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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

Where Does Reform Go From Here?

Rating: 3 votes, 5.00 average.

A general pessimism has settled over the pro-immigration
community after the House GOP caucus failed to endorse a comprehensive
Senate-ish approach to immigration reform after meeting to talk about dealing
with immigration this year. But I'd argue that the news is a bit or a mix. *

House Republican Leaders issued the following statement
after the caucus meeting today:

Today House Republicans affirmed that rather than take up
the flawed legislation rushed through the Senate, House committees will
continue their work on a step-by-step, common-sense approach to fixing what has
long been a broken system.* The American
people want our border secured, our laws enforced, and the problems in our
immigration system fixed to strengthen our economy.* But they don't trust a Democratic-controlled
Washington, and they're alarmed by the president's ongoing insistence on
enacting a single, massive, Obamacare-like bill rather than pursuing a
step-by-step, common-sense approach to actually fix the problem.* The president has also demonstrated he is
willing to unilaterally delay or ignore significant portions of laws he himself
has signed, raising concerns among Americans that this administration cannot be
trusted to deliver on its promises to secure the border and enforce laws as
part of a single, massive bill like the one passed by the Senate.

So we know that the leadership is not a fan of a
comprehensive bill and wants individual bills. And they emphasized that they
want border security measures before a legalization program starts.

Other statements that emerged today from people like Raul
Labrador and Daryl Issa made it sound like a legalization program is not off
the table, but there should not be a special path to citizenship with the
exception of DREAMers.

So while many are assuming immigration reform is dead, I can
see the House - after the August recess - considering a legalization bill that
would create a legal status similar to the RPI status in the Senate bill but
which would not begin until after various border security triggers are met.
There would only be a special path to citizenship for DREAMers but others could
eventually get green cards through existing green card categories after more
triggers are hit.

The question would
then be whether Democrats would consider such a plan or simply ignore the
House.* Politically, the Democrats can do nothing and reap major rewards down the road since no matter what GOP members may be saying, the WILL be blamed for this failure and they will eventualy lose the House when gerrymandering can no longer disguise demographic realities. On the other hand, Democrats could take a deal like this and wait until they've retaken the House to get a better program. And they WILL retake the House. Even if an immigration bill passes, the GOP's handling of the issue has effectively branded them as the anti-immigrant party and that is suicidal in 21st century America.

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Updated 07-12-2013 at 11:46 AM by GSiskind

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  1. USC's Avatar
    I agree, Greg. The Democrats should cut a deal. Give up the path to citizenship in exchange for concessions/liberalization of the legal immigration system. When they re-take the House they can consider a citizenship path for the newly minted RPIs. In the meantime the RPIs would be protected from deportation.
  2. Bitter truth's Avatar
    The Dems will never give up the path to citizenship, they will rather this bill fail, blame it on the GOP and then win House and Senate with full majority and then go ahead and pass CIR, its only a win win situation for them
  3. Ricardo's Avatar
    Great analysis Greg! I think it would be a good strategy for Dems to make a deal now and at least get the legal immigration system fixed and also may be Dreamers. Then when they retake the House, something else can be done about illegal immigrants present in the country.
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