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Pro-Immigrant House Republican Says Reform is Dead for This Year. By Roger Algase

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Updated November 10, 9:07 am:

In a related development, the Washington Post reports that the Tea Party, whose control over House Republicans remains the biggest obstacle to immigration reform, is still alive and well after the November 5 election, despite the loss of its candidates for Governor of Virginia and a House seat in Alabama, and the big win of a more "moderate" Republican, Chris Christie, for reelection as governor of New Jersey.

In a November 9 article, Narrow tea party losses are wake-up call
for Republicans,
the Post writes:

"Rather than the humiliating defeats the establishment had expected, the tea party candidates suffered narrow losses Tuesday despite being outgunned by opponents with far deeper financial pockets...

Those results convinced some establishment Republicans that they need to confront the GOP's conservative base more aggressively, both as a way to protect the candidacies of mainstream conservatives and to deflect damaging policy proposals that have limited appeal beyond far-right conservatives from advancing in Washington." (Emphasis added.)

www.washingtonpost.com/politics/narrow-tea-party-losses-are-wake-up-call-for-republicans/2013/11/09/9b26b124-47c3-11e3-bf0c--cebf37c6f484_print.html

What better example could there be of a "damaging policy proposal" that has "limited appeal beyond far-right conservatives" than killing immigration reform and continuing to deport 11 million brown immigrants at the fastest rate in our history? But this is exactly what the Tea Party radicals are advocating, so far with astounding success in the GOP-controlled House, as discussed in my original post below dated November 9:

In what could be more bad news for immigration reform, Congressman Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL), a leading pro-immigration Republican, told the Washington Post on November 7 that reform is dead for this year. See Greg Sargent: Immigration reform is dead for this year, top GOP reformer says.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...says//?print=1

Sargent writes:

"Now Diaz-Balart says a vote this year isn't going to happen. This matters because he is one of the key Republicans who is negotiating over a piecemeal proposal to do something about the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country."

Sargent describes the proposal as follows:

"The proposal has yet to be released, but the Tea Leaves suggest it will include probation for the 11 million, enabling them to work legally, contingent on getting E-Verify running (if it isn't after five years, those on probation wou;d revert to illegal status). This idea, which was in the now-defunct House Gang of Seven plan, is seen as one of the few ways Republicans might be able to support reform for the 11 million."

While the possibility of Republican support for any proposal to grant even provisional relief from deportation for 11 million people might admittedly be a cause for some degree of optimism (as Sargent's article also points out), especially if Diaz-Balart's claim that he can get more than half the GOP caucus to support it is accurate, Diaz-Balart also warns that the time window to act on reform is "definitely closing", according to the same article.

Sargent concludes:

"Indeed, the Congressman's comments read like a bit of a wake-up call: The House GOP is now at serious risk of killing immigration reform for the foreseeable future. How many Republicans care, of course, is another question entirely."

According to Sargent, Diaz-Balart's proposal is not due to be introduced until early next year, and must be acted on right away to have any chance. But guess what else will be going on in Congress early next year too - in all likelihood, another bitter battle over government funding and the debt ceiling, aggravated by growing problems with the ACA that may lead the Tea Party leaders to believe that this time they really will be able to defund it, if only they can do enough damage to America's and the world's economy.

Early next year does not look like a favorable time to take up immigration, even if the House GOP leadership were serious about planning to do so, which is very much open to question in view of its obstruction to date.

Despite the vague assurances of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus that immigration reform could still "happen next year" and that "I don't think there is any sort of midnight hour out there" (see Politico: Reince Priebus: Immigration reform not dead, November 8) Rep. Diaz-Balart's warning, rather than being a wake-up call for reform, may turn out to be its wake instead.

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Updated 11-10-2013 at 09:06 AM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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