The Senate passed a sensible immigration reform bill, but the GOP-controlled House is afraid to move forward. If House Speaker John Boehner allowed a free up-or-down vote, the Senate bill would pass. But then the House's xenophobic fringe would rise in open revolt. Boehner prizes his job too much.
So last week, he announced a new set of GOP "principles". It leads with border fences, of course, crying that President Barack Obama hasn't enforced the law. For the record, Obama has already deported more people than George W. Bush did during his entire eight years. It throws in some visa tracking technology, employment verification, a temporary worker program (to create a serf-like system of cheap labor), a DREAM Act-like mechanism to naturalize the children of undocumented immigrants, and an explicit path to legalization, but not citizenship.
For Republicans acting out of demographic desperation, it seems weird to say to Latinos, "We won't deport you, but fuck you you'll never be American". And when your principles include "Employment Verification and Workplace Enforcement" and "Implement Entry-Exit Visa Tracking System", you're being self-defeating, actually. But it's clear that conservative opposition to naturalizing is insurmountable.
But hey, even this bunch of weak-tea "reform" proposals has the xenophobes, the same ones screaming about multicultural Coke ads, up in arms.
“I think it should cost him his speakership,” Rep. Raúl R. Labrador of Idaho warned, if Boehner puts an immigration overhaul on the floor.And...
“If there’s one thing that could blow up GOP chances for a good 2014, it would be an explosive debate over immigration in the House,” William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, wrote in a public memo to Republicans.And...
“Bringing immigration to the floor [insures] a circular GOP firing squad, instead of a nicely lined-up one shooting together and in unison at ObamaCare and other horrors of big government liberalism,” he wrote.
Cruz went further, suggesting that the GOP focus on immigration "makes utterly no sense unless your objective is to keep Harry Reid as majority leader. Anyone pushing for Congress to take up amnesty right now — which if it passed would keep millions of Americans home in November, it’s the one thing that could maintain a Democratic majority — is if Congress goes out of its way to affirmatively pass an amnesty bill. And anyone pushing that right now should go ahead and put a ‘Harry Reid for Majority Leader’ bumper sticker on their car."Remember, there isn't even legislation yet. The xenophobes are freaking out over a statement of principles! So, no, immigration reform won't be happening anytime soon. Not until Democrats retake the House.
That's bad news for undocumented immigrants and their families. And it's also bad for the GOP. Some day, they'll finally figure that out.