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House GOP on Dangerous Course on Immigration

John Boehner and Eric Cantor
As the details of who said what at Wednesday’s closed-door meeting of the House Republican Conference slowly leak-out one thing is very clear – House Republicans are on a dangerous course on immigration “reform” and amnesty for illegal aliens.

One of the more worrisome comments came from Speaker John Boehner who called the immigration debate “important,” and said Republicans need a plan.


As we pointed-out yesterday, according to The Pew Research Center for the People and The Press, immigration is not even in the top ten issues – in fact it barely made the bottom of the top twenty issues in Pew’s “The Public’s Policy Priorities for 2013,” ranking at 17 in the top 20 list “priorities.”

Why then would House Republicans be so foolish as to squander their political capital and enrage their constitutional conservative Party base by passing anything remotely resembling the hated S. 744, the Obama – Rubio amnesty for illegal aliens bill that recently passed the Senate?

Majority Leader Eric Cantor (VA-7) said Republicans should present an alternative to the Senate’s plan — just like the party did during the economic stimulus debate in 2009.

A plan written by whom and released for public review when?

Perhaps Cantor had in mind Texas Reps. Sam Johnson and John Carter and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (FL-25) — who have been working with Democrats on reform for years – and were leaning toward a Senate Gang of Eight-like approach until Idaho’s Raul Labrador pulled-out of the group and brought the give-away of American sovereignty to at least a temporary halt.

And what about the timing of the House action on immigration?

The consensus of Washington’s inside-the-Beltway pundits is that the amnesty and immigration “reform” debate will get lumped in with a fall schedule packed with deadline-driven – and important – legislation on federal spending  and the debt limit.

This means, if a House immigration “reform” bill actually moves it seems likely to be pushed-through in the year-end rush, in a way, as POLITICO noted, “mirroring the 2012 fiscal cliff panic, the 2010 extension of Bush tax rates and other panicked legislating that Washington has become so accustomed to.”

We could add the disastrous Dodd-Frank financial regulatory bill to that list, but you already get the point – a rush to pass a bill at the end of the year means another “we have to pass it so you can find out what’s in it” bill full of pork, special interest favors, loopholes for cronies and other hallmarks of today’s Washington establishment political culture.

Congressional Democrats said Tuesday they won't agree to any immigration bill that lacks a way to citizenship for the millions of illegal immigrants already here – in reality this means at least 11 million, plus the members of their extended families they might legally bring to this country once they are “legalized.”

The good news to come from Wednesday’s meeting of the House Republican Conference is that protectors of American sovereignty are standing tall and bringing rank-and-file members of the House Republican Conference with them.

“There's no question that the momentum is on the side of those who want to defend the rule of law,” said principled constitutional conservative Steve King of Iowa. “You don't give citizenship away,” said King. “It is a precious thing.”

King held a packed meeting Monday night to walk colleagues through why House Republicans should proudly defeat the Obama – Rubio bill. According to reporting by POLITICO, King said the Senate’s immigration plan would help “elites who want cheap labor, Democratic power brokers, and those who hire illegal labor.”

“It would hurt Republicans, and I don’t think you can make an argument otherwise,” King said. “Two out of every three of the new citizens would be Democrats.”

Steve King is right.

House Republicans must wake-up to the threat to the future of this country and their own political futures posed by the false urgency behind the passage of S. 744 or a similar amnesty proposal.  The real priorities of American voters and their families remain jobs and the economy, neither of which are advanced by caving-in to the demands of the cheap labor wing of the business community or the political ambitions of Marco Rubio and Barack Obama.

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