Skip to comments.Immigration back on GOP agenda
Posted on 01/23/2014 2:51:10 PM PST by Second Amendment First
Immigration back on GOP agenda By: Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer January 23, 2014 05:36 PM EST
SAN ANTONIO The same House Republicans who punted on immigration last year are now privately crafting an intricate plan to try to pass it in 2014.
Most people close to the planning expect votes on four bills by the end of the summer, including one that would give undocumented workers legal status.
And though none of the bills is likely to offer a path to full citizenship, the fact Republicans are preparing to take on immigration at all is a sign the party is coming to grips with a political reality: if they want to win elections in the long-run, theyll have to face the issue.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), speaking to local chambers of commerce in San Antonio Thursday, peeled back the curtain on the plans, saying Republicans must help illegal immigrants come out of the shadows and reintegrate into society. That would include requiring immigrants learn English, civics, pay taxes and pay a fine a process that is sure to be decried by opponents as amnesty.
The other three Republican bills would cover legalizing children brought to the country illegally, the tracking of foreign nationals and visas for low-skilled workers. The House has already passed high-skilled worker and border security bills.
The multi-bill process is equally important as the substance for Republicans. The party is vowing to ignore a Senate bill which took on reform all at once.
Also, the party is now crafting language that would seek to force President Barack Obama to enforce the totality of any law passed. Republicans say they dont trust the president after he has unilaterally waved parts of the health care law.
Ryan said that Republicans have to find a way to write these laws that they are actually enforced.
Thats very, very important to us, said Ryan, who is helping craft leaderships immigration strategy.
Boehners team is still wrestling over some of the details. And, of course, just because Republican leadership wants something, doesnt mean its going to get done the stormy political waters that prevented an overhaul in 2013 have hardly dissipated. So Boehner and his allies find themselves working two-fronts to create a path for reform. First, leadership will begin trying to get half of their conference excited for some kind of overhaul when they head to Cambridge, Md., Jan. 29 for their two-day retreat. Their principles for immigration reform will be released by that time.
At the same time, top GOP lawmakers have been privately meeting with Illinois Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez to try and gain the prominent immigration reform proponents backing. Republican Reps. Paul Ryan (Wis.), Mario Diaz Balart (Fla.) and Raul Labrador (Idaho) have all talked separately with the Illinois Democrat to get his opinion on the direction they are going. Gaining his support would be a big win for Republicans looking to call any House package bipartisan.
Gutierrez spokesman Douglas Rivlin confirmed that his boss is having informal conversations with a number of Republicans and Democrats.
He hasnt said yes or no to anything because were not at that point yet, Rivlin said, adding that Gutierrez is anxious to see concrete proposals put on the table, and the principles will be the first step.
But the inside game is only half of the battle. Becky Tallent, Boehners top immigration aide, has been meeting with business groups including technology trade organizations so they have buy-in to the process.
The remarkable transformation from hesitance and caution to these careful and quiet Beltway maneuvers is another example of establishment Republicans trying to take back the party and not reflexively bow to their conservative flanks who have vocally opposed moving forward. It also signals a shift in thinking among some Republicans that taking on immigration reform, a risky strategy at best, before the mid-term election would not be electorally disasterous if a deal breaks down.
None of this guarantees that an immigration overhaul will happen in fact, most top Republican aides contend that all of this is a show, and the fits and starts will simply help prepare the party and its lawmakers for 2015, when dealing with immigration could be easier.
Personalities, too, will dictate the outcome. Boehner is driving this process and with Ryans help is expected to push it across the finish line. Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) is most invested in what has become known as Dream Act Light a way to legalize children who are in the United States illegally. Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who recently called for a pathway to legalization in a local television interview, has regional interests that push him toward supporting reform. Agriculture workers in his Central Valley district are salivating for more workers not to mention his state party, which is at a historical low point with minority voters.
Across the Capitol, Sen. Chuck Schumer has also reignited his efforts, irritating most of the House Republican leadership. The New York Democrat, who was a major player in the Senates comprehensive immigration reform package, has met with high-skilled and low-skilled worker coalitions. Those organizations have agreed to start pushing specific members in districts where they have a presence to support reform. Schumer also has plans to meet next week with progressive groups.
