For the patriotic immigration reform movement, these post-Obama re-election days are the darkest. Finding reasons to maintain a positive mindset is a challenge. Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner told ABC’s Diane Sawyer that he’s “confident” that Obama and he can “find common ground” on a “bipartisan immigration overhaul.” Earlier in the week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid threatened the Republicans that if they chose to not cooperate with Democrats on amnesty, which he promised to bring up early in the 113th Congress, they would be doing so “at their own peril.” Vice President Joe Biden chimed in with similar “harsh rhetoric”—pun intended. Read the CAPS homepage story about the Obama/Reid agenda here.
Boehner’s complete statement is vague enough so that defining exactly what it may mean is impossible:
“This issue [immigration reform] has been around far too long. A comprehensive approach is long overdue, and I’m confident that the president, myself, others can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all.”
The media interprets that Boehner agrees with Reid on amnesty. But common ground could include E-Verify, eliminating the diversity lottery or ending chain migration and birthright citizenship.
Senator Lindsay Graham thinks so. On his Twitter account, Graham wrote that:
“Assimilation must be a major component in any immigration reform proposal. We must also address the issue of birthright citizenship or we will continue to have illegal immigration for as far as the eye can see. Without changes in birthright citizenship we will have future waves of illegal immigration.” [Graham: Immigration Reform Must Be Dealt with ‘Once and for All,’ by Cameron Joseph, The Hill, November 8, 2012]
These might be bargaining chips that the GOP could use. The problem is that the Democrats have never given the slightest willingness to surrender anything immigration related including birthright citizenship. Under those circumstances, reaching “common ground” is a stretch.
Adding to our collective anxiety, every news story relentlessly pounds away at the Hispanic voting influence as if the electorate had no other participants. Exit polling proves that Romney’s failure with middle class white voters cost him more dearly than his lack of appeal to Hispanics. For example, Ohio is 84 percent white, only 3 percent Hispanic but is one of several demographically similar states that Obama captured. My CAPS blog about the Hispanic voter nonsensical hype is here.
For all of Reid’s bravado about needing only a few Senate Republicans to pass his amnesty agenda, it’s important to remember that we’ve heard these threats multiple times in past years. Democrats have never been able to pull it off.
Citing history, Republican Senator David Vitter said that he’s not prepared to support an immigration policy that paves the way to granting millions of illegals amnesty. Remembering the failed 2007 initiative pushed by then-President George W. Bush and the late Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Vitter said he favors a multi-phase approach that first intensifies enforcement of America borders and only after a period of time would he consider addressing the current pool of illegal immigrants. [GOP Senator Sees More Gridlock, by Mitch Morrison, CPS News, November 8, 2012]
Granted that the landscape is different (worse) but nevertheless, it’s a long way between saying something and getting it done. Also worth noting is that we have a handful of Democratic Senate allies (see the list here) who could help offset Republican defectors, depending on how many there are
Mostly ignored in these rabid pro-amnesty days is that the Republican-controlled House of Representatives will have its say. Many like Lamar Smith, Steve King and Bob Goodlatte will have powerful position in the House Judiciary and are vigorously opposed to amnesty.
In summary, much of what we read and hear is speculation, its intensity fueled by a semi-delirious media. What may actually happen is anyone’s guess. Nevertheless, the amnesty threat is real. We need to take a deep breath, not be overwhelmed by negativity but also immediately prepare for the toughest—but still winnable—fight we’re had to date.