GOP Leadership Plotting to Pass Amnesty in August, May Put AZ, TX in Play for Dems
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), the House GOP Conference Chair, said that amnesty legislation could come to the floor by August.
Her comments come after multiple House Republicans have ramped up support for amnesty legislation and discussed bills they plan to introduce in the coming months.
“I believe there is a path that we get a bill on the floor by August,” McMorris Rodgers said, according to the Spokesman-Review. “We’re going to have to push that this is a legal status, not amnesty,” she said.
According to NBC 5, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) "will soon introduce a bill that will establish a path to citizenship for the minor children of illegal immigrants and a guest worker program."
"If the only illegal act they committed was coming into the country without proper documentation we'd put them on a path to legalization," Barton said.
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) said the Republican leadership is "as close as we have ever been" and, though "it is still a big, big, heavy lift... I think we’re going to get there.”
“I think we finally have the policy right,” Diaz-Balart told Roll Call. "And what we’re finding is more and more people out there as they’re seeing it, different aspects of the policy, are starting to say, ‘Hey, that is something that makes sense.’”
Rep. Peter King (R-NY) wrote to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who has said he was "hellbent" on passing amnesty and mocked conservative opponents who opposed it, to let him know that he would support amnesty legislation because it would help the party.
“It would be in our country’s national interest as well as the interest of our party if this could be achieved and I want to assure you of my support as this effort goes forward,” King wrote to Boehner.
But studies and polls suggest that amnesty legislation, in addition to lowering the wages of American workers, would go against the political interest of Republicans, contrary to the claims made by amnesty proponents.
According to a Washington Post report, amnesty legislation could put states like Arizona and Texas in play for Democrats.
In addition, two national polls, conducting by NBC News/Wall Street Journal and ABC News/Washington Post, have also found that a plurality of Americans are less likely to vote for candidates who support amnesty legislation.
And when Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) promote granting work visas to all of the country's illegal immigrants and allowing them to remain in the country, he is promptly greeted the next day by Hispanic leaders in Wisconsin who call him "offensive."
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who recently said not passing amnesty is "a stain on America's honor," said last year that amnesty proponents would make a final push for legislation after the GOP primaries, many of which are in May and June, are done. Prominent Democrats like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) have said that this year is the last chance to pass sweeping amnesty legislation.
And though momentum for amnesty legislation has stalled after Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) blasted the GOP leadership's "immigration principles," as amnesty, the Republican leadership seems intent on making that final push for amnesty legislation during this Congress.