservative Republicans" as Lindsay Graham and Chris Christie. I guess this qualifies Zuckerberg for a lifetime membership in the Heritage Foundation.
In a recent column, Horowitz described how Zuckerberg's group published the results of a push-poll showing 71 percent of voters -- and 74 percent of conservative Republicans! -- support the senate bill. Here is how the poll question is worded:
"As you may have heard, there is a proposal facing Congress to reform the nation's immigration laws. This proposal would establish a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants presently in the country, as long as they pass a criminal background check, pay a fine and back taxes, learn English, and wait at least 13 years. The plan would also allow more high-skilled immigrants into the country in technology, science and engineering fields and create a guest worker program to address labor shortages in industries like agriculture and construction. Finally, the plan would require a series of increased border security measures before anyone here illegally can apply for citizenship -- including greater enforcement, extended fencing along the border, and a requirement that all employers verify the legal status of individuals before hiring them. Do you support or oppose this proposal?"
I'm still taking bids on that bridge.
Doug Patton's column is distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.