On Wednesday, House Republicans each received a pamphlet described as an “Immigration Resource Kit” for members as they head home to face constituents on the issue of immigration reform throughout the August recess.
The last page of the pamphlet, which was distributed via the Wednesday morning GOP conference meeting, included a collage of what it described as “What Conservative Groups Are Saying.” Under that header, the pamphlet includes statements from Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) president Grover Norquist, Southern Baptist Convention ethics and religious liberty commission president Dr. Russell Moore, the American Conservative Union (ACU), and the American Action Forum (AAF).
Each of these groups supports amnesty, and each has endorsed the Senate immigration bill.
Norquist, who was cited twice on the last page of the pamphlet, helped champion the “Gang of Eight” bill through the Senate. He even testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in favor of it, for which he received glowing praise from Democrat senators like Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). The ACU, which is chaired by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) ally Al Cardenas, also backed the Senate bill.
AAF and its sister group American Action Network are actually part of an aggressive public pressure campaign to get the House to take up the Senate bill. Finally, Moore is a member of the George Soros front group Evangelical Immigration Table (EIT) that has been advocating in favor of the Senate bill as well.
That page also quoted a months-old article from Roll Call that pointed out the Club For Growth and FreedomWorks were not going to get involved in the immigration battle, suggesting a tacit endorsement from those two conservative watchdog groups by not fighting this battle.
The page included nothing from Tea Party Patriots or the Heritage Foundation, which are both adamantly opposed to the Senate bill, nor any of the statements from the litany of conservative groups that have come out against the Gang of Eight.
When asked about whether she specifically approved the distribution of this material to all GOP members via conference on Wednesday, GOP conference chairwoman Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) told Breitbart News’ Kerry Picket that she had approved it because she thought it was being done on behalf of the Judiciary Committee. “Well we did distribute it at conference,” McMorris Rodgers said in an interview with Picket on Capitol Hill. “But it’s a product of the Judiciary Committee. We allowed for it to be handed out at conference.”
Breitbart News then reached out to several of the House Republican members on the committee to see if they personally endorsed the literature. Almost a full day later, not one member has returned a request for comment.
The full packet opens with a “Dear Colleague” letter from House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA). “This recess packet has been put together to help you communicate to your constituents the importance of immigration reform and the House Republican plan to produce solutions that actually fix the problems that plague our immigration system,” Goodlatte wrote. “The Committee welcomes your insight and input as we move forward together on this important issue.”
The pamphlet lays out several pieces of legislation individually supported by most immigration hawks, like the SAFE Act from Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) and the Legal Workforce Act from Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX). But it also touts legislative proposals that do not have broad support like the Border Security Results Act from House Homeland Security Committee chairman Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX).
The packet confirms the suspicions of many critics of comprehensive immigration reform by saying the House is working on an amnesty provision: “House Republicans are currently discussing a way forward on how to provide legal status to unlawful immigrants living in our country. However, the current unlawful immigrant population is diverse, so the solutions may vary.”
“For example, while some knowingly broke our immigration laws, others were brought illegally to the U.S. as children by their parents,” the writing claims. “These children came here through no fault of their own and many of them know no other home than the United States.”
The packet does, however, say that any amnesty would need to come after border security and interior enforcement are strengthened, but does not say whether any forthcoming specific proposals would actually do that. Proponents of the Senate bill had similarly originally said legalization, or amnesty, would come after border security and interior enforcement were improved. When the Senate bill was finally introduced, that talking point changed.