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Friday, September 30, 2016

By a vote of 68-32, the Senate has passed the comprehensive immigration reform compromise it has been debating for weeks. The fate of reform now rests with Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who has said that he will not bring the Senate bill to the floor of the House or to a conference committee without support from the majority of his Republican caucus.

A total of 14 Republicans voted for the bill: Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Jeff Chiesa (R-NJ), Susan Collins (R-ME), Bob Corker (R-TN), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Dean Heller (R-NV), John Hoeven (R-ND), Mark Kirk (R-IL), John McCain (R-AZ), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Marco Rubio (R-FL).

The so-called “Gang of Eight” had hoped to win 70 votes, believing that might pressure House Republicans into action on the reform, which was one of the few specific policy recommendations made in the “GOP autopsy” of the 2012 election. To win over Republicans, the Gang had to adopt the Hoeven-Corker amendment, which includes a “border surge” that Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT) has called “a Christmas wish list for Halliburton.”

Senator McCain bragged that the bill would create “the most militarized border since the Berlin Wall.”

Senators Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rand Raul (R-TN) — both all-but-declared candidates for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination — oppose the bill. Cruz introduced an amendment to strip the bill of its “path to citizenship” and another amendment which would have defunded Obamacare. Both amendments failed. Paul was not swayed by the additional $30 billion being pumped into border security.

“I’m all in favor of immigration reform, but I’m like most conservatives in the country, [in] that I think reform should be dependent on border security first,” Paul said.

The argument that the border should “be secure” before any path to citizenship is allowed to begin will likely be the central argument House Republicans make against the legislation. Several Republicans are opposed to any option for citizenship, calling it “amnesty.” Senate Democrats will likely not consider any bill that changes the path laid out in the Gang of Eight’s final compromise.

Immigration reform will ultimately test Speaker Boehner’s leadership.

Tea Partiers and the Heritage Foundation are fueling opposition to the bill, but other major GOP funders including the Koch brothers, Karl Rove and Sheldon Adelson have all supported reform, believing it is essential in order for the GOP to take back the White House. To get a bill that could become law, he’ll likely need to persuade his caucus to let him bring a bill to the floor that will only pass with Democratic support. Or he’ll have to do so without his caucus’ support and risk his speakership.

And it certainly doesn’t look as if Boehner is willing to do that.

Senator Rubio — who has made himself the face of reform on the right — has become a lightning rod for criticism from the far right over the past few weeks and seen his favorability rating tumble within his own party. But he was steadfast Thursday, arguing from the floor of the Senate, “America changes immigrants.” And what he was implying was “immigration reform will change Latinos into Republican voters.”

The question House Republicans need to ask themselves is: How many Latino voters will we lose if we kill immigration reform?

  • maxcat07

    My understanding is, and correct me if I’m wrong, that Ted Cruz was born in Canada and cannot run for President. Why does every source perpetuate the myth that he could be a candidate in 2016?

    • Bill Thompson

      one down a lot more to go, Hillary and Elisabeth in 2016 !

      • Fern Woodfork

        Yes They Got My Family , Friends And My Vote!!! 🙂

    • Fern Woodfork

      Ted Cruz Is A Joe McCathney Wannabe Who In Their Right Mind Would Vote For That Asshole!!!

      • maxcat07

        I totally agree. I just want to clear the air about his running for President.

        • Fern Woodfork

          You Can Bet There’s Going To Be Another Circus Of Clowns Running Again That’s All The GOP/Tea Party Got Is Clown Christie Is The Only One Who’s Halfway Decent But He Against Unions, Wage Hikes And A Lot Of The Sames Old Broke Down Polices His Party Of Thugs Are For!! I Think It’s Cruz Parents That Was Born In Canada?? Let See Them Pull The Same Crap They Did On Our President Obama!! LOL NOT

        • Maura Simas

          Maxcat07, his mother was a US citizen therefore Cruz is and he is eligible.

          • maxcat07

            Thank you…I stand corrected.

