As deliberation begins in the Senate over Immigration Reform, the direction of discussion may be signaling the failure of another effort at sensible and reasonable legislation.
When the “gang of eight” completed their debates about the various issues, a hopeful America was led to believe that something would be done for some eleven million people in limbo, and, that our government might actually be able to work in a bipartisan manner. Well, you can most likely forget about either one of those hopes.
Without the existence of the ‘real’ Republican Party, I am beginning to see early obstructive efforts to defeat the plan entirely. Attempting to satisfy the extreme right wing of the Party, whatever its new name might be, a concerted effort is being made to either scratch the proposal entirely, or weaken it severely.
While the bill is in the Senate Judiciary Committee, Republicans are expected to propose lengthening the time needed to achieve a pathway to citizenship, and eliminate the guest worker program.
“They’ll be looking to throw obstacles in the way of the process and propose poison pills in order to frame the debate for the far right,” said Frank Sharry, the executive director of the pro-immigration group America’s Voice. “What they’re really doing is playing towards conservatives, trying to make Marco Rubio and other Republicans uncomfortable, and mobilizing grass-roots opposition.”
Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions says he will offer copious amendments to “draw out discussion”. Insiders say that the Republicans will offer hundreds of amendments in an effort to drastically alter what would become an ineffectual piece of legislation.
Earlier this week the Heritage Foundation, an ultra-right-wing organization, claimed that a pathway to citizenship for eleven million people would cost taxpayers 6.3 trillion dollars. This figure has since been proven to be erroneous. The actual cost, which would be spread out over a 50 year period, is estimated to be just over 120 billion. (There must be a note here to understand how far right and fallacious the Heritage Foundation is. Its president, Jim DeMint, a leader of the TEA Party, left his office as Senator midterm to take a better paying position. He deserted the voters of South Carolina, and his cherished TEA Party, for his own personal gain.)
If Immigration Reform does pass in the Senate, it faces major opposition in the House, which does nothing but oppose necessary and sensible legislation.
Republicans assume that eleven million people will be a blot on the American economy. They choose to ignore the fact that citizenship offers an opportunity for upward mobility. They continue to show a lack of respect for the Hispanic community.
In addition, granting work permits to the undocumented would enhance their opportunities for success, and a study by the Center for American Progress estimated that over 10 years, a full path to legalization would add $1.5 trillion to American economic output.
The right wing approach in the 112th congress, and continuing in the 113th, is ‘ignore it, and it will go away’. Eleven million people are not going away.
They are also ignoring the statistics of voters in 2012. African-Americans and Hispanics, along with single women, are increasingly motivated to vote. As of now, 2014 looks pretty good for Democrats.
Columnist-The Guardian Express