Conservatives have always recognized the importance of immigration as an integral part of the fabric of our nation, but so too is the principle of sovereignty and the respect for the rule of law.
A Heritage Action Sentinel Steve Fey made the following remark in Letter to the Editor in the Wall Street Journal (sub. req’d):
Traditional Americans embrace the idea that immigration is a benefit to our nation but reject the idea that every entrance should have a welcome mat and a paycheck at the point of crossing. Furthermore, Americans want to attract immigrants who believe in our founding principles of freedom, capitalism and the rule of law. When we fail to enforce the rule of law, as we do now, we make a mockery of our principles.
Conservatives have expressed strong concern about going to conference with the Senate-passed amnesty bill. National Review explains their concerns are justifiable.
Broadly, going to conference means losing control of the legislation – meaning pro-amnesty lawmakers will gain control. Even under the best case scenario, House conservatives trying to steer away from amnesty will be a distinct minority on any conference committee. They’d be pared with pro-amnesty Democrats from the House and Senate and pro-amnesty Republicans in the Senate. The deck would be stacked to deliver an amnesty plan that closely resembles the Senate’s Gang of Eight bill.
It comes as no surprise that the Obama White House supports the Senate’s amnesty bill, but their new report on the economic impact of the bill is disingenuous and misguiding.
The White House released a report Wednesday called “The Economic Benefits of Fixing Our Broken Immigration System,” which erroneously suggests the Gang of Eight Bill would benefit the U.S. economy. The White House report depends on a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report that only looked at the bill’s cost over a 10-year timeframe and moved costly items off into the future on purpose. Amnesty supporters in the Senate misused the report to try to fool the American people about the true costs of amnesty.
Now the White House is running with this same narrative.
But Heritage’s Derrick Morgan explains why the White House is wrong.
Last night, a small group of Republican lawmakers met to discuss how the House should proceed on the issue of immigration in the aftermath of the Senate’s relatively weak showing on the Gang of Eight. That meeting was a prelude to a much more consequential meeting that will take place on Wednesday with the full House Republican Conference. Going into that leadership meeting, conservatives must be united in their opposition to any House immigration bill until the current amnesty debate ends because it would lead to a conference committee with the Senate-passed amnesty bill.
John Dingell (D-MI), the longest serving member of Congress in our nation’s history, explained “I’ll let you write the substance … you let me write the procedure, and I’ll screw you every time.” If House Republicans pass an immigration bill – no matter how good of a bill it may be – they will very likely end up in a conference committee with the Senate-passed immigration bill. And to be very clear: the end result of any conference committee on immigration will be an amnesty-first bill.
Yesterday, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) explained “the American people expect that we’ll have strong border security in place before we begin the process of legalizing and fixing our legal immigration system.” That is absolutely true, but it is the exact opposite of the Senate’ Gang of Eight plan. As Heritage Action’s CEO Michael Needham said after the vote, “by pursuing an amnesty-first approach, [the Senate has] precluded any further action.” He went on to say that “Amnesty cannot be improved and the House should not try.”
As the Senate prepares to vote for the Gang of Eight amnesty bill, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) wants to remind everyone the American people were misled and the process was rigged from the start. Sen. Lee succinctly laid out what occurred in the Senate throughout the process, why the bill is flawed, and how the procedural fix was in: