Opposition growing from both the Right and the Left
American Bazaar Staff
WASHINGTON, DC: The immigration reform bill passed by the Senate seems to be heading for a premature death in the US House of Representatives, with opposition building to it from both the conservative Right and the liberal Left.
Wednesday is shaping up to be key day for the fate of the bill, as the Republican Caucus is reportedly going to have a meeting on the ramifications of the bill, and whether to take it forward or not.
But going by reports in the media, it seems that the overwhelming sentiment in the GOP ranks, including in the Tea Party and members of both parties in seats that are safe in upcoming elections, is that the bill does little to solve the issue of the influx of illegal immigrants even as they sit down to discuss granting them citizenship – which seems to be one of the biggest hurdles in the House Republican ranks – and rising concern that the bill does nothing to address the concerns of the 22 million Americans who are unemployed or underemployed, and instead is going to open the doors for millions of new foreign workers in both the low and high end wage categories.
A key analysis came from veteran political observer and NBC host Chuck Todd, who said over the weekend on a show hosted by David Gregory that “the White House doesn’t see a path to passing an immigration bill by the end of this year.”
“The White House, they had been so confident they were going to sign immigration reform this year, for the first time I’m hearing that there is some doubt seeping in, that they think maybe the House won’t act,” said Todd, on the show, with discussion ranging around Speaker John Boehner who has reportedly said that he will not take up the bill to put to vote. Speculations also was raised over key Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, who is seen as being an instrumental figure if the bill were to be pushed forward in the House, with commentators agreeing that Ryan has “gone silent” on the bill.
The former executive editor of The New York Times and now a writer for the newspaper, Bill Keller, in a lengthy Op-Ed, pointed out the various comments coming from disgruntled Democrats, who see the bill as only kowtowing to a section of the society, and eventually harmful to the American people.
Some of the comments by Democrats Keller inserted into his column included:
“This bill stinks: it takes far too long to grant citizenship and does little or nothing to protect American jobs … The Dems always get rolled.”
“With its costly sop to xenophobes in the form of useless border control overkill, this bill is already a joke. [There will be] a huge political backlash once it becomes obvious to Americans that a broad swath of our citizenry is being sold out in favor of vote-hungry politicians, corporations eager to cut labor costs even further and military contractors trolling for still more pork.”
I never thought I’d see the day when I’d be grateful for the knee-jerk opposition of Republicans in the House, but that day has arrived … It’s a slap in the face of the American working class and the millions of unemployed Americans…”
“The Democrats lost my vote w/this. They no longer represent anyone but billionaires and Big Business.”
Keller in his article also speculated on the death of the bill in the House, writing “If the immigration bill that passed the Senate on June 27 dies the death of previous reforms, it will not be because of the angry Democrats quoted above. It will be the familiar obstructionism of House Republicans, and particularly Speaker John Boehner, who may refuse to let the measure even come to a vote. That is why the news coverage has focused on the hostility of Republicans.”
Keller said the main complaints from those on the left include the worry that “it will steal jobs from American workers by admitting new streams of both low-skilled and high-skilled competitors, “wastes more than $40 billion to militarize the Southern border, “ and “makes the 11 million unauthorized immigrants already here wait 13 years for full equality.”
The New York Times Editorial Board in a separate piece pointed out that the GOP was under pressure from Tea Party hard-core members like Steve King of Iowa, who want to kill any bill that allows undocumented immigrants to become Americans.
“Maybe Republicans will decide to accept bipartisan immigration reform as a step toward becoming a party with something to offer Latino and Asian voters besides hostility and fear. Or maybe not. Now that the Senate has passed its version of reform — a comprehensive bill with a long but real citizenship path — the ball is in the House. It might be stuck there: the speaker, John Boehner, has ruled out voting on the Senate bill, or on any immigration bill not supported by the majority of his caucus. That is a recipe for failure, but the House has nothing else to offer right now, no other solutions to match the scale of the problem,” said the Editorial.
The Times editorial also said that a bipartisan gang of House members has been working on a broader bill, “but nobody has seen it yet and it may go nowhere because it is said to include a path to citizenship. About all that can be safely predicted is that we are in for a summer of heat and pressure, with immigrant advocates loudly demanding a bill and defiant Republicans digging in to make sure that reform collapses.”
A Fox News analysis today said that the immigration bill, which is bound to create a lot of tension in the House, pointed out a key feature of the bill which may ultimately prove to be its demise – giving illegal immigrants citizenship. It pointed out the concern raised by Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador, who wants the contentious issue about how secure borders must be before giving some of the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants a path to citizenship.
Fox News said Labrador, a Tea Party favorite and immigration lawyer, said on “Meet the Press” that illegal immigration has to be cut by a “large percentage” before such legislation can pass, considering a continued influx on non-citizens amid a new law would hurt the Republican base and cause Hispanics to “lose faith in us.” He also implied a new Congressional Budget Office report showing the final Senate bill that which would cut illegal immigration by as much as half was not enough.
Fox News pointed out that Conservatives from safe House districts have rebuffed appeals from Republicans who argue immigration overhaul will boost the party’s political standing with Hispanics and others in the increasingly diverse electorate, especially in the 2016 presidential election.
And it pointed out the concern of the one man who may now be the most important person to getting the bill started in the House: Boehner, who has recently said that he’ll follow the will of the chamber’s Republican majority, not the majority of House members that would include Democrats, when deciding whether to call for a vote on immigration.