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Friday, January 31, 2014

Griper Blade: On Immigration, Will the GOP Cave to Racists?

Anti-immigration protesters
In a piece for The Daily Beast, Patricia Murphy writes that a new front is about to open up in the GOP Civil War. At this very moment, House Republicans are locked away at a "retreat," where they're trying to knock together some sort of immigration reform bill. So far, John Boehner has put forth two principles -- one vague and one specific -- that would be required to get House leadership's support. The first is the vague one: that any law would go into effect only after so far undefined "specific enforcement triggers have been implemented." The second is that there be no pathway to citizenship.

Actually, it would be more accurate to say that there would be no automatic pathway to citizenship -- people covered by the reforms would have nothing standing in the way of citizenship, other than the fact that they'd have to officially declare that desire. This is pretty much a fig leaf for the GOP, whose messaging had until recently argued that a pathway to citizenship was "amnesty" and the worst thing ever! By saying there's "no pathway to citizenship," House leaders hope to avoid charges of "caving" to Democrats on the issue. But it would be much more accurate to say there would no longer be any glide path to citizenship, since the path is cleared of any obstacles, should you wish to follow it. You've just got to land the thing yourself.

Whether that fig leaf is enough to get enough Republicans on board is still an open question. Greg Sargent has argued that we'll know when they define the "specific enforcement triggers." If the triggers are unreasonable and unattainable, like a giant wall closing off a ridiculous percentage of the southern border or 100% use of and compliance with e-Verify, then that means Republicans have failed to agree among themselves and they're trying to blame the failure of reform on Democrats...[CLICK TO READ FULL POST]

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