Try to follow this logic: Republicans know that they have to do something on immigration reform, in order to stop forsaking Latino voters and give their party at least a fighting chance at an electoral future. One way forward they’re considering, however, would “address” immigration reform by creating a separate class of citizens while doing nothing to help most of the 11 million currently waiting in the shadows.
According to Fawn Johnson at National Journal, one piecemeal approach to reform that House Republicans might consider combines border security legislation with a work-visa proposal and Eric Cantor’s KIDS Act, which provides a path to citizenship for DREAMers.
The question is what happens once DREAMers become citizens:
Under current law, they would be allowed to sponsor family members, including parents, for green cards. That worries some Republicans who have long questioned the utility of family-based immigration in the United States. It also is of concern to any member who justifies support by saying that unauthorized immigrants brought here as children were not at fault, their parents were.
Democrats are angered by this line of reasoning, pointing out that Republicans repeatedly say they support a path to citizenship for people without papers if those people become citizens using existing law. Yet they would be changing existing law by including a provision in the Kids Act that bars these particular citizens from sponsoring their family members. What’s more, advocates say the provision would codify a basic unfairness into the concept of citizenship. Some citizens—i.e., the “kids”—would have fewer rights than others.
That’s right: in today’s installment of how Republicans just don’t get it, some GOPers want to let Latinos know that DREAMers are good enough to become citizens, but their parents are not. They want to pass planks of immigration reform that are supported by conservatives—border security and work visas—while doing nothing for most of the 11 million immigrants who are already here. And they think that would be addressing immigration reform in a way that won’t get their party savaged by immigrants, advocates, allies, Democrats, and Spanish-language media?
We’ll refer House GOPers back to our statement on what we’re looking for in a conservative-based immigration bill. It’s not hard; it just needs to be bipartisan, contain an achievable path to citizenship, and not contain the SAFE Act. Anything less, and we’ll know that Republicans are not being serious.