August 1, 2014

Pre-Recess Immigration Scramble

House Republicans tried, failed and are going to try again to pass an immigration bill.

House Republican leadership tried to pass their $659 million border bill this week, only to fail, abandon hope, begin to disband for recess … and then call everyone back to take another crack at it Friday. The Republican bill is a fraction of the $3.7 billion in emergency money requested by the Obama administration to deal with the flood of illegal minors crossing the border from Central America. Yet leadership couldn’t rally their own troops.

The delayed recess is little more than a political move to show Republicans are determined to get something done before Barack Obama issues an executive order after the recess – or, more likely, during the recess. If the president grants amnesty to millions of illegals with a stroke of his pen, it would be an impeachable disregard for Rule of Law, but we’ve already covered what happens down that road.

Furthermore, regardless of what the House does, Harry Reid’s Senate will do what they always do: Nothing. Indeed, the Senate will adjourn Friday without taking up anything the House might pass, while it failed to pass its own $2.7 billion bill. All that to say, if the House passes something, then what?

As we noted Wednesday, many House conservatives fed up with Obama’s illegal executive orders are disappointed the bill won’t include any attempt to dismember his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, a “memorandum” (i.e., diktat) from 2012 that ostensibly gives about 500,000 “qualified” 15-year-old aliens a period of two years to earn employment authorization to prevent their deportation. Reportedly, a separate measure to do that was watered down this week, which, according to Rep. John Fleming (R-LA), “shut off some yes votes.”

Republicans should also amend the 2008 anti-trafficking law that allows minors from Central America to stay instead of being immediately deported as are minors from Mexico or Canada. The GOP bill doesn’t do that. Worse, a Center for Immigration Studies analysis warns the House bill’s security provisions are actually a “Trojan Horse permitting unaccompanied minors to ask for adjustment of status to lawful permanent residence.”

Political analyst Charles Krauthammer says it’s “incomprehensible” that Republicans were unable to get their act together. He argued, “It is ridiculous to sue the president on a Wednesday because he oversteps the law, as he has done a dozen times, illegally and unconstitutionally, and then on a Thursday say that he should overstep the law, contradict the law that passed in 2008, and deal with this himself.”

According to The Washington Post, “The congressional chaos ensured that President Obama’s administration will not have the resources necessary to stem the recent tide of tens of thousands of migrants from Central America, many of them children entering the United States alone, until mid-September at the earliest.” We don’t buy that for a minute. The president has the resources he needs to enforce immigration laws, but he has chosen not to stem the tide of illegals.

Immigration is shaping up to be the defining issue of the 2014 election – more so than ObamaCare, the administration’s numerous scandals, or any other issue. Voters don’t believe Obama wants to do much about it, either. In fact, according to Rasmussen, “Voters think President Obama is doing a poor job handling the latest immigration crisis and believe he wants to let most of the new illegal immigrants stay here despite majority support for their quick deportation.” Meanwhile, Republicans are infighting over tactics and seem incapable of crafting a coherent and winning strategy.

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