Category Archives: Immigration Reform

Immigration Reform: Money Talks

Yesterday, the New York Times published an article written by their reporter Julia Preston, in which she identifies the main funders of the push in recent years for “comprehensive immigration reform”, also known as amnesty.  It is a good article, but it may be behind a paywall Illegal_Immigrants_2for most readers.  Hence my extensive excerpting, beginning with this:

Over the past decade those donors have invested more than $300 million in immigrant organizations, including many fighting for a pathway to citizenship for immigrants here illegally.


The philanthropies focused on a dozen regional immigrant rights organizations that make up the backbone of the movement.  They also supported Latino service organizations like NCLR, also known as the National Council of La Raza, and legal groups like the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, and the National Immigration Law Center.


The Ford Foundation already had a decades-long track record of funding nonprofit organizations aiding immigrants.  In 2003 Ford and Carnegie joined with several other donors to create an unusual collaborative fund to augment support for local groups.  Since then, Carnegie has given about $100 million for immigration initiatives, all in conventional charitable donations, including millions to help legal immigrants become American citizens.

The Open Society Foundations of Mr. Soros, an immigrant born in Hungary, have invested about $76 million in the past decade under the rubric of immigrant rights, according to Archana Sahgal, a program officer.

The Atlantic Philanthropies were founded by Charles Feeney, an Irish-American billionaire who built his fortune with a chain of duty-free shops.  Atlantic has given nearly $69 million in 72 immigration grants in the last decade.

By the way, it you click on any of the three links above to the latino immigration support sites (NCLR, MALDEF, National Immigration Law Center), you will probably see where some small portion of that $300M went.  These sites are well designed and pretty slick.

While it is good to know who the opposition is, we should not let these “big money” numbers diminish our committment to blocking any immigration legislation that includes an amnesty.  Remember, the recent election results showed clearly that the big money does not always prevail.

Obama’s Southern Border Policy and the EV-D68 Virus

Suspicion has been growing that President Obama’s executive order from earlier this year, in which he granted permission for thousands of young hispanic immigrants to legally cross the southern border into the United States and then be bussed all around the country, is responsible for the national epidemic of the EV-D68 virus.  This is a serious concern, as the virus has already killed nine people in the U.S., paralyzed over GangstaGuvfour dozen others, and hospitalized hundreds more.  The epidemic, which began in August, is especially worrisome because there is no vaccine for EV-D68, an enterovirus which manifests itself in scores of slightly different strains.

Last week, Neil Munro put up a well-researched article on the Daily Caller website that explored several aspects of the issue, including the apprehension on the part of many researchers and other health care professionals that expressing too keen an interest in the origins of the outbreak could jeopardize their federal grant funding.

From the article:

The inflow of roughly 9,000 under-13 children from Central America were guided by smugglers or relatives to the Texas border, and then handed over to U.S. border agencies.  Obama’s agencies knowingly relayed most of these 9,000 “unaccompanied” kids to their parents or relatives living illegally in the United States.


Roughly 14,855 people came over in 2013 in “family units,” and another 68,445 “family unit” people arrived in 2014, according to federal data.  That’s a total of 83,300 “family unit” people, with roughly 40.000 under-13 kids in two years.  Only a few hundred migrants were immediately sent home, even though the president has the authority to repatriate them.  Instead, Obama’s deputies released nearly all of the parents and kids to travel where they wished, pending their eventual appearance in court.

The full article, to which I have linked via the print page, HERE, is lengthy but worthwhile due to the scope of its content.

Border Patrol Agent Ron Zermeno Does The Right Thing

… and blows the whistle on the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) decision in mid-summer to re-locate hundreds of Dreamers and other illegal immigrants from the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas to a town near you.

Ryan Lovelace of the online National Review has up an informative article detailing the DHS scheme, and the many warnings that Border Patrol (BP) agent Zermeno sent up the BP and DHS chains of command in an effort to dissuade them from surreptitiously dropping these illegals off at facilities that were often, if not usually, ill equipped to handle them.  Some revealing excerpts, focused mainly on Zermeno’s experience with DHS’s confrontation with officials and demonstrators in the southern California town of Murrieta:

on May 7, he received word from a senior agent of the federal government’s plan to send 140 illegal immigrants every 72 hours to the Murrieta Border Patrol Station, despite its inability to accommodate their arrival.  His disclosure says he was concerned for the safety of the agents because of reports that the detainees would be carrying infectious diseases, scabies, and lice.  The facility could not safely house the incoming women and children, he writes.


