Pro-Amnesty Groups: GOP Leaders Tell Us in Private They Want Amnesty Bill

Pro-Amnesty Groups: GOP Leaders Tell Us in Private They Want Amnesty Bill

While unveiling their “immigration scorecard” for this Congress on Monday, leaders of various pro-amnesty groups said Republican leaders have been telling them in private that they want comprehensive amnesty legislation. 

At a Washington, D.C. press conference, leaders from La Raza, Asian-American interest groups, and pro-amnesty faith organizations unveiled an immigration scorecard that ranked each Member of Congress from zero to 100 percent based on various votes and statements regarding immigration reform. 

Tony Suárez, the vice president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC), said of Republican leaders, “They said to us in private that they supported in immigration reform.” But he said Republicans often voted against immigration reform bills and made statements that were contrary to what they said in private meetings. Suarez’s comments indicate that there are a significant number of Republicans who would be in favor of bringing amnesty legislation to the floor and then vote against the final bill, since there would be plenty of Democrats that would ensure its passage.

Clarissa Martínez de Castro, a La Raza official, said the scorecard will show “who stood up for our community and who stood against us” because “every anti-immigrant vote is very personal to all of us.”

Other leaders said amnesty legislation is “inevitable” and “it was not a question of if but when.”

The “scores” on the scorecard are a bit questionable, as nearly every House Republican receives a zero percent even though some are considerably more in favor of amnesty than others. 

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), who reportedly said he was hellbent on passing amnesty legislation, Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, who said she wanted amnesty legislation on the floor by August, Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who was just elected House Majority Leader and has been referred to as the go-to person in Congress for the high-tech lobby, and Rep. Paul Ryan, whom Gutierrez said was his partner in granting amnesty to all of the country’s illegal immigrants, all received zero percent. 

That’s the same score that Rep. Steve King (R-IA) received even though King has been much tougher on illegal immigration. King, for instance, said Congress should impeach Obama if he enacts another executive amnesty and has vowed to guard against amnesty shenanigans by pro-amnesty Republicans. Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA), another staunch anti-illegal immigration Member of Congress, also received zero percent like his more liberal Republicans. 

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), who was feverishly corralling Members to support his bill and begged GOP leaders to give his bill another chance after House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) defeat, only received 30 percent. Diaz-Balart (R-FL) has been extensively praised by Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL).

Liberals like Gutierrez and Pelosi, who has said she would rather have comprehensive amnesty legislation than her Speakership, predictably received 100 percent on their scorecards.

“After the 2012 election, Congress held out handfuls of pledges to enact immigration reform. However, opposition from anti-immigration extremists turned those hands into balled up fists, delivering stinging blows to the push for reform and immigrant families,” the pro-amnesty leaders said in a statement before the press conference. “Congress may try to ignore us and the immigration issue, but we will not.”