Skip to comments.House GOP split over forging ahead on immigration this year
Posted on 01/31/2014 7:58:35 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
CAMBRIDGE, Md. House Republicans meeting privately at their retreat on Thursday were split on whether the leadership should forge ahead with immigration legislation this year, according to people in the room.
After Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) opened the floor to members following his release of leaderships principles for immigration reform, dozens of members stood up to speak, and the responses fell into four broad categories, said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (Fla.), a leading Republican advocate for immigration reform.
Some conservative lawmakers, like immigration reform foe Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), said the party should do nothing. Others like Diaz-Balart and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) offered full support for the leadership principles and a green light for moving on to legislation.
But a large contingent of members stood up to urge caution and voiced concerns not so much with the substance of the principles as with the timing of pushing immigration reform in an election year and under a Democratic president they dont trust to enforce the law.
The principles back legal status for undocumented immigrants but only after they have met certain requirements and unspecified enforcement triggers have been put in place. Boehner said the standards were as far as we are willing to go, and then opened up the floor to members, allowing them one minute each to weigh in on the proposal.
Distrust of President Obama, Diaz-Balart said in a phone interview, was the biggest issue that Republicans raised.
I think we can get there, but thats the biggest challenge, he said. We got a lot [of pushback] on the timing and a lot on the trust issue.
If we cant give people confidence that its enforceable, Diaz-Balart added, then we have a serious problem.
The leadership principles sought to head off that concern.
Faced with a consistent pattern of administrations of both parties only selectively enforcing our nations immigration laws, we must enact reform that ensures that a president cannot unilaterally stop immigration enforcement, the principles state.
And toward the end of the closed-door meeting, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), stood up to argue that legislation could be written in such a way to ensure enforcement and that Congress would have other options if an administration fell short, Diaz-Balart said.
Several Republicans in the room said the response from the rank-and-file was not surprising and that the people who stood up to voice concerns were predictable.
Boehner emphasized in the meeting that no decisions had been made about whether to move forward on legislation, and the leaders are likely to continue talking and working to build support in the coming weeks.
Earlier on Thursday, the House GOP campaign chief, Rep. Greg Walden (Ore.), said that any floor vote on immigration legislation was probably months out and would therefore come after primary election deadlines that are worrying some lawmakers.
While Diaz-Balart had previously hoped to act earlier in the year, he said Thursday, I dont think things are ready to move quicker than that.
In the one-page blueprint, House Republicans explicitly rule out a special path to citizenship, but they say that it is in the nations interest for people who entered the country illegally to come forward and register with the government without fear of deportation.
Our national and economic security depend on requiring people who are living and working here illegally to come forward and get right with the law, the GOP standards say. There will be no special path to citizenship for individuals who broke our nations immigration laws that would be unfair to those immigrants who have played by the rules and harmful to promoting the rule of law.
Rather, these persons could live legally and without fear in the U.S., but only if they were willing to admit their culpability, pass rigorous background checks, pay significant fines and back taxes, develop proficiency in English and American civics, and be able to support themselves and their families (without access to public benefits).
The Republicans say that criminals, gang members and sex offenders would not be eligible for legal status.
Finally, none of this can happen before specific enforcement triggers have been implemented to fulfill our promise to the American people that from here on, our immigration laws will indeed be enforced, the principles state.
The Republicans do not say what specific triggers must be meant.
Children who were brought into the country illegally through no fault of their own by their parents would be eligible for legal residence and citizenship.
The document also calls for strengthened border and interior security, a biometric visa-tracking system, a new E-Verify system for employers, reforms to the high-skilled visa system and a temporary worker program.
The only way to ensure the trustworthiness of today's lawmakers in both parties is to make them directly accountable to the people. And I do not mean at the ballot box. I do mean physically accountable.
As in drag-them-out-of-their-houses-and-throw-them-in-the-klink accountable.
But since that can never happen its best to assume that there will be no law made we can trust them to enforce. They are liars and opportunists - almost every one.
How nice it would be if the Republican Base had some political representation in DC.....
Seems Boner & McSurrender are focused like a laser on snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. ObamaCare should be the focus as it is a winner. For example, my immigrant bro-in-law got his $235/month health insurance canceld by Obama. The Obama equivalent is $409/month.
Amnesty is a loser for the Repubs. You know if it would help the Repubs, the Dems would be fighting it tooth and nail...and probably have already laid mine fields, electric fences and the TSA along the Border.
My (legal) immigrant family members resent any Amnestry (or freebies) for illegals.
Can only hope Boner and McSurrender are getting well paid to betray the Repub Party Base.
This only encourages people to come to the USA and have children born here INTO CITIZENSHIP for a better life for their children.
