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House Republicans have so far been all talk, no action on immigration reform, but apparently even their chatter is worrying anti-immigrant conservatives. Steve King ominously warned yesterday that “this place will blow up” if the House ever tries to take up immigration reform, prompting “a crisis like we have not seen in years in the House of Representatives.”
Meanwhile, according to The Hill, Laura Ingraham and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) Congressional Task Force are pushing a Grover Norquist-inspired election pledge demanding that Republicans oppose key planks in the legislative immigration reform effort. (Norquist, ironically, is a big supporter of immigration reform.) So far, a number of candidates looking to unseat Republican members of Congress have signed the pledge; no sitting members appear to have done so.
According to The Hill, the pledge focuses on three points:
The pledge requires that signatories promise to oppose any form of work authorization for the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants living in United States. It binds them to oppose legislation that would increase the number of legal immigrants allowed in the country and reject proposals to increase the number of guest workers.
That’s right — like other anti-immigration reform efforts, Ingraham’s pledge shows her hand by not only standing against undocumented immigration, but legal immigrants as well. Her pledge could keep people like H1B workers and farm laborers — desperately petitioned for by the tech and agriculture industries, respectively — out of the US. And the core organization she’s working with, FAIR, is part of the Tanton Network and has been designated a hate group according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. Those are a couple of considerations Republicans might keep in mind before signing the pledge.
Between that, and the fact that Republicans need immigration reform if they want to win enough Latino voters to ever see the inside of the White House again, here’s what a more honest version of Ingraham’s pledge might look like:
I, Republican candidate for _______, hereby pledge to:
- Continue alienating Latino voters by not supporting immigration reform, thereby helping my party drive itself off its impending demographic cliff
- Actively oppose legislation that would turbo-charge the US economy, drive down the deficit, and help keep our nation competitive
- Make way for President Obama to take executive action on immigration enforcement and deportations, cutting my party out of the reform process until such a time when a Democrat-controlled House and Senate can pass legislation without needing to make any concessions to Republicans.