As long as Congress remains in session, there is a risk that Republicans may turn victory into defeat by making an ill-advised deal on immigration. In the House, a group of Republicans led by Kay Granger has produced a report that looks alarmingly like the Gang of Eight proposal. At National Review, the tireless Jeff Sessions explains why Republicans should avoid that course like the plague:
The border crisis is the direct and predictable result of the President’s sustained policies undermining America’s immigration laws. The President’s continued determination to carry out this nullification remains the singular obstacle in the way of restoring lawfulness. It is therefore odd that the House working group did not mention President Obama even once in their released findings. Indeed, they made no mention of the President’s threat of sweeping new executive actions. Multiple reports indicate that these imminent actions are likely to take the form of administrative amnesty and work permits for 5-6 million illegal immigrants. Any attempt at improving the border situation would be rendered utterly void if the President follows through on his dramatic nullification acts. How can Congress ignore this brewing constitutional crisis? In fact, granting the President new funds without tackling these orders would be an institutional surrender to the planned illegality.
Substantively, the group’s report represents a step backward:
The border security measures also raise concerns. The document calls for President Obama’s Department of Homeland Security to develop a ‘strategy’ and ‘plan’ to secure the border, which is less than what is actually required to do under current law. Meanwhile, it omits any discussion of restoring collapsed interior enforcement.
But it is Sessions’ ringing conclusion that should be read by every American:
Finally, it is curious that the proposal makes no mention of the needs of Americans. Yes, this is a humanitarian crisis. But it is also a legal crisis. And so too is it a crisis for the American people who have begged and pleaded for a lawful system of immigration that serves their interests, protects their jobs, and increases their wages. Republicans should not be timid or apologetic, but present a bold defense of the American people. The House GOP has so far been the last bulwark protecting working Americans; it would be tragic for that defense to buckle in the closing days of this Congress.
The great danger, of course, is that the House might pass something that would lead to a conference committee with the Senate that would revive the Gang of Eight’s bill. I don’t think that will happen, but with Congressional Republicans, you never know.