Though Republican leaders and the mainstream media have essentially declared immigration reform legislation to be dead, National Journal observes that opponents of comprehensive immigration reform are not celebrating because “they know better than anyone that the issue could be resurrected at any time.”
“Powerful House Republicans like Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan all want to see something happen on immigration,” the outlet writes before noting that “the only thing that has stopped them is skepticism from tea partiers,” which is “amplified by nonstop advocacy from groups like NumbersUSA, which flood their offices with calls saying there should be no legalization for unauthorized immigrants under any circumstances.”
Even Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), the face of comprehensive immigration reform in the Senate who helped spearhead and write the bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship to all of the country’s illegal immigrants, said the House should not pass piecemeal bills to get to conference with the Senate, which is what conservatives have feared and Rep. Luis Gutierrez indicated Republicans were attempting to do in the House.
Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, which has fiercely opposed immigration reform, told National Journal that what worries him is that “[House Speaker John] Boehner and the business lobbies get together to pull some kind of maneuver” to legalize illegal immigrants in a bill that combines guest workers and border security.
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), for instance, is reportedly working on legislation to legalize all of the country’s illegal immigrants even as various Republicans are going on record declaring immigration reform to be dead this year.