Zermeno says in his disclosure that the order to relocate Central American immigrants to Murrieta was suspended and reinstated twice.  On June 27, it was reinstated for the second time, he writes, with the first group of 140 illegal immigrants set to arrive on July 1.  Murrieta mayor Alan Long says he was notified that the order would be reactivated on the afternoon of Friday, June 27.  Long tells NRO that he resisted the order in its first two iterations and expected he could continue to do so successfully.  The Murrieta facility was not equipped to house or process the immigrants: “There were no beds, there was no cafeteria, there was no place to make food,” Long says.  “It was a room with steel benches, a toilet and a sink next to it — all open.  Modest rooms could probably fit maybe 30 people each cell.”  As a result, county supervisor Jeff Stone offered the use of a fully staffed mobile hospital; Stone tells NRO that the hospital would have conducted health screenings, treated children for communicable diseases, and immunized them.  But federal officials rebuffed his offer, saying it would take too long to approve the facility and would also raise legal concerns about vaccinating foreign children.

Approximately 420 immigrants arrived during the first two weeks of July.  Nearly a third were diagnosed with scabies, many more were carrying infectious diseases, others had unknown illnesses, and at least one child — who was observed coughing up blood — was diagnosed with tuberculosis.

The full article is HERE.

An End Run on Comprehensive Immigration Reform?

I have cautioned before, on this blog and elsewhere, on the danger of allowing an immigration reform bill from the House of Representatives to proceed to a reconciliation conference with the Senate’s 1198-page “Gang Of Eight” bill (S-744), which they passed on 06/27/2013.  Now, two prominent trackers of immigration issues are warning of another stealth effort on behalf immigration reform advocates, this one centered around the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, passed in 2008 and often cited as the Wilberforce Act.

First, from a piece HERE by Breitbart reporter Matthew Boyle, which features the analysis of NumbersUSA‘s immigration reform expert Rosemary Jenks.  Said Jenks:

“It is just ridiculous to assume that changing this law that affects less than 20 percent of all the illegals coming across the border right now is going to fix the problem.”

“If it goes through the House first, it will be conferenced in the Senate.  Think about what that means.  I cannot imagine why people don’t get this.  McCain and Graham and Schumer are talking in the pages of the New York Times about how they will attach part or all of their bill to whatever comes through on this. …  This is why the whole idea that you can do targeted policy changes is ludicrous.”

Second, from a piece HERE by Mickey Kaus, which also draws off the comments by Rosemary Jenks, this excerpt:

Could the Wilberforce Fix be another way to trigger a Senate-House conference — a conference where amnesty-supporter Harry Reid and amnesty supporter John Boehner would predictably stack with … amnesty supporters?  There are plenty of reasons to be suspicious.  Boehner’s so-called working group to deal with the Southern crisis is stacked with Republicans … who have been ready to cut a grand legalization bargain in the past.  And Boehner’s moving very quickly — it’s almost as if he wants to get a bill to the Senate before amnesty opponents wake up and realize what’s happening.

The genius of this plan would be that conservatives are so exercised by the massive border breach that they would demand the action [amending the Wilberforce Act] that would lead to their ultimate defeat.

A reconciliation conference triggered by ANY legislative initiative in the House related to immigration could end up with disastrous results.  We are better off to just grit our teeth and wait until January of 2015 to even consider trying to remedy the border situation, since our prospects for getting control of the Senate would make all the difference in the world.

Lice, Scabies, Measles, Chicken Pox, and Strep Throat

There is so much press now being given to the Obama-created crisis of sick illegal immigrant children being sent all over America by the HHS “brown shirts” that I hesitate to add another word.  However, I think THIS article by Todd Starnes of Fox News is worth posting, as it contains comments from an actual medical worker who was in the Lackland AFB camp.  An excerpt:

The sources said workers were guarded by a security force from the Baptist Family & Children’s Services, which the Department of Health and Human Services hired to run the Lackland Camp.  The sources say security forces called themselves the “Brown Shirts.”

“It was a very submissive atmosphere,” the counselor said. “Once you stepped onto the grounds, you abided by their laws – the Brown Shirt laws.”  She said the workers were stripped of their cellphones and other communication devices.  Anyone caught with a phone was immediately fired.


The nurse told me she became especially alarmed because their files indicated the children had been transported to Lackland on domestic charter buses and airplanes.

“That’s what alerted me,” she said.  “Oh, my God.  They’re flying these kids around.  Nobody knows that these children have scabies and lice.  To tell you the truth, there’s no way to control it.”

