The House GOP’s sham immigration ‘prrinciples’

Posted by AzBlueMeanie:

Last November I posted Remember in November: Weeper of the House John Boehner kills immigration reform:

Despite the GOP 2012 post-election "autopsy" declaring the policy goal that the GOP has to enact immigration reform, today the Weeper of the House effectively declared that "immigration reform ain't happenin' on my watch, no way, no how — ever." There's a solution to this problem: elect a Democratic Congress in 2014.

This week the Tea-Publicans in the House announced a set of "principles" for immigration reform in the House. The "principles" are available online here (pdf) — a one-pager.

It's important to note that these "principles" are not a plan for legislative action. There is no bill, nor any promise of a bill. The "principles" were negotiated entirely within the GOP Caucus between the establishment GOP wing that wants immigration reform, and the nativists and racists of the anti-immigrant wing.

The result is the same as last November: Boehner Promises GOP: No Path To Citizenship In Immigration Reform:

Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) told House Republicans that the immigration blueprint his leadership team released on Thursday was "as far as we are willing to go" to make reform happen, according to a source in the room.

So what exactly does that mean? You released a set of "principles," so "my work here is done, I'm going home"?

Boehner made a plea to members to support legislation that reflects those standards, describing them as a "fair, principled way for us to solve this issue," and asked for their input to improve them. He excoriated the Senate-passed overhaul as "massive" and "flawed" and promised that the House won't negotiate on it.

"If you have good ideas for improving these standards, we want to hear it," Boehner told his members. "The rest of the leaders and I want your feedback."

The White House and top Democrats welcomed the GOP's move as a step forward in the debate, indicating that they're willing to work with the contours of the blueprint.

Wait, what now? How is this a step forward? The Tea-Publican House has: (1) rejected the bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform bill passed by the Senate last year, (2) Boehner steadfastly refuses to go to a conference committee with the Senate on any bill(s) that may emerge from the House — effectively saying "My way or no way! Take it or lave it.", (3) the Tea-Publican House "principles" provide a limited pathway to citizenship for young children brought here by their parents — a mini-DREAM Act if you will — but not for older children who came here with their parents, and (4) the "principles" expressly declare "There will be no special path to citizenship" for the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States.

Instead, the Tea-Publican House "principles" offer only what is in effect "permanent residency status" to those who can jump through a set of yet unspecified hoops, but only after the "border security first" metrics have been met. How that subjective determination is to be made is unspecified. This strikes me as an Illusory Promise. The Tea-Publican House is offering only a half-measure, one that they have no intention of ever delivering on.

I have been surprised by how many in the media have characterized this as a hopeful sign for comprehensive immigration reform. Even the New York Times editorialized today, Fixing Immigration, in Principle:

The question about the nation’s 11 million unauthorized immigrants has always been this: Are they out or in? Criminals or potential Americans? The new principles say that these immigrants must “get right with the law.” This is a big change from “get out,” the central immigration position of the Republicans’ 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, who embraced the “self-deportation” mantra of his adviser Kris Kobach, author of Arizona’s brutal immigration law. Mr. Romney’s moral and electoral failure left his party in dire straits with Latino voters. From absolute denial to the brink of grudging acceptance is a big step away from neo-nativism.

This is setting the bar awfully low for praise of this set of "principles." If the nativists and racists are not burning a cross on your front yard but begrudgingly suggest that you can stay, but only after you pass several tests first that they have yet to think up — and you will never be fully accepted, you will always be a permanent non-citizen underclass in America — this is progress?

This proposal is a sham. Tea-Publicans in the House are not going to pass any genuine comprehensive immigration reform bill. They are playing the media villagers and Beltway pundits who want to believe.

This is Charlie Brown and Lucy all over again. Do not fall for it.

Lucyfootball

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