We keep hearing about how hard it’s going to be for immigration reform, or at least the rotten Gang of 8′s version of immigration reform, to pass in the House. It’s true that Republicans hold the majority and most of the conservatives will vote against it, but that doesn’t mean it can’t pass. Mickey Kaus lays out how it will happen if Speaker Boehner allows it.
Conservative opponents of the Gang face an obvious trap, outlined by Bill Kristol: Speaker Boehner lets them introduce and pass their own strong, enforcement-only anti-illegal immigration bills. Build the fence! Mandate E-Verify! End Sanctuary Cities! But these oh-so-tough little bills then go to a stacked conference committee with the Senate and come back as ‘legalistion-first’ bills. Then Boehner just has to somehow engineer one floor vote to produce an amnesty. The operative cliche in the Senate was “fig leaf;” in the House it’s “Trojan Horse.” Except, of course, that many of the conservative sponsors of the “tough” House bills might be in on the trick–’Just let us posture with our little bills before you beat us!’
Democrats aren’t really the key players in this process, since–this wildly unpersuasive Atlantic piece notwithstanding– it’s assumed that as long as a bill provides for near-instant legalization, they will swallow virtually any conservative add-ons, including denial of citizenship to the legalized illegals.** Of course, in the meantime they are going to complain! But theyknow that once a bill passes, they can change it–and call GOPs anti-Latino in the process. Conservatives, on the other hand, will never be able to undo legalization. …
Read the whole thing. Your representative is probably home in your district for the 4th of July holiday. Be sure to let him or her know what you think.