          • Dominick Vila

            I am not so sure about that. The Constitution refers to “natural born citizen”, not to people with a parent born in the USA. The reason McCain was eligible was because he was born in the Panama Canal Zone, which at the time was a U.S. possession, and his Dad was a Navy Admiral assigned to that location.
            Claiming that a man born in Canada, whose Dad was born in Cuba, is eligible to be President while claiming that a man born in Hawaii is a foreigner ineligible to be President is the ultimate expression of cynicism and a manifestation of ethnic intolerance. The duplicity of the right wing us obvious.

        • Sand_Cat

          I don’t recall the Constitutional provision (if there is one), but I read that it is illegal for the Vice Presidential and Presidential candidates be residents of the same state, but that was ignored when Cheney and Bush – both Texas residents – ran in 2000 and 2004. If such a provision or law exists, the fig leaf that covered it was Cheney’s bogus claim to be a Wyoming resident (he hadn’t lived there for years). My point is, the Republicans seem to do anything they want and get away with it: what’s a little technicality like the Constitution or the law? I can already hear the argument “Well, Obama was born in Kenya…” And remember what happened when a slightly less partisan Supreme Court than the one we have now was asked to adjudicate a presidential election question.

          • John Pigg

            I don’t think there is any prevision mandating that the VP and P cannot be from the same state.

            Edit: Yeah, you are right the electors of the state both hail from are required not to be able to vote for them in the electoral college. But in today’s day and age it seems to be an outdated technicality.

          • Independent1

            John, you are correct; although to dispell any questions about the eligibility, Cheney quickly transferred his residency back to Wyoming when he was chosen as Bush’s running mate. Here’s something on the requirement for the vice President:

            The Twelfth Amendment states that “no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.”[16] Thus, to serve as Vice President, an individual must:

            Be a natural-born U.S. citizen;
            Be at least 35 years old
            Have resided in the U.S. at least 14 years.[17]

            While it is commonly held that the President and Vice President must be residents of different states, this is not actually the case. Nothing in the Constitution prohibits both candidates being from a single state. Instead, the limitation imposed is on the members of the Electoral College, who must cast a ballot for at least one candidate who is not from their own state.

            In theory, the candidates elected could both be from one state, but the electors of that state would, in a close electoral contest, run the risk of denying their vice presidential candidate the absolute majority required to secure the election, even if the presidential candidate is elected. This would then place the vice presidential election in the hands of the Senate.

            In practice, however, residency is rarely an issue. Parties have avoided nominating tickets containing two candidates from the same state. Further, the candidates may themselves take action to alleviate any residency conflict. For example, at the start of the 2000 election cycle Dick Cheney was a resident of Texas; Cheney quickly changed his residency back to Wyoming, where he had previously served as a U.S. Representative, when Texas governor and Republican presidential nominee George W. Bush asked Cheney to be his vice presidential candidate.

          • John Pigg

            Residency seems to be an antiquated requirement for a party ticket. I am kinda curious why this stipulation is there to begin with?

            Thanks for your response.

          • Sand_Cat

            Not to dispute any of your points, but did Cheney actually DO anything to “change his residence”? Plus, normally one cannot simply change residence for legal purposes instantly, so far as I know, even if he actually moves.

          • midway54

            Another interesting point for consideration is this: One who is born on foreign soil to a parent who is a United States citizen is eligible for dual citizenship: Under jus soli observed by the foreign state and jus sanguinis observed by the United States

          • Independent1

            Being born physically in the U.S. is not a requirement – what is a requirement is being born to a U.S, citizen and therefore being a naturalized American – which Ted Cruz may qualify for since his mother is from Delaware and his father may have been a citizen at the time he was born.

            Here is the language from the Consitution, Article 2 clause 4:

            No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

            And here’s the legal interpretation of wha that clause stipulates:

            The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term “natural born” citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship “by birth” or “at birth”, either by being born “in” the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship “at birth”. Such term, however, would not include a person who was not a U.S. citizen by birth or at birth, and who was thus born an “alien” required to go through the legal process of “naturalization” to become a U.S. citizen.[1]
            Note that one of the situations that suits the requirement to be eligible to be president is: “by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents.”

