Republicans in Congress have made it their mission to be obstructionists. Regardless of the issue, if President Obama supports it - they're against it. They've even come out against their own bills once President Obama supported them. That's why it's so delicious to see them supporting a concept that is anathema to their own xenophobic nature: immigration reform.
It's pretty clear why they're supporting it. The last election showed them that they lost a huge chunk of a continuously growing Latino demographic. They need this for 2016, and they know it
“If we don’t pass immigration reform , if we don’t get it off the table in a reasonable, practical way, it doesn’t matter who you run in 2016,” Graham warned during on appearance Sunday on NBC’s Meet The Press. “We’re in a demographic death spiral as a party, and the only way we can get back in good graces with the Hispanic community, in my view, is pass comprehensive immigration reform. If you don’t do that, it really doesn’t matter who will run, in my view.”
Yes, Lindsey, the Hispanic population will totally support you for this "from the heart" embrace of their best interests. They won't see through this at all...
The Senate is trying to get this passed with a 70 vote margin. I'm not sure why they're set such a high bar for themselves - perhaps they think it has a better chance of making it through the House that way. As always, it's the amendments to the original bill that take legislation down a dark path, and this is no different. There are five "must-have" amendments
(from a Republican perspective) that may make or break passage of the bill (at least by the 70 vote margin). Four of those involve the building of a border fence. Mark Rubio (R-FL) has also requested an "English language" requirement for a green card, and is opposing an amendment by Patrick Leahey (D-VT) that includes allowing gay couples to apply for a green card when one of the two is an American. That last one is a stickler for Rubio, who - despite his assurances that the bill is 96% ready
, he still may not support the bill
Keep in mind that this is Rubio's bill
. He's willing to shoot down what could be the defining achievement of his career because it might allow gays to enjoy the same equal protection under the law as non-gays? If the amendment makes it in, and Rubio shoots down his own immigration bill, it's buh-bye 2016.
Even if it passes, though, there's still no guarantees the House will give it their stamp of approval. Considering some of the things that make it from the brains and past the lips of House Republicans, I would say that these comments
are not an aberration as to how they are thinking about this:
In a speech on the House floor on Tuesday, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) compared undocumented immigrants to bank robbers.
KING: Think of it this way: If someone goes in and robs a bank and step out on the steps of the bank with the sack of the loot and law enforcement appears and says, sorry, you can’t keep the loot and we’re going to put that back in the bank but you can go. That’s equivalent of removal. You don’t get to keep the objective of the crime, we put you back in the condition you were in before you committed the crime. That’s not draconian. That’s the minimum you can do and still have a rule of law apply.
Obviously, it's a terrible analogy. The biggest problem with undocumented citizens here is that enforcing the laws ends up breaking families and punishing the children. We still need some semblance of the original DREAM act so that adults who were brought here as small children have an option to become citizens, so that children born here don't lose their parents to deportation
For a party that claims to be pro-life, that claims to be "family values", that rails against single-parent households, they sure don't seem to have a problem with ruining children's lives because their hard-working parents didn't fill out the right forms. I don't know if passing this bill will cause the immigrant community to embrace the Republican party - but it would be a step in the right direction to gain some forgiveness.