Surprise: Democrats want to link comprehensive immigration reform to House GOP's border crisis bill; Update: No way, says Boehner

Via Breitbart, a rational move if you’re an amnesty shill, no? Obama and Reid know the House won’t pass a mega-bill legalizing all of America’s illegals simply to get O to agree to slow the influx of Central American kids at the border, but that’s okay. When the House ends up choking on this counteroffer, Democrats can get back to their “Republicans hate Latinos or else they’d pass reform” talking points. If they can’t get an amnesty deal out of this crisis, at least they’re going to exploit it to stoke the GOP leadership’s panic over losing Latino voters for good.


Here’s today’s reminder that Democrats will never agree to improve security for the sake of improving security, even during a sustained surge of illegals across the border. There needs to be a concession to make them undertake something so unpalatable.

If House Republicans pass a pared-down funding bill for the border crisis, Senate Democrats are warning they may try to attach the Gang of Eight’s comprehensive immigration reform bill to the package…

“The only way any piece of the House proposal could become law is if it was conferenced with the Senate’s comprehensive immigration reform bill, which is something we’d certainly consider,” a senior Democratic aide said Tuesday.

The four GOP members of the Senate’s Gang of Eight bill have already warned against any proposal that links President Barack Obama’s request for border aid money with the immigration legislation that cleared the Senate last year with the support of 14 Republicans.

“While we continue to support the goals of comprehensive immigration reform, none of us would support including that bill in legislation needed this year to address the current humanitarian crisis on our southern border,” said Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina plus John McCain and Jeff Flake of Arizona.

Border hawks like Mickey Kaus are forever worried that an innocuous House bill on immigration could be transformed during a conference committee into a trojan horse for the Gang of Eight bill, but it’s hard to see that happening if Republican Gang-of-Eighters are themselves opposed to a grand bargain on amnesty right now. As for the House bill itself, Matt Boyle notes that it does nothing to undo Obama’s 2012 amnesty for DREAMers (a.k.a. DACA):


The final legislation that Boehner’s border crisis working group, led by Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), introduced on Tuesday afternoon includes no plan to fight the president on his executive amnesty plans, despite numerous efforts by senior conservative Republicans to get the speaker to do so. Instead, Boehner’s plan offers $659 million for the border crisis and makes a few minor changes in policy that don’t get close to solving what key immigration hawks say is the root cause of the problem: the perennial promise of amnesty to illegal aliens by executive order from President Obama.

Ted Cruz wanted a bill that would end DACA eligibility for future illegals without quite repealing it for illegals already enrolled in the program. That’s a small concession to the political reality with which Republicans have been coping since election day 2012, namely, while they’re willing to delay comprehensive immigration reform and have minor skirmishes with Obama on executive amnesty, they won’t engage in a high-stakes battle for fear of alienating Latinos. They won’t try to repeal DACA; Democrats will say “Republicans hate Latino children.” They won’t categorically rule out comprehensive reform, even now, despite the fact that the border crisis has proved Democrats have no intentions whatsoever of enforcing the border. They’ll complain about executive overreach in Obama’s promise to legalize millions more illegals by presidential order later this summer, but they won’t impeach him over it — in fact, they won’t even include immigration in their separation-of-powers lawsuit. Clearly, fear of demographic change means Republicans will never take a firm “security first, legalization later” approach, so why even hold out at this point? What does delaying the inevitable achieve? Public opinion would have to turn heavily towards enforcement for them to be willing to do that; it’s turned a little (maybe?), but not so much that Republicans are going to risk long-term alienation of Latinos by gambling on “security first now. So what are they waiting for?


Update: As expected, Boehner says no way to comprehensive immigration reform — for now.

“Senator Reid, embarrassed that he cannot strong-arm the Senate into passing the blank check President Obama demanded, is making a deceitful and cynical attempt to derail the House’s common-sense solution. So let me be as clear as I can be with Senator Reid: the House of Representatives will not take up the Senate immigration reform bill or accept it back from the Senate in any fashion. Nor will we accept any attempt to add any other comprehensive immigration reform bill or anything like it, including the DREAM Act, to the House’s targeted legislation, which is meant to fix the actual problems causing the border crisis. Such measures have no place in the effort to solve this crisis, and any attempt to exploit this crisis by adding such measures will run into a brick wall in the People’s House.

“While the White House has abandoned all pretense of governing and the Senate is doing almost nothing to address our struggling economy, Republicans remain committed to addressing the American people’s priorities, and that includes passing a responsible bill this week to help secure our border and return these children safely to their home countries.”

He can’t turn around in the middle of a border crisis, three months out from the midterms and with Dave Brat having nuked Eric Cantor on immigration, and agree to amnesty. Try him again next year, though!

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Jazz Shaw 8:30 AM | February 25, 2024