          • Bill Thompson

            Thank you for a in depth explantion . I guess it all depends on his fathers citizenship .I still think Hillary and Elizabeth in 2016 .

          • Independent1

            Bill, for children born outside the U.S., it’s not required that both parents are citizens. The rules are a little different before and after 1986. If Ted is older than 27, these rules would apply:

            For persons born between December 24, 1952 and November 14, 1986, a person is a U.S. citizen if all of the following are true (except if born out-of-wedlock):[8]

            -The person’s parents were married at the time of birth-
            -One of the person’s parents was a U.S. citizen when the person was born
            -The citizen parent lived at least ten years in the United States before the child’s birth;
            – A minimum of 5 of these 10 years in the United States were after the citizen parent’s 14th birthday.

          • Sand_Cat

            Thanks. I should have thought of that myself. Do you know anything about the alleged requirement that President and Vice President can’t be from same state? I’m sure it’s not in the body of the constitution, and I don’t remember any amendment touching on that. Is there a law, or was someone just making things up?

        • Independent1

          Maxcat, to ensure you get this, here is a copy of a post I left for Sand_Cat:

          Being born physically in the U.S. is not a requirement – what is a requirement is being born to a U.S, citizen and therefore being a naturalized American – which Ted Cruz may qualify for since his mother is from Delaware and his father may have been a citizen at the time he was born.

          Here is the language from the Consitution, Article 2 clause 4:

          No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

          And here’s the legal interpretation of wha that clause stipulates:

          The weight of legal and historical authority indicates that the term “natural born” citizen would mean a person who is entitled to U.S. citizenship “by birth” or “at birth”, either by being born “in” the United States and under its jurisdiction, even those born to alien parents; by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents; or by being born in other situations meeting legal requirements for U.S. citizenship “at birth”. Such term, however, would not include a person who was not a U.S. citizen by birth or at birth, and who was thus born an “alien” required to go through the legal process of “naturalization” to become a U.S. citizen.[1]
          Note that one of the situations that suits the requirement to be eligible to be president is: “by being born abroad to U.S. citizen-parents.”

          • maxcat07

            Thanks a lot. I wasn’t aware that his mother was an American.

        • Independent1

          The fact that Ted Cruz would be eligible to be president although he was born in Canada because his mother was a U.S. citizen – means that the GOP’s “birther” movement has been an exercise in stupidity for the past 4 years- because even if Barak Obama was born in Kenya, which they have tried to claim, the fact that his mother was a U.S. citizen, qualified him to run for president.
          When will the GOP ever stop being the party of stupid????

    • ralphkr

      Ted Cruz was born in Canada and did not come to the US until he was 4 years old. His mother was born and raised in the US which makes Cruz an American citizen at birth but his father was Cuban and did not become an American citizen until 2005 which would have precluded Cruz being considered “natural born” prior to Congress passing a law stating that a child born on foreign soil with only one US citizen parent was still to be considered “natural born” while before that time both parents had to be US citizens.

  • Lynda Groom

    The planning for the memorial service has already begun in the House. The country does not appear mature enough to deal with pressing problems facing all of us. The House is a joke, and their Speaker is among the worst In the nations history. Apparently he is not concerned with his own legacy so I’m not either.

    • tdm3624

      I bet Congress would move if enough Americans demanded change. I don’t think enough Americans are involved to make a difference. The politicians cater to the extreme elements of their bases because that is where the money and votes are.

      • tax payer

        We put them in office and this is the thanks we get from these traitors.

        • Sand_Cat

          Whatever your political orientation, no one in Congress that we know of is a “traitor” in a legal sense, and there are plenty of other words that more than adequately describe them without throwing out the incredibly overused – and thus offensive, but largely meaningless – word “traitor.”
          I believe the crime was explicitly defined in the Constitution – unlike any other – in an attempt to discourage its abuse to cover dissenters from (Royal or other) government policies that was common at the time, and to assure that no such accusations would carry legal weight.
          If for no other reason than respect for the Constitution’s authors, can’t we stop throwing this weighty term around to describe relatively trivial actions, or even the not-so trivial actions of our “representatives,” which – however dishonest, despicable, craven, and just plain stupid – are NOT treasonous.