Click the link above to read the whole disgusting thing.

The Latest Outrage from Eric Holder

Call me crazy, but I have thought for decades that there was merit in the idea of a constitutional amendment declaring English to be the official language of the United States, and including language to shield any individual or business from being sued for requiring their employees to speak English only in the workplace.

Now, but not for the first time at the Justice Department, Attorney General Eric Holder has diverted some of the minions who usually work on suing Arizona to a new task, filing civil lawsuits against American corporations that require their employees to speak English.  The Judicial Watch blog has the story, and this is an excerpt:

Under President Obama the EEOC has taken a number of unprecedented actions to protect foreigners in the workplace, including illegal immigrants.  In 2009 the agency issued a controversial order making a workplace English rule illegal.  The directive came after the EEOC bullied a national healthcare firm to pay nearly half a million dollars to settle a discrimination lawsuit in which the government alleged that Hispanic workers were punished for speaking Spanish.

The agency has been on a roll ever since, taking legal action against businesses across the country accusing them of everything from discriminating against minorities for running criminal background and credit checks to discriminating against Muslims for not allowing hijabs on the job.  The criminal background and credit checks disproportionately exclude blacks from hire, according to EEOC lawsuits against several companies.  Businesses that forbid Muslim women from wearing a hijab at work violate religious rights guaranteed under the nation’s civil rights laws even when all head coverings are banned for all employees, the EEOC asserts

Check out the Judicial Watch article, HERE, and be sure to click on the links.  If you overlook them, you can also view the earlier case from 2009 on workplace English-only rules HERE, and the one in which Holder maintains that running criminal background checks discriminates again black Americans HERE.

“Acts of Love” and other Rubbish from Jeb Bush

Tell you what.  The dentist says my son needs braces, and since straight teeth will help him advance in the world as an adult, I steal your wallet and use your cash and credit card to pre-pay for the dental work.  That would be okay with you, right, ’cause the crime was motivated by an “act of love”?

Or maybe my wife is extremely depressed because we can’t afford to replace the automatic dishwasher that conked out last fall, so I sneak into your yard in the wee small hours of the morning to cut the copper coils out of your HVAC system, then sell the copper to get money to buy her a spiffy new Whirlpool.  You would be willing to sweat it out this summer, right, knowing that your discomfort was in support of an “act of love”?Illegal_Immigrants_2

No less ridiculous was this rationale offered yesterday by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, a possible Presidential candidate, now pathetically kissing up to the Hispanic community in hopes of cornering their votes:

Yes, they broke the law, but it’s not a felony. It’s an act of love.  It’s an act of commitment to your family.  I honestly think that that is a different kind of crime that there should be a price paid, but it shouldn’t rile people up that people are actually coming to this country to provide for their families.

But does Bush really want our votes, at least for his own candidacy?  Political pundit Mickey Kaus says no, that Jeb is just being “John Alden” to Marco Rubio’s “Miles Standish”:

He’s not running, but he’s making space for Marco Rubio.  Look at it this way: The GOP establishment is desperate to suppress Tea Party conservatives and also obtain the immigration amnesty they believe will win Latinos and relieve them of the need to do too much rethinking in other areas.  P.S.: The need to rehabilitate Rubio–-which means avoiding a big immigration fight, at least in 2015 and 2016–-would be one more reason the GOP establishment might feel it’s now-or-never for passing an immigration reform bill.  That would help explain the increasingly desperate and sneaky (but possible successful) efforts to keep amnesty alive.

Jeb Bush, also a Common Core supporter by the way, has said that he will make a decision on whether he will be a candidate in the 2016 Presidential race by the end of this year.  But if he does, he can forget about getting my vote.

Before the last wound heals, Paul Ryan shoots himself in the foot again.

My fearless prediction: this guy is never going to be a Republican Illegal_Immigrants_2nominee for the U.S. Presidency so long as he keeps doing stuff like THIS.  Among the Ryan quotes as he spoke before a breakfast hosted by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce:

“To me, it’s not a question of ‘if’ we fix our broken immigration laws, it’s really a question of ‘when.’”

“Please know that we understand the value of immigration.  We know its importance; we know its roots, its history here in America; and we have ideas on how to make this go forward and make it work so that we do have the rule of law, so that we do have reform, so that we’re not in the same position fifteen years down the road.”

