Lobbyists, on the march! The coming weeks will see the formal start of the GOP House leadership’s attempt to sneak an immigration amnesty through the Republican caucus and into law. We don’t know the exact details of the proposals, but we know enough:
1) There will be some form of legalization (conditional amnesty) for the 11 million illegal immigrants already here. It won’t give them a “special” path to citizenship, but they will likely be able to pursue citizenship through regular old channels. Either way, the message sent to potential future immigrants will be, “If you come here illegally, you’ll get to stay legally.” Plus, once the bill has passed the Democratic campaign to paint the GOP as racist for not granting general citizenship to the whole group will begin.
2) There will be an attempt to describe Speaker Boehner’s “piecemeal” collection of immigration bills as an “enforcement first” arrangement that will prevent another, future illegal wave despite the incentive created by what will be two successive amnesties. Since Democrats and Latino groups would never go for an actual “enforcement first” approach–e.g., enacting universal E-verify, an exit-entry system, building a fence and waiting a few years for legal challenges to peter out**–this claim will necessarily be a fraud, the framing of which will be a key challenge for Boehner & Co.. Presumably just saying “Hey we passed the enforcement part of the bill a week before we passed the amnesty part” won’t do, nor will letting President Obama decide when the enforcement mechanisms are sufficiently “in place.”
Read the rest here.