No Immigration Reform in 2013

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When Speaker of the House John Boehner was interviewed Sunday on ‘Face the Nation,’ he said that the House should be repealing legislation, not passing new laws.  His other responses pointed to the death of immigration reform in 2013.

An interview with host Bob Shieffer on CBS This Morning Monday confirmed what I have been saying, ‘it’s doubtful any immigration reform will pass this year.’

A Washington Post-ABC News poll shows mixed results, but fails to break down the division by a rising group of important voters, those aged 30 or under.

The poll showed that majority of Americans favor the two major issues causing the conflict; a path to citizenship, and increased border security.  But there are radical differences within partisan, racial, and ethnic groups.

House Republicans insist that they will support their ‘base,’ and block any form of immigration reform.  This creates a serious problem for the GOP in national elections.  The Republican ‘base’ is steadily shrinking; they are older, whiter, and are becoming a minority in ‘red’ states.

Historically older Americans comprised one of the largest groups of voters.  Post-election polls show that while that group remains the same, increasing numbers of those 30 and under, single women, and minorities are showing up at the polls.

After the 2012 election, the RNC targeted the votes of minorities, a group that overwhelmingly voted for Democrats.  But Republicans in the House of Representatives apparently did not read the memorandum.  If a path to citizenship is not a major increment in immigration reform, two results are guaranteed.  The President will veto the bill, and the Hispanic vote will continue to be Democratic.

The poll revealed another difficulty for the GOP.  There is increasing division within the party.  I would say that more accurately, not all Republicans continue to represent the GOP.

The TEA Party is the greatest culprit.  Owned and operated by the Koch brothers and other Super PAC funds, it has become the extremist wing of Republicans.  Another group whose primary election support comes from the ‘religious right’ fails to respond to the changing face of America.  The number of Republicans who could wear the label ‘centrist’ comprises a very small percentage of the modern GOP.

The bottom line appears to be that the majority of Republicans in Washington do not want to pass any form of an immigration bill.  The polls show that Democrats, independents, and Hispanics favor the Senate form of the bill.  Republicans continue to use the 46 billion dollar cost to increase border security as a need, without changing the future for those living in the country without documentation, and ignore the increase in revenue for the United States by offering a path to citizenship for 11 million people.

When it’s the ‘right thing to do,’ Congress will all too frequently be wrong in their decision, or, in this case, by its inaction.

The consensus of opinion is that the bipartisan Senate bill was DOA on arrival in the House.  And the House, which supports Boehner’s attitude, will do nothing, as usual.  There will be no immigration reform in 2013.

Alfred James reporting

Op-ed

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