Readers may also remember that, in an interview earlier this year with his hometown newspaper (the Janesville, Wisconsin, “Gazette”) Ryan acknowledged that Boehner and company do not yet have the votes to pass an immigration reform bill, but that “we’re working hard to find where that consensus lies.”

Unfortunately, Ryan’s idea of a “fix” seems to include amnesty.  Sigh.

Immigrants March for North Carolina Drivers Licenses

Most of us remember how it was in a typical North Carolina DMV office Illegal_Immigrants_2before the state stopped issuing Drivers Licenses to illegal immigrants.  I do, rather clearly.  I was living in Wake County near a DMV office at the time, and the line was out the door with lots of people who looked decidedly Hispanic.  After the law was changed, the hordes evaporated almost overnight.

Now the illegals are becoming bolder.  The text below is presented in its entirety from a Saturday article (with the same title) on

Immigrant families and their supporters marched through downtown Raleigh Saturday in hopes of being able to drive in North Carolina.

About 100 people who support driver’s licenses for immigrants living illegally in North Carolina marched down Fayetteville Street to the Governor’s Mansion.

“I’m afraid that I could get stopped and not really know what’s going to happen next.  I may be sent back to where I came from, Mexico, or go to jail and pay a heavy fine,” said Rafael Mendiola, who attended Saturday’s protest.

A recently released study by the state Department of Public Safety concluded that giving driving permits to immigrants in the state illegally should lead to safer driving, although there’s no established statistical basis to verify that conclusion.

The study also listed the downsides to issuing the licenses, including more resources needed for the Division of Motor Vehicles and the influx of applicants, many of whom may not pass the exam.

An “influx of applicants”?  Ya think?

We Have Heard This Song Before, I Recognize The Refrain

Earlier this week the U.S. Census Bureau released a routine report that confirmed a long-anticipated tipping point in the state of California.  For Illegal_Immigrants_2the first time, the largest demographic within a continental U.S. state is Hispanic (at 39%) rather than white non-Hispanic, and the trend is continuing.  This does not bode well for California, in my view.

Trailing in this trend, but not far behind, is Texas.  One-half of the collective public school student population in Texas is Hispanic.  As the Hispanic percentage in these states (and maybe others) continues to rise, the natural pressures to assimilate will diminish.  The result will be huge enclaves in which thousands, perhaps millions of people will be able to live out their lives without ever having to speak English or to adopt the customary features of the United States culture.  We already have some smaller examples, like the Cubans in south Florida and the Somalies in Minnesota.

Want some proof?  Yesterday, it was reported that the principal of a middle school in a town about one hour’s drive south of Houston was fired earlier this year for telling the student body that they were to speak only English during the school day while on the school grounds.  Here is an excerpt of the article reporting the firing, from the Houston Chronicle:

Hempstead Middle School Principal Amy Lacey was placed on paid administrative leave in December after reportedly announcing, via intercom, that students were not to speak Spanish on the school’s campus.  The Hispanic population of the rural area, roughly 50 miles northwest of Houston, is growing quickly, and Latino advocates say that it’s important to allow Spanish in public schools.

“When you start banning aspects of ethnicity or cultural identity,” says Augustin Pinedo, director of the League of United Latin American Citizens Region 18, “it sends the message that the child is not wanted: ‘We don’t want your color.  We don’t want your kind.’  They then tend to drop out early.”

Recognize it?  You should, as this strategy of an ethnic minority taking on the mantle of victimhood in order to gain a political and cultural advantage has become a familiar pattern in America.

The full article is HERE.

Renee Ellmers Climbs Aboard The Immigration Reform Choo-Choo

Earlier this week, the News-&-Observer reported on remarks by Illegal_Immigrants_2Representative Renee Ellmers before a receptive audience in Cary:

The Dunn Republican is making immigration overhaul a top priority even as it becomes a flashpoint in her re-election campaign and the prospect of a deal appears to fade on Capitol Hill.

“If I can do anything in Washington, I’d like to solve this problem,” the second-term lawmaker told a forum of immigration advocates in Cary.

Ellmers offered a broad outline of a plan that puts the emphasis foremost on securing the nation’s borders, while also including legal status for the roughly 11 million people living in the United States illegally.

It is not the equivalent of citizenship, Ellmers cautioned, but a lesser status that she did not define. To gain legal status, she said, immigrants would have to verify their identity, pay a penalty and admit wrongdoing.

The full article is HERE.