          • tax payer

            Had they told us, when they wanted our votes they weren’t going to be there for us do you think we would have voted for them? I don’t think so because all they wanted was to be where they can put harm to the tax payers and I can promise you ( voters don’t have short memories ). If they want to help the illegals than they should move to Mexico and help them in their own country. Respect has to be earned and these people don’t care to respect the American citizens of this country, so why should we not call them traitors? Politicians these days believe their own lies, so who is really honest these days in Congress? Most likely the custodian that cleans their mess.

          • Sand_Cat

            Let’s not fight over the arrangement of the deck chairs.

      • JD Mulvey

        The Democrats “cater to the extreme elements” of their party? Name once.

  • tax payer

    If Speaker John Boehner can bring it down than feel free to do so and make America proud of you. An illegal can come to this country with a tourist visa and then stay here all their life, so what good is securing the Borders.

    • John Pigg

      So securing the border is pointless, and granting a pathway to citizenship is also a bad call. What do you think we should do with 10 million potential taxpayers and social security contributors.

      How much would you be willing to raise your taxes and expand the Federal government to deal with illegal immigrants?

      • Patricia Hall

        Anti Christ is on the run.

      • tax payer

        The only citizens of this country should be Americans and I don’t mean anchor babies. Illegals have to get in line at the rear like those that have been doing it for years and it’s like being stabbed in the back by their own citizens that prefer to get ahead of the line rather than to be at the end. I don’t pay taxes anymore since I paid enough while working 45 years. Sure I pay property taxes, sales taxes, school taxes, gasoline taxes, food taxes and I can mention more, but I’ll stop for now.

        • John Pigg

          The constitution of the United States of America clearly states anyone born here is a citizen. I am a strict constitutionalist, and oppose any measure to change it in this regard.

          Illegal immigrants will significantly help our budget crises and illegals have also done wonders to help our demographic crises.

          Since you have worked for 45 years you must be on Social Security. Guess what, without the influx of potential illegal immigrants into the system your social security will be a lot less secure.

          If you want to continue collecting social security its in your best interest to support a pathway to citizenship.

  • Sand_Cat

    The Koch brothers probably want that continuing supply of cheap, compliant labor.

  • Dominick Vila

    I have to agree with Sen. McCain, although I would add that in addition to making our Southern border the most militarized border separating two nations since the Berlin Wall came down, it is also a symbol of intolerance and failed policies.

    I doubt the House will support the bill passed by the Senate, not only because they fear the backlash they will get from their constituents, but because it undermines the ability of the people that fund their campaigns to profit from the labor of pseudo slaves.

    This charade is not about moral imperatives consistent with our history and our values, it is all about money and satisfying the hateful goals of a small, but vociferous, segment of our society.

    • tax payer

      Let’s hope you are correct in your assumption because they need to tell this Nation ( we will do what is the Right thing for our Americans ) and not for the illegals that came uninvited to this country.

  • charleo1

    As far as Cruz being an American citizen, I want proof! Look, we’re not talking
    about a person with a, “real,” American name here like Hoover! Cruz? Who
    ever heard of a Cruz, that was American? Cruise, maybe. As in, Carnival Cruise.
    A great American success story. Mr. Cruise started with $5,00 bucks, in his
    pocket. A leaky row boat, with one paddle. And today his floating crap games,
    and, 24/7 smorgasbords, are known the world over, for hauling thousands of
    well healed Americans out into the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and breaking
    down. His daughter Fantasy Cruise, also runs a lucrative website. I urge all my
    fellow posters to join with me in writing Mr. Trump, and asking him, as soon as
    his crack team of investigators return from Hawaii, to check this Cruz guy out!

    • Sand_Cat

      😉