Tom Tancredo, then a Colorado congressman famous for being the House’s loudest foe of immigration reform, said Pence’s plan was “just the 1986 amnesty with a trip home tacked on.” And Phyllis Schlafly’s group, Eagle Forum, ripped him as a sell-out to globalists. VDARE, a white supremacist site that argues immigration will make America a Third World dystopian wasteland, said he was “slumming with the open borders lobby.”
In short, proposal went over like a lead balloon, and Bush’s reform efforts failed. But that didn’t stop Pence . After his effort failed, he kept arguing that an immigration compromise was politically doable, saying on Fox News in 2011 that “the rational middle ground that President Bush called us to a year ago that is neither mass deportation nor amnesty” could still get through Congress.
Spoiler: Ten years later, it still can’t.
As governor, he criticized two of Trump’s most anti-immigrant statements: his pitch for a ban on Muslim immigrants and his criticism of Judge Gonzalo Curiel as biased against him because his parents are Mexican immigrants. Pence’s criticism wasn’t exactly blistering in either case.
But at a time when some loyal Trump surrogates manned the barricades, Pence defected.