In the midst of Senate floor debate on Friday, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) argued against the so-called Gang of Eight’s comprehensive immigration reform bill because its length and scope could have unintended consequences — much like the sweeping Patriot Act passed by Congress after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that granted the national security apparatus sweeping powers to track phone records and user data.
“Did the American people have any idea that the Patriot Act would spur the national — empower the national security agency to spy on all Americans through their cell phones and computers?” asked Lee. “What makes any of us, least of all any conservative, believe this immigration bill is going to work out any better? The lesson we should be taking from our recent mistakes is not that we nd to pass better huge, sweeping new laws, but that we should instead undertake major necessary reforms incrementally, one step at a time, and in the proper sequence.”
He added: “We need to face the fact that thousand-page bureaucratic overhauls do not achieve their desired goals, and they create far more problems than they tend to solve. We can achieve comprehensive immigration reform without having to pass another thousand-page bill full of loopholes, carveouts and unintended consequences.”
Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site’s coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at email@example.com.