Former Republican Senator Alan Simpson reportedly once said "We have two political parties in this country, the Stupid Party and the Evil Party. I belong to the Stupid Party." With the House Republicans choosing to charge ahead on immigration against all logic, his statement continues to bear fruit today.
The House GOP Leadership on Thursday released what they called their principles for immigration reform in a one page letter. In the letter, they pledged to take a step by step process to fix “a broken immigration system” including strengthening border security, interior enforcement, and offering a path to legal status but not citizenship for the nation’s undocumented immigrants. It does make an exception for DREAMERS, the young immigrants that entered the US as children illegally by offering them a pathway citizenship because “children should not be punished for the mistakes of their parents.”
The draft overall is quite vague, giving Republicans considerable room to strike an eventual deal with the Senate and the White House. In fact, Democrats and Hispanic groups responded quite favorably to the document while conservatives criticized it. With the Republican leadership embracing legalizing undocumented workers, it is easy to see an eventual compromise happening, especially considering President Obama now may be open to signing an immigration bill without a path to citizenship. If reform does happen, the GOP will have helped Obama accomplish the number one goal of his second term in office and perhaps demoralize their base as a result.
There is no question our immigration system has its share of problems and needs to be addressed at some point. But delving into this debate now will only serve to divide a Republican Party that finally has momentum. Democrats are scared of being seen with President Obama right now, given his atrocious poll numbers and the fact Obamacare is in trouble. So why introduce a topic that takes the not only takes the spotlight off the Democrats and Obama, but gives them an issue where they hold the winning hand?