Paul Ryan Talks Out Of Both Sides Of His Mouth – Again

I had high hopes for Paul Ryan, but alas, he seems to be trying to deliberately deceive the GOP’s conservative base on the nature of the House Republican plan for immigration reform legislation.Illegal_Immigrants_2

Mickey Kaus, former at his blog the Kaus Files and now from the Daily Caller blog and elsewhere, has been one of the more persistent reporters on the subject of immigration reform.  Earlier this week he reflected on the recent contradictions between the stories given by Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) before different audiences.  The text of the Daily Caller article appears below, with my slight editing for brevity:

Here is Rep. Paul Ryan talking  about the Republican leadership’s immigration plan on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos last Sunday:

“[F]irst we have to secure the border, have interior enforcement, which is a worker verification system, a visa tracking program.  Those things have to be in law, in practice and independently verified before the rest of the law can occur.  …  “So it’s a security force first, non-amnesty approach.  …  “And if we can get security first, no amnesty, before anything happens, we think that’s a good approach.”

When I saw that interview, I initially tweeted that Ryan “still pretends his plan is Enforcement-1st.”  But that wasn’t really accurate.  Ryan isn’t pretending his plan is an Enforcement First plan.  He’s not spinning.  He’s not obfuscating and he’s not shading the truth.  He’s lying.  I apologize for the error.

When Ryan went on ABC, he’d already gone on Chuck Todd’s MSNBC program a few days earlier and said, quite clearly, that the GOP leadership plan he’s talking about would give illegals a “work permit … while the border is getting secured, while interior enforcement [sentence trails off] …”

In other words, the border isn’t secured “before anything happens.”  Something happens!  Illegals get to work and live here legally (on “probationary” status that can later turn into permanent status).  The border security measures do not have to be “in practice” before “the rest of the law can occur” – the part of the “rest of the law” that makes illegals legal occurs immediately, long before security measures are in place (reducing the political pressure, of course, to ever get them in place at all).

Ryan must have known all this when he falsely described the GOP plan to Stephanopoulos half a week later.  In contrast to the  GOP leaders’ written immigration “principles,” Ryan did not artfully leave himself Clintonian wiggle room.  There is no wiggle room (“anything”).  It’s a flat contradiction.  He apparently didn’t care.  The job of conning conservatives into supporting the leadership’s amnesty plan – by making them think it’s “security first” when it’s “legalization first” – takes precedence over conventional Spin Etiquette (‘deceive, distort, dissemble but don’t flat out lie’).  Distorting and dissembling weren’t getting the job done, I guess.

That’s one reason why opponents of legalization suspect Ryan was trying to lull them into complacence when he suggested on ABC that the GOP leadership amnesty drive had stalled (“clearly in doubt”).  If it’s stalled, it’s only a temporary, probationary stall.  Amnesty is a zombie, as Breitbart‘s Jonathan Strong observes.  The only way to keep it at bay – or kill it for the 2014 term – is for opponents to keep the heat on.

Ryan’s diligent work on budget plans in past years is certainly praiseworthy, but his deceitful conduct in pursuit of immigration reform has been a big disappointment.  And we conservatives must keep this in mind when considering his appeal as a Presidential candidate.

Are Boehner, Cantor, and Ryan Now Playing Possum?

In today’s Washington Examiner, reporter Byron York looks at the question of whether the Republican House leadership has begun a strategy of Illegal_Immigrants_2downplaying the odds of immigration reform passing this year in order to take the focus off the issue and to thereby facilitate a “stealth” plan for actually getting the legislation through.

An excerpt:

Republican Representative Paul Ryan, a leading House advocate of immigration reform, sounded decidedly cautious when asked on ABC Sunday whether Congress can pass a reform bill to send to the president this year.  “I really don’t know the answer to that question,” Ryan said.  “That is clearly in doubt.”


But Ryan’s words still set off suspicions among opponents of immigration reform.  They’ve heard such pessimistic talk from reform advocates before and believe it has been an effective rhetorical tool for supporters of Gang of Eight-style reform.

In this way: If the public hears constantly that immigration reform is in trouble on Capitol Hill, that it has little or no chance of passage, then conservative activists, reassured that there’s no threat, aren’t likely to mobilize against it.  What’s the need?  It’s going to fail anyway.  But if the public hears that immigration reform is steaming ahead, that the House leadership is determined to pass a bill, or bills, that will end up in conference with the Senate’s already-passed Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform measure — if the GOP base hears that, it will recognize the risk, speak out, and at the very least make things more difficult for immigration reform advocates.

The full article is HERE.