While the infusion of pressure on House Republicans to move forward isnt surprising, Schumers meddling in House affairs could backfire.
This is up to the House now, and theyre going to take their own approach and come up with their own set of priorities and solutions, said one GOP downtowner, who has been involved in immigration reform efforts. Schumer barking orders at the House and its allies on the right is not helpful to overall efforts to pass immigration reform.
Opposition to the Houses expected plan are also ginning up their base.
Numbers USA head Roy Beck said his members are meeting with lawmakers in their district offices and calling this week to reiterate their opposition to immigration reform in its current form going forward.
If these principles are insufficient thats what well continue to be doing, rallying our members to rally their friends, Beck said. We will continue to do what we have been doing to make sure that at least 118 House Republicans dont want to deal with it. Right now we hope its 180 to 200.
© 2014 POLITICO LLC
Back on? When was it ever off?
it is idiotic that compromise ALWAYS moves things in the general direction the libtards want.
Why not offer compromse that shifts things in the direction the conservatives want? I want immigration laws and enforcement that Mexico has. If it’s good enough for them it’s good enough for us. And then enforce them the way Mexico enforces their immigration laws.
We need to remove the current GOP leaders just as badly as Democrats.
After 5 yr of effective control, we'll talk.
I’m all for the GOP immigrating to somewhere else.
Self-destruction of the GOP led by the RINOe.
The ratchet of American politics only goes in one direction -- left. Somehow, the Republican party has been beat down into accepting that, and are now complicit in turning the wrench.
Ye wee stupid beasties!
If they want to kill the party and never win another national election... they need to face it... as in on their knees and servicing obama. There are not enough mexicans in this country and the jails here ... even if every one of them voted... to replace the millions of Conservatives in the base that will vote third party or stay home if they have to vote for ANY republican that voted to reward these criminal trespassers in our republic. They already cut our Military retirement and benefits and gave 6 billion dollars to these illegal invading aliens in the latest budget deal. polutico has one mission and that is to secure a majority for democrats for the rest of the life of the United States... and these gop/e bastards think that this is a fantastic and MANDATORY idea.
This has NEVER, ever been off the RINO GOP/Chambers of Commerce agenda!
In 2005, "we the people" made enough noise that we were able to shut this down, thanks to the help of all of the radio talk shows (save Mark Belling of Milwaukee, whom I refuse to listen to whenever he subs for Rush), each and every one kept it up front and center but I fear that those (GOPers)left in Congress no longer fear us (whether the TEA Party or not) but desire the $$$$$ from the Chambers of Commerce more!
We MUST get the word out to each and every black neighborhood that the reason they have no jobs, nor will have any jobs in the lifetimes of their young people is because big businesses would rather hire illegal aliens and their kids and other relatives from South of the Border than them!!!
Even getting Revs Jesse and Al need to get behind this push. Whatever it takes as America as we know it will never be the same.
Actually, it will not become America but Nuevo Americana, si se puedo!
PRoblem is these guys didn’t start out that way, but fortheir 20-30 years in office they’ve been living under compromised (ever more left) conditions and they get used to it. Not so bad. Makes continued compromise easier and in some cases they are willing participants to move things to the left.
It is sickening. Many get played. Many are worse because they want to go left.
perhaps your confused... they like the libtard direction
Too many of the GOP leadership act like they are working for the Democrats. Maybe they have been compromised or maybe they actually are part of the leftist Marxist coup that has overtaken the US government. Either way, it is time to recognize that the GOP cannot be saved from within and turn to a third party. Yes, that will result in the Rats winning, but the uniparty in DC is winning anyway. I wonder if there is any hope through the political process or all will have to fall into anarchy and see what rises from the fires.
Primary all of them. They’ll be too preoccupied to do further damage.
The democrats keep putting “Immigration” on the Republican agenda to arouse public opinion against Republicans. Average Americans do not want “path to citizenship” and “amnesty” for those who are here illegally. Believe it.
a process that is sure to be decried by opponents as amnesty
The right to remain and work is the amnesty. Lack of citizenship or paying a fine makes no difference. If they get to stay it is amnesty.
The right to stay and work (an effective Green Card) is all the illegals and their employers want.
did i not say many like it? i did.
If the primaries go badly you will see it happen.