In a report describing the efforts of House Republicans working “beneath the radar” on comprehensive immigration reform, the Associated Press failed to connect the dots. It failed to point out that the ultimate endgame for House Republicans on immigration reform may be a conference with the Senate, where the two chambers would reconcile their differences in their immigration bills.
The Senate, which passed a sweeping comprehensive immigration reform bill that was spearheaded by Senators such as Marco Rubio (R-FL) and John McCain (R-AZ), did not send its bill to the House. And that is why conservatives have always feared that the “piece-by-piece” approach is a way to ultimately get the two chambers to conference on immigration reform.
Yet, the AP story makes no mention of a potential conference with the Senate and the pathway to citizenship provisions that will most likely be inserted into an immigration bill should the two chambers end up in conference on immigration reform. McCain said a pathway to citizenship had to be a “fundamental principle” of any immigration reform bill that passes Congress, and proponents of immigration reform have said the Senate’s provisions would most likely win out should the two chambers conference.
The Associated Press reported that, although immigration overhaul legislation has been dormant in the House for months, “a few Republicans are working behind the scenes to advance it at a time the Capitol is immersed in a partisan brawl over government spending and President Barack Obama’s health care law.”
The AP details discussions between Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) to grant legal status to all of the country’s illegal immigrants and at least give citizenship to the children of various illegal immigrants. Reps. Raul Labrador (R-ID) and Ted Poe (R-TX) are also reportedly working on a “a plan to create a visa program allowing more lower-skilled workers into the country,” even though, as the Black American Leadership Alliance has repeatedly emphasized, those workers would take jobs away from working class Americans, especially blacks and Hispanics, at the lower end of the economic ladder.
Rep. Mike McCaul (R-TX), the Chairman of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee, told the AP that he was hoping for floor action by late October on various immigration bills that have passed House committees.
“I would think that would be the next agenda item in the queue after we’re done with this mess,” McCaul said.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) supports immigration reform efforts, which President Barack Obama said was his “number-one priority.”
And though the AP mentions that a bill that would grant an explicit pathway to citizenship for the country’s illegal immigrants does not exist in the House, it fails to note that the various pieces of legislation that are making the rounds in the House may eventually allow the House to conference with the Senate.
For these reasons, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said on Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot channel 125 that conservatives needed to be “ever vigilant” about potential shenanigans on immigration reform on the House floor. And since a report recently found that at least 104 Republicans may support some type of pathway to citizenship, there may be enough Democrats and Republicans in the House that would ultimately vote for a bill that would come out of conference with such a provision.