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GOP playing cynical politics with immigration reform act



Published: Thu, July 25, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

House Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, made it clear over the weekend that his members aren’t interested in following the Senate’s lead and passing a massive comprehensive immigration-reform bill.

Instead, the Republican majority in the House has talked about pushing through a series of smaller bills that will not address the underlying causes of this nation’s dysfunctional immigration system.

The GOP’s intent is clear: Don’t give President Obama and the Democratic controlled Senate a win they can carry into the 2014 midterm election.

It should be pointed out that the reform bill that passed the Senate on a 68-32 vote was supported by 14 Republicans and has been endorsed by former Republican President George W. Bush and his brother, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. The measure offers a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants who are in this country illegally and tightens border security by doubling the size of the border patrol and constructing a 700-mile high-tech security fence.

Nonetheless, the aptly named Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013, got to the House dead-on-arrival.

Why? According to McClatchy-Tribune News Service, many Republican representatives aren’t in favor of providing a 13-year path to citizenship. In addition, a significant number of representatives come from congressional districts that have few minority voters and, therefore, they aren’t taking any political risks by opposing comprehensive immigration reform.

Given the absence of a united front in the GOP caucus, Speaker Boehner isn’t willing to use the power of his office to win votes. In fact, he said Sunday that his top priority is to fix the nation’s fiscal problems and that immigration reform isn’t high on his agenda.

Even so, Republicans don’t want to be accused of ignoring the immigration issue when a majority of the American people believes something must be done to stop the flow of illegals and to address the problems caused by having millions of undocumented people living in the shadows,

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., is pushing the “Kids Act,” which would legalize young people without legal status because they were brought to this country by their parents who entered illegally or stayed on expired visas.

The problem with this approach is that it would result in families being broken up, since the parents would be forced to return to their homelands, leaving their children behind.

By contrast, the bipartisan bill passed by the Senate would provide a path to citizenship for all illegal immigrants.

‘Childish games’

“The ‘Kids Act’ is just childish games by House Republicans,” Cesar Vargas, director of a coalition that advocates for young immigrants, told McClatchy-Tribune. “It pits dreamers against our families.”

And Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., offered this observation Wednesday after House Republicans took a tentative step toward the “Kids Act”: “I cannot imagine for one minute that Republicans, who also honor the sanctity of families, want to legalize the children, but leave the rest of the family vulnerable.”

The White House and Democrats on Capitol Hill have made it clear the Republican plan is unacceptable, which means it is going no where.

Rather than waste time on such legislative sleight-of-hand, Speaker Boehner should use the power of his office to build support for true comprehensive immigration reform.


Comments

1Jerry(486 comments)posted 1 year ago

Why does immigration reform have to be “comprehensive”???

How about a simple two page bill, written in plain English, that requires securing the borders?

How about another simple two page bill, written in plain English, that makes illegal presence in the USA a criminal felony punishable by harsh fines, jail, and at least immediate detention & deportation?

When that is accomplished (in a couple years) we could then consider a simple 10 page bill, written in plain English, for the purpose of streamlining and easing the process for legal and controlled entries by legal immigrants. This could include relaxed restrictions, allowances for more immigrants, a guest worker program, etc.

There are, however, two things that are absolute requirements which must never be forgotten or negotiated:

ONE – No person who is in the United State illegally is entitled to any benefits or services supported by public funds; and identification and proof of legal status is an absolute requirement for application for any such benefits and services.

TWO - There should never be a path to any legal status for any illegal alien, unless and until they LEAVE THE USA, go to the end of the line, and apply for legal re-entry via normal and legal means. No illegal alien should ever be allowed to stay.

Any bill that authorizes anything to the contrary to these two considerations is unacceptable; I don't care who proposes or votes for it. Illegal is illegal is illegal, what is so difficult to understand??

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2NotSimple12(1 comment)posted 12 months ago

Well, If legal immigration system had kept up with the changing American Economy we would have not been here.

I am waiting 11 years for a green card after being approved for a green card and having a full time job in the US that came in on invitation of US employer in high tech industry.

So no wonder there is such low incentive to go through legal process because the system is broken.

The issue is labor just like capital ought to be subjected to free flow and competition in a system called Capitalism that prevailed over communism a little while back. It is good for both capital and labor as it forces " Sector Rotation" Optimization and Efficiency. We need to be making Mars landing focused energy efficient economy or someone else will.

As for the low skilled part of equation making room for low skilled jobs for current Americans by denying low wage people willing to work creates entitlement and preserves class structure in US for current Americans instead of natural progression into higher skilled jobs.

Remember Organic growth in the United States by opening new sectors like energy and space and open competition will bring the best days of United States ahead of us instead of restricting free flow of capital and labor and proposing low wage dependent factories or farms relocate or only open outside of US while making room for or guaranteeing a low skill job for current American creating inflation and also natural imbalances.

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