Essentially you are going to have a “skip” generation but it will not matter with the rampant voter fraud.
Besides, you know Obama via Executive Order or via Dem political operatives now filling Federal Judge spots, will not enforce anything they do not like.
So why make new laws for they to ignore?
Might as well be N.Chamberlain going back to Germany for another treaty with A.Hitler. Wow! I bring back yet another worthless piece of paper!
Every proposed requirement in that article is window dressing meant to pacify voters then be ignored once the bill is passed. The so called triggers will be watered down or eliminated in the conference committee. The Senate will have a say in the bill and their version won’t look at all like the House version.
Anyone who has confidence in the judicial and political systems in this country anymore is a fool.
There are already enough illegals here that have had American babies who when they get older will vote Democrat. We have already lost. The Republicans are just trying to speed up the timeline.
First: What was your first CLUE.
Second: When did that ever stop you guys from doing utterly despicable things, when your calculations revealed that it will benefit you and your inner circle.
Preserving your individual fiefdoms, safely embedded in the Repub Party, is your PRIMARY CONCERN.
We are supposed to be satisfied with the assumption that as long as you (individual Senate-Rat, Congress-Critter) survive and prosper in your Republican Nest, Then America Traditional Values will be served.
You don't trust the Adi ministration? I don't trust them either, NOR YOU!
ANYTHING they send to the Senate will be chopped up and the joint committee will come out with the Gang of 8’s plan.
As Rush Limbaugh warned yesterday: If the House passes amnesty this year, the GOP will lose the House.
Even Rush wondered why the GOPelites are so bent on committing mass political party suicide. The only possible answer seemed to be that the old timers who will be retiring soon already have high-paying gigs lined up with many of those represented by the Chamber of Commerce, etc. — if they can get amnesty passed.
you can’t have a second class citizen with no voting rights. Some uber liberal closet commie judge will see to mandating citizenship.
remember law school professors only teach from the faaaaar left.
Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!
More evidence that we need to pour it on to our reps to make them understand that we are watching their every move and know which votes count and which are just for show.
Just sent to our Congressman:
We DO NOT WANT the GOP to waste any time on crafting some immigration legislation. We expect to see work on repealing 0bamacare, and budget cutting, deficit reduction, the whole belt-tightening exercise.
There is nothing to be gained, even from a political perspective, to work with the administration and/or Senate on agreeing to easing of immigration law. CLOSE THE BORDERS. DEPORT THE ILLEGALS. There are not enough jobs, as it is, for Americans. We cannot afford more social programs, more bureaucracy, any more resources going toward the “immigration” bleeding hearts causes.
Please vote against any legislation that is intended to be “immigration reform”.
It could be a conservative judge who would rule that way. You can't create a permanent underclass by granting a group of people permanent resident class while denying them an equal opportunity to seek naturalization. This would be akin to creating a slave class.
Any Republican that claims they support amnesty without citizenship is either an idiot or a liar. Or maybe a lying idiot.
Does anyone know why it’s all of a sudden so important to do anything about immigration, specifically relating to illegals from Mexico?
We did not want Obamacare, and you Neo-Democrat RINOs gave it to us anyway, and we are the worse for it.
We DO want yall to enforce existing Federal Border Laws.
WE DO NOT WANT IMMIGRATION REFORM ! Yall gave us that in 1986, and we are the worse for it!
Now yall say that we need to cave in this year to Obama on Immigration Reform. Why this perversion to betray us!?
This is the same GEE OH PEE pablum that you Neo-Democrat RINOs have been always been feeding to the gullible, low information voters.
McCain, McConnell, Cornyn, Boehner, Cantor, and Ryan are always waiting for massive support from the Public before they even consider doing a pitched battle with the enemy.
The enemy is yall caving in to Obama! Just enforce existing Border Laws!
Yall go on TV to publicly beat yalls chests, and then reach across the aisle to yalls good friends in order to get something done.
You Neo-Democrat RINOs will never lead, will always wait for a groundswell of Public discontent before risking incurring the wrath of their most dreaded enemy: The Leftstream Media.
Note to all the Congressional RINO leaders: We gave yall in 2010 what yall said yall were waiting for - - - - The Massive TEA Party Rebellion, and yall fought us every step of the way, and are fighting us now more than ever!
We gave yall the support that yall asked for and yall betrayed us!
Betray us once, shame on you. Betray us twice, shame on us!
LEAD, OR GET OUT OF OUR WAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
BTW, we have long memories, and just so yall know, RINO SEASON IS NOW OPEN AND THERE ARE NO BAG LIMITS !
There is that word again, like nails on a chalkboard.
Nice to confirm where the GOP-e is taking us.