Immigration Reform: A Look Back

All of us will be hearing and reading a lot about immigration reform in the coming weeks, and a few of those missives may even be mine.  In the Illegal_Immigrants_2meantime, those interested in a look back at how our national immigration policy has evolved over the last century or so may wish to check out these two essays that I wrote on the subject about a year ago.

Maybe Paul Ryan and Marco Rubio Could Share A Pair of Crutches

The Wall Street Journal reported late yesterday afternoon, HERE, that Paul Ryan (R-WI) is beginning to articulate his vision for the upcoming Illegal_Immigrants_2“immigration reform” legislation.  So, first Marco Rubio, and now Paul Ryan have shot themselves in their respective feet and disaffected the conservative Republican base by succumbing to the fallacy that legitimizing illegal immigrants will cause a majority of them to vote for Republican candidates once they meet the requirements for a voting citizenship.  What fools these mortals be.

From the article:

Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), a leading GOP advocate for tackling immigration, confirmed Wednesday that Republicans are looking to give illegal immigrants legal status right away, with the chance for a green card—and citizenship—down the line.


First, illegal immigrants would be offered a “probationary” status, allowing them to work while the government tightened border security and interior enforcement.  Officials have explained that this would allow people to work legally while they wait for permanent legal status.  (Officials have explained that this group could revert to illegal status if enforcement benchmarks are not met.)

Mr. Ryan said it would make sure that the Obama administration went ahead with the enforcement provisions.  “We want to make sure that we write a law that he can’t avoid,” Mr. Ryan said.

Yeah, Paul, good luck with that.

On Immigration Reform: Don’t Just Do Something, Stand There!

The editors of National Review have nailed it with today’s editorial, titled “Don’t Do It”, and reproduced in its entirety below:Illegal_Immigrants_2

The House Republican leadership has been confronted by devilishly difficult tactical choices over the years.  But what to do on the issue of immigration right now isn’t one of them.  The correct course is easy and eminently achievable: Do nothing.

The old Reagan catchphrase calling for non-action — don’t just do something, stand there — has never been more apt.  Yet the House leadership is about to roll out a set of immigration principles reportedly including an amnesty for illegal aliens, and presumably will follow up with a push to pass them through the House.  This is legislative strategy as unforced error.

The basic tactical reason not to act now is that the last thing the party needs is a brutal intramural fight when it has been dealt a winning hand on Obamacare.  It is not as though the public is clamoring for an immigration bill.  Only 3 percent cited immigration as the biggest problem facing the country in a Gallup poll earlier this month.  In the key contests that will decide partisan control of the Senate, Republican candidates are much more likely to be helped than hurt by refusing to sign onto any form of amnesty.

The other prudential reason not to act is that President Obama obviously can’t be trusted.  Any immigration deal would have to trade enhanced enforcement for an amnesty.  Since the president refuses to enforce key provisions of his own health-care law, let alone provisions of immigration law he finds uncongenial, he obviously can’t be relied on to follow up on his end of any bargain.  It is hard to fathom how any Republican can possibly believe otherwise.

Finally, the path set out by the House leadership will — if the early reports are to be believed — represent bad policy.  Unfortunately, many Republicans have convinced themselves that the key question is whether or not illegal immigrants eventually get citizenship, and insist that only a law that creates a “path to citizenship” is amnesty.  They are wrong on both counts.  The central question is whether illegal immigrants are allowed to work and live here legally.  As soon as they are, that’s the amnesty.  For most of these immigrants, eventual citizenship will be an afterthought.

The leadership is also likely to sign on to increased levels of legal immigration.  In this it reflects the obsession of the business establishment, for which the answer to the dire employment crisis among low-skilled workers is always to import more low-skilled workers.  We salute Senator Jeff Sessions for blowing the whistle on this folly and relentlessly making the pro-worker case against ever-higher levels of immigration.

We believe in incremental immigration reform, but pace the Republican House leadership, that doesn’t mean simply chopping up the Gang of Eight bill and passing its constituent parts piecemeal.  It means insisting on real enforcement, including an E-Verify system to confirm the legal status of workers and an exit-entry system to track foreign visitors, that is up and running before anything else passes.  Then there can be the grand bargain of the sort outlined by Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies in our latest issue, trading an amnesty for lower levels of legal immigration.

For now, nothing worth having can pass the Democratic Senate or get signed into law by President Obama.  Rank-and-file conservatives in the House should firmly reject the course that their leadership wants to take, and convince it to reconsider.  We hope, in short, that they make a clarion call for inaction.