House Republicans may not pass an immigration bill before the end of the year, but that doesn’t mean the reform effort is dead. The August recess provides immigration-reform activists the opportunity to mobilize support from their activists. Several pro-immigration groups are already preparing to target dozens of House Republicans who may be amenable to some form of legislation providing citizenship for undocumented immigrants…

[I]t will take more than House inaction to kill the immigration-reform effort that received a jolt of momentum after the Senate passed a wide-ranging bill in June. In 2006, when the Senate passed a similar immigration bill, House Republicans rebelled and staged a series of hearings during August to decry the bill. The next year, the Senate took up immigration reform again. It wasn’t until that legislation died in the Senate in the summer of 2007 that the House opponents could rest easy. This year, Republicans are still concerned about alienating Hispanic voters, who overwhelmingly voted Democratic in 2012, in the next presidential election.

“The most credible information I’ve heard is that they want to find out in August what people think,” Noorani said. “If they come out of August saying, ‘That was a wash,’ we win.”

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House Republicans head home for the August break having done little to pass immigration reform, falling well short of Speaker John Boehner’s goal of voting on legislation before next week’s monthlong recess begins. But far from a failure of leadership, top House Republicans are casting the inaction as a tactical play designed to boost reform’s chances.

Keeping immigration on the back-burner helps avoid a recess filled with angry town-hall meetings reminiscent of the heated August 2009 protests where the backlash against health care reform coalesced. Doing nothing also starves Democrats of a target, Republicans argue.

“August was a central part of our discussions. People don’t want to go home and get screamed at,” a House GOP leadership aide said.

Instead, they’ll go home and talk about the need to stop government overreach, trying to draw voters’ attention back to the now largely dormant IRS controversy and the dismantling of Obamacare, a message that plays well with the Republican base.

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In response to a question at a town hall event this week, Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) suggested that a majority of House Republicans support granting amnesty through a GOP version of the DREAM Act to young illegal aliens who were brought to America as minors by their parents…

“They’re going to move one bill after another dealing with all the various issues that were contained in the Senate bill,” Schock said to the town hall, as seen in video posted on YouTube. “So first, the border security bill should be the first bill that moves in the House. I think that’s going to be an easy bill to pass. It passed out of the Homeland Security Committee with almost unanimous support. Almost every Republican and Democrat on Homeland Security voted for the House border security bill. I think that will pass the House and I think that’s a done deal and that’s done with. Then, you’re going to deal with your high-tech visas and your ag visa worker programs. I think, again, you’re going to get overwhelming bipartisan support on those provisions. I don’t know what the final language is going to look like.”…

“Then you’re going to have a third bill which is going to deal with your DREAM Act kids, those who were brought here illegally by their parents,” Schock said. “I think, again, you’re going to get a bipartisan vote on a House version of the DREAM Act.”

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) expressed little optimism that any piecemeal immigration measures passed in the House will make their way to a conference committee with the Senate…

“I’m afraid even though they passed these things piecemeal, they won’t allow their members to go to conference,” Reid said in a KNPR interview…

“If we go to conference, we will win,” he said. “In a public debate, it is easy. We would win that easy.”

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A version of the DREAM Act is — tentatively called the Kids Act — being drafted by Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) and Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-TX). If that passes, Democrats may be willing to go to conference and expand the pathway there…

[T]here House Republicans would be marginalized. A final product would simply need the support of a majority of conferees from each chamber in order to get floor votes in the House and Senate. All Democrats would stand firm for a broader citizenship component for all 11 million undocumented immigrants, and enough Republicans, particularly in the Senate where 14 of them voted for the policy, would probably go along with them. A bill similar to the Senate version would easily pass the House with mostly Democratic votes.

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“The outcome has to be comprehensive immigration reform,” [Jay] Carney told reporters. “How we get from here to there in the House is an open question,” he said, reversing prior demands for House passage of a single large, or comprehensive, rewrite…

Carney’s statement fueled suspicions by conservatives and immigration-reform advocates that GOP leaders are colluding with White House leaders, progressives and business groups to draft a major bill during a closed-door conference of Senate and House legislators in September and October…

It is not clear how much of the Democrat-led Senate bill would be acceptable to GOP leaders during a joint conference.

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The fix is in. And remember, once this bill arrives in the Senate, we all know that Mitch McConnell will work in the shadows to ensure that McCain and Graham adulterate the House bills with amnesty, albeit without his fingerprints on the deal.

So just in case you thought that Republicans would be spending the August recess plotting how to hang Obamacare around the necks of the Democrats, think again. They are plotting how to distract the public from Obamacare and join with Schumer to pass amnesty.

It’s becoming clear that the powers that be within the national party are beckoning for a new base of voters. It’s incumbent upon us to search for new elected Republican leaders.

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Once the Gang of 8 bill cleared the Senate, the best hope of blocking it was to delay House consideration until after the August recess, when the Republican grass roots could attend town halls and drive home that they’d oppose any backsliding from their elected Representatives. At the same time, it became clear that the amnesty-friendly GOP House leadership realized that the way to sneak amnesty through was to not talk about it, lest those grass roots get riled up. Hence, the Boehner “piecemeal” strategy–nothing to see here, just a few little bills!

Into this void stepped Cruz, who made a bold attempt to rouse a “grassroots army” for the cause of … defunding Obamacare. So instead of haranguing their members about unchecked immigration, hard core red-staters would harangue them about the Democrats’ health care plans. Cruz’s strategy had no hope of actually defunding Obamacare,. By attempting to shut down the government over the issue it had a much greater chance of reviving Democratic fortunes. (I thought Republicans had learned from the past two or three times this tactic failed).

And it might wind up giving us amnesty. Democrats are secretly delighted, of course: with the Tea Partiers distracted, fence-sitting Reps might have enough breathing room in the fall to sneak some kind of mass legalization through–maybe not a full “path to citizenship” for everyone, but Dems could go back and fix that later, once the millions of illegals had been given legal status.

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I doubt even these GOP leaders themselves know what they’re going to do in the coming months, or maybe even what they want to end up with. But it’s clear they face pressure to pass a legalization bill–and that the pressure is internal, not external. If they let amnesty come to a vote, it won’t be because La Raza stages 360 events or Frank Sharry chains himself to the White House fence. It will be because big Republican donors, businessmen and consultants are whispering in their ears. The only force stopping them, on the other hand, is external: fear of a rebellion by the GOP caucus. And the main thing driving such a rebellion would be intense opposition from GOP voters back home.

If those voters seem to care–as polls show they do–legalization can be blocked. If not, it will go through. It’s that simple…

Nor is this a debate we’ll necessarily have, year after year, until an amnesty passes. If the Republican base holds firm, blocks legalization and Republicans still do well in the 2014 elections (as expected), it seems entirely possible that the next immigration reform debate will center on a different approach–securing the border first, and only then planning legalization. That’s unacceptable to Democrats now, but it doesn’t have to be–if the right people show up at town halls in August.

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Via Gallup.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s advocacy group unveiled a new ad pro-immigration reform ad yesterday that caps off a busy week of activities for FWD.us…

FWD.us, which is backed by the major players in the technology industry, is pushing for reform that includes the DREAM Act, which creates a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children…

“We are running this ad to put a very human face on our broken immigration system,” said FWD.us President Joe Green, who co-founded FWD.us with Zuckerberg, in a statement. “We hope that by showing Americans the cost of this broken system and the contributions people like Alejandro are already making, they will join with us in supporting real reform.”