For years now big business special interests have been pushing for amnesty for illegal aliens and open borders. They want cheap labor and are prepared to back their greedy desire with big buck for ads to promote amnesty. These special interests support an establishment GOP plan in the U.S. House of Representatives that would create a legal status for illegal immigrants. Once granted that status, it could never be undone.
Throughout all of the immigration debates over many years there has been a constant principle coming from conservatives: SECURE THE BORDER FIRST! Considering the history of earlier amnesty legislation which granted amnesty first and never delivered border security many reject yet another round of amnesty to those who violated our laws to come here.
Vague promises that legal status doesn't mean citizenship are not enough. It's a safe bet that the moment this legal status were to be granted the Democrats would use the desire of full citizenship as a battle cry for 2016. And considering how quick Obama is to rewrite or ignore laws he disagrees with, who has any confidence that this law would be implemented as written?
Republicans are in a key position to win big in the 2014 midterm election. Forcing through an amnesty bill that is opposed by a vast majority of the GOP base would only assure that a significant percent of GOP voters won't bother in 2013. Talk about a gift to Democrats!
Sean Trende writing at Real Clear Politics is a flummoxed as I am:
The GOP has announced that it will pursue an immigration reform bill later this year. This surprised most observers, including, initially, this author. Reform had stalled, and largely faded from the public’s consciousness amid the Obamacare debacle. After a year where very little went right for the Democratic Party, the GOP seems to be positioning itself to hand the president a major policy victory, potentially inflaming the Republican base.Sean goes on to give five reasons why the GOP might be doing this. I'd say it's a combination of pressure from big business mixed with a fear of winning big. Trende also thinks that GOP campaign consultants think amnesty would help the GOP win elections. Even if Romney had won the Hispanic vote by historic proportions he still would have lost.
This is puzzling. My initial reaction was that the GOP leadership is playing some sort of three-dimensional chess, or else it is completely clueless. Most other commentators seem similarly baffled. Talking Points Memo summed it up as follows: “Civil War Cometh: GOP Prepares for Explosive Immigration Debate.”
Why would the party entertain a civil war when everything seems to be going well for it? After giving this quite a lot of thought, and hearing some good ideas on Twitter, I think I have a decent handle on the various theories for House Republicans’ strategy. Some are more persuasive than others.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) encapsulates my concerns:
[W]hy on earth would the House dive into immigration right now? It makes no sense, unless you're Harry Reid. Republicans are poised for an historic election this fall--a conservative tidal wave much like 2010. The biggest thing we could do to mess that up would be if the House passed an amnesty bill--or any bill perceived as an amnesty bill--that demoralized voters going into November. Rather than responding to the big-money lobbying on K Street, we need to make sure working-class Americans show up by the millions to reject Obamacare and vote out the Democrats. Amnesty will ensure they stay home.House GOP Tells Boehner NO!
Good news coming from the House GOP members retreat in Maryland suggests that sanity may be restored soon. A report suggests that the push back by rank and file members to any form of amnesty was overwhelming with 80% against.
The key to solving the immigration problem is, as always has been, on securing the border FIRST! If Republicans take control of the Senate this year they can work together with the House on an EFFECTIVE border security measure. Once that has been proven to work, we can talk about next steps but NOT BEFORE!