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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) has introduced a new set of “triggers” designed to blow up the comprehensive immigration reform compromise forged by the Gang of Eight in the Senate. The senior’s senator’s amendment — which has only been released in draft form — would require that the border be declared “secure” before an actual “path to citizenship” begins, a deal-breaker for Senate Democrats.

This follows an announcement from key senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) that the bill he helped shape doesn’t have 60 votes — including his own — and Rep. Raul Labrador’s (R-WY) departure from a group of House Members attempting to negotiate its own immigration deal.

Republicans have been telling themselves they need to pass immigration reform since Mitt Romney did worse with Latino voters than John McCain, who did worse than George W. Bush. It was one of the only direct policy suggestions in the GOP “autopsy” commissioned by the Republican National Committee. Conservative talkers are declaring the whole thing “already dead.”

Rubio has been a steadfast leader in trying to sell the compromise to the right and has largely avoided the huge backlash that crushed reform in 2007, thanks — in part — to his base’s distraction with the Obama “scandals.”

But Cornyn may have successfully put Rubio in a “box,” Frank Sharry of the pro-reform group America’s Voice told The Washington Post‘s Greg Sargent. If Rubio doesn’t move to the right, he could lose credibility with conservatives, no matter how many times and in how many ways he says, “Repeal Obamacare!” If he does, reform is likely dead.

And even if Cornyn’s amendment passes, it’s likely unenforceable, meaning it’s designed just to short-circuit the process.

Some have been predicting that Rubio would eventually walk away from his own compromise, rather than destroy his career. John McCain was about to lead a reform effort that he ultimately turned against in order to secure the GOP presidential nomination. But Rubio isn’t trying to become the next John McCain.

I speculated in April that the GOP needs reform more than Rubio does — but that was weeks ago, when the bill was still amorphous. As much as the junior senator from Florida might like to insist that changes need to be made, the bill that Senator Harry Reid wants to bring to the floor of the Senate next week has Rubio’s name all over it.

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12 responses to “Can Republicans Save Immigration Reform From Themselves?”

  1. Another pitiful excuse to delay reforming legislature that should have been changed years ago. It is easier for people born in the countries where anti-Americanism and terrorism flourish to enter the USA via JFK or LAX with a student or tourist visa, than for a Mexican or Central American farm hand to enter the USA legally to work the land. Sadly, our fellow Democrats in Congress don’t have the guts to ask Tea Party supporters like Sen. Cornyn if his support of the status quo, which favor the entry of anyone except for people of Hispanic-Latino origins, mean that he believes terrorism has been “secured”.

  2. Lynda Groom says:

    Immigration reform is the only policy issue that the GOP has even been willing to try and move and here we are today watching them cower their way away from some of their own ideas. They are beyond worthless and stuck in fantasy land. It is unhealthy for the country to have one party totally out of touch with reality and the other one just less so.

    • The only reason they showed willingness to work with President Obama on the immigration reform issue is because they want to make sure the interests of their sponsors are not adversely affected by the legalization of immigrants of Hispanic-Latino origins or the expansion of visas to allow the legal entry of semi-skilled workers into the USA. They are well aware of the benefits derived from having a pseudo slave system, and the dangers of higher salaries and access to benefits to those that plow, seed, and harvest the land; to those that work in meat packing plants, to hospitality workers and every single worker without the right to complain and demand being treated like a human being.
      The issue of demanding assurances that the border has been secured is a ploy designed to derail immigration reform. Again, why doesn’t somebody ask him if terrorism has been secured, since he doesn’t seem to have a problem allowing people from countries where people hate our guts to come to the USA legally?

  3. dave jones says:

    if anyone really want to stem illegals. look at the employers. no jobs for illegals. no illegals. it is very simple. gop wants illegals for lower wage force and that’s it. the border issue is a ruse. no would could ever secure that.

  4. Catskinner says:

    American already has way too many people. In the interest of the environment, this legislation should be opposed at every level.

    • Independent1 says:

      What nonsense. You apparently don’t travel very much or you would have seen the sections of America where there are mile upon mile with hardly a person living in sight.

      • tax payer says:

        People have land and they don’t want people there, so they put their horses, and cattle there instead of putting houses there for more people to invade their privacy. We have too many people, but nothing compared to China.

        • Independent1 says:

          I really didn’t mean to be suggesting that America should be going out and gathering millions of people to increase its population, but with an estimated 2/3s of the land of 8 western states being federal lands that cattle growers are using for free to graze their cattle, suggesting that America has TOO MANY people is in my mind nonsense. Having said that, I actually feel that there are too many people on the planet being that there are many countries, such as Japan that are really over populated. (to give a comparison – Japan has a population density of 350 people/sq mile, compared to the U.S. which is about 75 people/sq mile.

          And to give you just a little sense of how damaging using this land to graze cattle is to the environment and our country’s wild life, here’s an excerpt from an article on the downside of raising grass fed beef:

          In addition, the raising of steer in America is having a
          devastating effect on America’s environment. Not only are all these cattle contributing significantly to making global warming worse – the methane gas passed by cattle has a worse warming effect on the planet than manmade carbon dioxide. In addition, it’s estimated that more than 2/3s of the entire land areas of Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Idaho are federal lands that are being used for grazing cattle – and are used free by the cattle growers. And to protect those grazing lands, our government is killing about 1.5 million wild animals per year – included in the killings are: badgers, black bears, coyotes, gray fox, red fox, mountain lions, opossum, raccoons, striped skunks, beavers, nutrias, porcupines, prairie dogs, black birds, cattle egrets and starlings. And unintentionally, domestic dogs and cats (all paid for by taxpayers).

          • tax payer says:

            We will have them within a few months, but not as an invitation by the American population. Congress will give others that aren’t here right now the chance to increase the population as soon as they vote this country as a permanent vacation resort for people from other countries and not just the people from Mexico.

  5. disqus_ivSI3ByGmh says:

    Of course, this “immigration reform” package still does not touch the issue of Cuba. Ever since the early 60s, any Cuban who can get above the high-tide line, regardless of his or her means of entry to the country, is considered a “legal immigrant” with “refugee” status. The claim is because Cuba is a “Communist” nation and we are helping the people “rescue” themselves. If this is the case, why do we not offer that same provision to anyone else who lives in a Communist controlled country?

    • Good point. Can you imagine hundreds of thousands of Chinese refugees landing on our shores and being declared legal residents upon arrival, and given a fast track to citizenship, because they are escaping communism? I get we better learn how to use chop sticks in a hurry!

  6. howa4x says:

    Republicans are doing what Lindsey Graham said which is shooting themselves in the foot. Every time a republican senator or congressman gets air time they alienate more Latino voters when they say talk about the culture in derogatory terms, like the wetback comment. Rubio is in a tight spot. But he needs to show some courage if he wants to grab the brass ring. What this whole battle is really showing is how far right the base has become. They defy logic. We don’t stop Canadians from coming here to work. The fact is if these people come out of the shadows they will start paying taxes and their employers will start paying payroll taxes, and they will start to contribute to the social security trust fund. what is wrong with that?

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