Rachel Maddow said last night on her show that the Senate policy announcement on immigration policy was pretty much taken from President Obama's earlier immigration policy statements. A concession to the President, in other words. But if you go back over time, it's hard to establish who said what first. Face it: this back and forth about immigration has been going on forever, not excluding the old warnings about invasions of, you know, those Germans, those Irish...
More to the point, a survey of immigration policy speeches over the past several years shows occasional caves on the part of Republicans. Republicans, maybe largely driven by 2014 and 2016, have tended to move left on the issue. Election losses only made this more necessary for them politically. Still, they continue to complain. We can expect that the fringers in the House will shoot the whole effort down. Or maybe not.
A secretive group of House members from both parties is racing to complete an immigration bill in the next two weeks with an eye toward introducing legislation before President Obama’s State of the Union address on Feb. 12, said two congressional aides who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the negotiations.
The draft bill, written behind closed doors by three Democrats and three Republicans, so far includes a path to legal status, new border security measures and tighter restrictions on employers. It tracks closely with the blueprint laid out by the bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday, said the aides....
...Like the senators’ framework announced Tuesday, the draft of the House bill allows most of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the country to apply for probationary legal status and contains border security and enforcement milestones that immigrants must meet before they can become lawful permanent residents. Unlike the Senate proposal, the House version does not set up a commission to certify that the border is secure.
One detail that has not been worked out yet between the House members is exactly how illegal immigrants who have been granted legal status will be allowed to apply for lawful permanent residence – a green card – and later, to apply for full citizenship.
“The most important thing right now is to keep the various efforts moving forward and not to draw lines in the sand,” Gutierrez said in his statement. “Every proposal can be amended at some point.” ...LATimes
Will this turn into a battle royal? Or has Boehner managed to lasso the tea party spoilers? Tune in...
Obama will be (probably is, at this writing) speaking about immigration in Las Vegas today. He plans to remain vague.
The White House was — and is — caught between two competing imperatives on immigration reform, as they are on most all major legislative initiatives. On the one hand, they want, and are expected to, “provide leadership.” That means everything from helping to guide the construction of the bill to making the public case for it. On the other hand, they know their involvement in the legislation could polarize it, giving Republicans a reason or, depending on your perspective, an excuse to vote against something they might otherwise have supported. ...Ezra Klein, WaPo
And (aw... jeez...) Republicans may demand total border security before they allow citizenship. Total border security? There isn't such a thing as border security anywhere in the world.
I figured they'd try that. Let's hope the "commission" includes people who know something about the day-to-day actualities of border security. I think the commission looks like the poison pill, the sequester...
One of the central questions about the Senate’s new immigration plan remains: Does the new Southwestern border commission it creates have to declare the border secure before the path to citizenship is triggered?
The answer is central to the prospects for reform. If the answer is Yes, the commission could give veto power over the fate of 11 million undocumented immigrants to the likes of Jan Brewer. Yet the bipartisan Gang of 8 Senators differ on this.On CBS this morning, John McCain said the “final decision” about whether the border is secure will be made by the Department of Homeland Security, which suggests a diminished role for this commission, while remaining inconclusive on precisely how this process will work. But in an interview with Ed Morrissey late yesterday, Marco Rubio suggested he won’t support a path to citizenship unless the commission does sign off on border security, a position he reiterated in another interview. There’s no clear agreement even among Republicans about the role of this commission. ...Greg Sargent, WaPo