The Republican stampede to support of common sense immigration reform has been head spinning. As one tries to absorb the bombshell of one Republican leader supporting immigration reform, another one comes out in favor. Like coming out of any dark place, it is indeed liberating and not an hour goes by without some Republican luminary expressing his (and they all seem to be men) support for la reforma migratoria. Let’s see, since last Tuesday, the following Republicans have come out in favor of addressing the horribly broken immigration system.
- Speaker of the House John Boehner said: “This issue has been around far too long and while I believe it’s important for us to secure our borders and to enforce our laws, I think a comprehensive approach is long overdue, and I’m confident that the president, myself, others, can find the common ground to take care of this issue once and for all.”
- Sean Hannity, FOX news personality, has sdaid that he has “evolved” on immigration: “The majority of people here, if some people have criminal records you can send them home, but if people are here, law-abiding, participating for years, their kids are born here, you know, it’s first secure the border, pathway to citizenship, done, whatever little penalties you want to put in there, if you want, and it’s done.”
- Charles Krauthammer, Pundit: “Border fence plus amnesty. Yes, amnesty. Use the word. Shock and awe — full legal normalization (just short of citizenship) in return for full border enforcement.
- John McCain, the 76 year old Senator from Arizona, former immigration liberal and Republican presidential nominee in 2008, tweeted: “I agree with the calls for comprehensive immigration reform.”
- Lindsay Graham, U.S. Senator from South Carolina, also tweeted: “It’s important for our country to solve illegal immigration once and for all. We must deal with the issue firmly and fairly,“
- Haley Barbour, former Mississippi governor and former Chairman of the Republican party: “And good policy on immigration in the United States is, we are in a global battle for capital and labor, and we need to have what is good economic policy for America on immigration because we do need labor. We not only need Ph.Ds in science and technology, we need skilled workers and we need unskilled workers. And we need to have an immigration policy that is good economic policy, and then — and then the politics will take care of itself.”
- Rupert Murdoch, FOX News owner and immigrant, and a long time supporter of immigration reform: “Must have sweeping, generous immigration reform,make existing law- abiding Hispanics welcome”
- Grover Norquist, anti-tax activist and pillar of the GOP: “Republicans should approach it as the party of Reagan and Bush — the party that has historically been pro-immigration.“
- Even Jan Brewer, Arizona governor, saw which way the wind was blowing and declared that immigration reform would be “fine and dandy” with her.
If you were not convinced that there is serious movement in the Republican party to support for immigration reform, check out the panic from the wingnuts:
- Steve King, Iowa Congressman and Chair of House Immigration Subcommittee, “We will see ‘open borders’ Republicans team up with Democrats to try to do some things to resolve what they call ‘comprehensive immigration reform. We know that that always includes a component of amnesty, so we’ll be back to discussing this again about the rule of law and I’ll be fighting to defend the rule of law.”
- It is hard to find just one quote from frothing at the mouth idiot Mark Levin.
- More freak-out from usual suspect Michelle Malkin.
- The National Review, a leading right wing magazine editorialized: “Having suffered not one but several humiliating defeats on Tuesday, Republicans are in danger of embracing “comprehensive” immigration reform — which is to say, amnesty — out of panic. The GOP does need to do better among Hispanics and other voters, but this is not the way to achieve that — and, more important, it is bad policy.”
- Mark Krikorian of the restrictionist Center for Immigration Studies said: “The Chicken Little amnesty panic is underway among the Republican establishment.”
- The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) published a doomsday sheet covering Boehner’s reversal, Graham’s efforts and the Maryland Dream Act
On Sunday, Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) both confirmed that they were going to revive their talks on an immigration reform program. They last got together on immigration back in the spring of 2010. They even published an op-ed in the Washington Post detailing their plan to fix immigration. Those talks broke down when the GOP smelled Obama’s blood in the water and decided to deprive the President of any legislative achievements in advance of the 2010 elections. Well, they’re back and this time they mean it.
The outlines of the Graham-Schumer plan never were turned into legislation. However, according to the op-ed, their plan consisted of four pillars: (1) production of a biometric embedded Social Security card for all American citizens and work authorized immigrants that employers could swipe to verify authenticity; (2) increased border enforcement and interior enforcement- more resources to the already militarized border and more resources to identify “criminal aliens;” (3) a new guest worker program for temporary admission of all types of needed workers; and (4) a “to the back of the line” and retributive legalization scheme for the 11 million undocumented.
That is where we left off. In our next post, we will discuss where we can go.