It was House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-23 District, CA) who left the "cat out of the bag" as to how the House will deal with immigration reform, when according to an interview McCarthy gave to eyewitness News in Bakersfield, CA on Wednesday, January 22, "Republican leaders are calling for the first time to give legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants living in the United States,” signaling that amnesty will be part of the House Republican “piecemeal” immigration strategy. McCarthy's district just happens to include a huge Hispanic population. Hispanics now equal the number of whites in California.
A clue to what John Boehner really had in mind was when in December of last year Boehner hired an adviser who had helped Sen. John McCain push comprehensive immigration, Rebecca Tallent, a well-known expert in the field of immigration.
What is the piecemeal deal now being considered by top House Republicans? It is a set of principles and standard by which the GOP can proceed on the path to full-scale reform. At an upcoming House Republican Conference annual retreat beginning on January 29th to discuss their legislative agenda, immigration reform will undoubtedly be front and center in the lead up to the endorsement of piecemeal immigration reform by House Republicans.
The two shiny objects in the Republican piecemeal approach to immigration which seem to glitter with so much promise in the eyes of Republican Party Leadership and many establishment members are twofold, the Dream Act and amnesty for agricultural workers.
1. Dream (or KIDS) Act: The stand-alone House version of this bill has not yet been unveiled, but the Gang of 8's DREAM plank would legalize between 2-3 million individuals currently in the country illegally. Once legalized, they could then sponsor family member--those abroad and those who are currently in the country illegally--resulting in a "chain migration" that could triple the number of amnesty recipients.
Although this act might initially sound like the compassionate thing as it represents a law for children, but under the Senate bill there is no age requirement in applying for amnesty as long as the child has a high school diploma and was under the age of 16 when they entered unlawfully. Given the president broad use of executive power, he has board discretion to waive various requirements of a bill by giving special exemptions for hardship or public interest.
Consider also that each new citizen would be eligible for a host of mean-tested welfare program as a cost that might well amount to billions each year. The House version might vary, but most likely it will contain the same framework.
2. Agriculture Jobs Amnesty: H.R. 1773 (The "Agricultural Guest Worker Act") would grant amnesty to all current illegal agricultural workers and welcomes 500,000 new workers each year (permitting the Secretary of Agriculture full discretion to raise the cap to accommodate a number of elusive considerations). Not unlike the DREAM Act, H.R. 1773 creates a new center of gravity from which chain legalization and government subsidies will follow.
Are House establishment Republican about to put hood-winked again by their naivete in believing that any piecemeal approach to immigration would survive once their proposed bills did go to conference with the Senate's version produced by the Gang of Eight (S. 744).
Remember the recent Ryan/Murray budget proposal and its final conference product.
Consider what Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) had to say on August 7, 2013:
We would prefer a big comprehensive bill but any way the House can get there is okay by us. If they pass individual, smaller bills they will get agglomerated.
Why would President Obama support a piecemeal approach to immigration reform? President Obama. according to The Wall Street Journal, said he would be willing to accept a series of immigration bills instead of a single piece of comprehensive legislation that overhauls immigration policy, so long as the outcome would be the same as the Senate's Gang of Eight bill.
Statement such as the above should raise the antenna of House Republicans. They have for Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), who in voting "no" on the Senate bill believes that the Republican-controlled House should be dubious and remain on alert. Sessions' statement of warning:
It's not step-by-step if the individual bills are combined into a comprehensive proposal in a backroom negotiation and delivered to the president's desk.
Instead, the House must insist that enforcement is accomplished before advancing any other immigration bills.
It would be wise for members of Congress when attending their annual retreat on January 29th to vocally oppose any plan to unveil and pass piecemeal immigration bills during this Congress, for in the conformation process such bills could be capitulated and even ignored by President Obama.
Ignoring the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and big Republican donors who are in favor or amnesty and who are pushing the House to rally to their cause is a big order for establishment Republicans to fulfill. Are they really up to the challenge given their propensity to be liked and with policies that are Democrat-lite in nature?
Michell Malkin makes the case why Republican legislators should not be wooed by what is literally a wolf in sheep's clothing -- the U.S. Chamber of Commerce -- in her article of January 24, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce vs. America.
When businesses get in the government handout line, it’s not a “public-private partnership.” It’s corporate welfare. Venture socialism. Whatever you call it, it stinks as much under Democrat administrations as it does under Republican ones.
Always beware of Washington business-boosters wearing false free-market facades.
Malkin goes on to explain in her article, among many troubling facts about the U.S. Chamber of Commerce:
- How the chamber is one of the staunchest promoters of mass illegal immigration, and joined with the AFL-CIO and American Civil Liberties Union to oppose immigration enforcement measures.
- How the chamber opposed E-verify and sued Arizona over its employer sanctions law.
- How the chamber supported a pro-ObamaCare, pro-TARP, pro-stimulus, pro-amnesty Democrat in Arizona over his free-market GOP challenger.
The two shiny objects are destined to become tarnished objects to sully the Republican Party brand and cause irreparable damage, if the House Republican Party leadership insists on following through – egged on by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and wealthy Republican donors – with its doomed piecemeal approach to illegal immigration.
Get active and call your Illinois U.S. representative. If Republican, there are six Illinois Republican U.S. congressmen. Tell them not to support the piecemeal amnesty strategy that the Republican establishment hopes to have approved at next week's Republican House annual retreat.
It’s better to do nothing than to go to conference with the Senate and find that the final outcome would be essentially the same as the Senate's Gang of Eight bill.