This is almost certainly empty posturing aimed at making the House GOP’s plan look “tough,” which in turn will make it easier for Republicans to sell the bill to conservatives and will keep liberals motivated to further weaken the new law once it passes. But I guess there’s a one percent chance that this guy is so stupid that he’d refuse the gift-wrapped amnesty that Boehner and Paul Ryan are preparing for him.

We’ll know soon.

Trumka was emphatic that, if a “direct” path to citizenship is not included, the AFL-CIO would withdraw from a broad coalition that helped the White House shepherd a comprehensive overhaul of immigration laws through the Senate last year.

“It means they would never get citizenship, never get a green card,” Trumka said during an hour-long interview in his office overlooking the White House. “It’s a joke. It’s a hoax, is what it is. It’s like fool’s gold.”…

“Without citizenship, it’s a nonstarter because you can’t fix a broken immigration system and create a vast class of millions of people living in the community and working in our workplaces without citizenship. You can’t do that. They have no rights,” Trumka said. “The labor unions are united. Our price of admission is citizenship. Republicans aren’t talking seriously until they start talking about citizenship, and that means a direct route to green cards and a real path to citizenship.”

By “direct” path, I take it he means a “special” path to citizenship, i.e. one created under the new bill specifically for illegals who are here. That’s the one thing the House GOP won’t do. In order to get conservatives to kinda sorta tolerate amnesty, they need to convince them that the House bill is much tougher than the widely loathed Schumer-Rubio Gang of Eight bill. The latter did offer a special path to citizenship — although that wasn’t its chief flaw — so the House will make sure that theirs doesn’t. What the House will do, according to Paul Ryan, is allow illegals to seek green cards and then eventually apply for citizenship through existing channels. Not only that, but per the WSJ, they’re going to make sure that that process isn’t too burdensome:

The legislation under development also would allow this group to tap into existing paths, available to any newcomer, to gain permanent legal residence, also known as a green card. Once someone has a green card, they are eligible to apply for citizenship.

At the same time, the legislation would make substantial changes to immigration law to clear impediments from those existing paths. Without those changes, illegal immigrants would face big backlogs and requirements that they return to their home countries before applying for a green card.

In other words, Trumka’s getting nearly everything he could want from a “special” path to citizenship in the House GOP’s plan — easy and early legalization for illegals, permanent residency down the line, and some legislative tweaks to remove obstacles between that point A and point B. I don’t know what more he could want. The idea that he really would blow up this deal simply because the proposed path to citizenship is nominally under “existing” law rather than specially created is unfathomable — and yet, Pelosi has also been grousing lately about the lack of any new path to citizenship in the House GOP scheme.

I have to assume this is just her and Trumka’s way of reassuring the left that they’ve put up a fight before they accept the GOP’s giveaway compromise. To see why, click the first link up top and scroll down for the most revealing quote in the WaPo piece. That one doesn’t come from Trumka; it comes from amnesty-shill extraordinaire Frank Sharry, who, wouldn’t you know it, thinks the Boehner/Ryan scheme has the makings of a workable deal. Of course he does: He knows that “probationary legalization” without any hard preconditions on security will lead inevitably to full legalization and, in time, citizenship. Soon Trumka will know too, in case he doesn’t already.