“Behind Closed Doors” was a Grammy-winning country hit for Charlie Rich in the 1970s, describing a good time where no one could see, but it’s a terrible way to write laws, particularly laws as complex and controversial as immigration reform. The nation got its first glimpse Wednesday at the comprehensive immigration-reform bill cobbled together behind closed doors by the Senate’s bipartisan “Gang of Eight.”
What’s worse is, SenateJudiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat, has already scheduled two hearings for Friday and Monday on the measure, called the Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013. But what’s the rush? How many of the 18 members of the Judiciary Committee will have read, much less analyzed, the 844 pages of the legislation before those hearings? Congress learned nothing from the debacle of Obamacare, the 2,000-page monstrosity that Nancy Pelosi insisted that “we have to pass so that you can find out what’s in it.” Congressional Democrats acted in haste in pushing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, so called, through Congress and the nation has been repenting at leisure ever since.