Other than the basic fact that he dearly wants a bill, Speaker John Boehner's specific plans on immigration have remained shrouded in mystery since the 2012 elections.
Now two key immigration hawks are pressing him for answers in a letter you might mistake as coming from Darrell Issa to Kathleen Sebelius.
Reps. Walter Jones (R-NC) and Mo Brooks (R-AL) sent Boehner, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, and the rest of the House GOP leadership team a letter asking ten detailed questions about Boehner's immigration policies.
The questions include requests for greater detail about some of the planks in the immigration “principles” Boehner unveiled at the recent House GOP retreat in Cambridge, MD, such as how many illegal immigrants in several special categories could achieve citizenship through the proposal and via chain migration.
“News reports indicate the House is contemplating a very large (and very unpopular) increase in the future legal flow of foreign workers,” they wrote.
“These reports create justifiable concerns. Indeed, many Americans incorrectly believe ‘immigration reform’ swaps amnesty for a reduced inflow of workers, rather than the current ‘amnesty’ models that combine amnesty with a large increase in future immigration flows. To enable our conference and our constituents to probably assess future flow – one of the most crucial economic elements of any overhaul – please provide clear, specific answers to the following questions concerning the immigration plan being conceived for final passage,” the letter said.
Boehner recently said at a press conference that amnesty efforts must take a back seat because Obama cannot be trusted to fairly enforce the nation’s laws. In return, critics have focused on provisions in key immigration proposals that would significantly increase legal immigration, depressing wages for American workers.
The letter presses for details on what levels of immigration Boehner specifically wants to have despite the millions of Americans out of work. In addition, they ask Boehner and company to cite any data or studies that show there is even a need for the massive increase in legal immigration they want -- and to address the harmful effects their desired policies would have on Hispanics and blacks in America.
This letter comes out as President Obama himself publicly promised on Friday afternoon in a Univision Radio interview that comprehensive immigration reform “will get done before my presidency is over.”
“I’d like to get it done this year,” Obama said.
Boehner's office did not respond to a request for comment.