Some people never learn.
After the 2012 elections, in which Republicans lost Hispanic voters by more than a 3-1 margin, many Republicans started coming around on immigration reform and accepting the need to move forward on legislation. The Republican National Committee admitted the party needed to rebrand itself with Latinos and released a whole “autopsy” report in which the sole legislative prescription was supporting immigration reform.
Republicans still need to prove that their newfound commitment to cooperation is real–and actually passing immigration reform is the best way to do it. But some of the usual suspects, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Rep. Steve King (R-IA) and the “mastermind” behind self-deportation Kris Kobach (the same guys who led the GOP to its precarious position with Latino voters in the first place) are leading the effort to undermine reform this year.
The immigration bill had just been released today when Washington Post exposed the strategy of the anti-immigrant forces to kill the bill. And they are using the same old playbook from 2007:
The authors of the bill are planning to formally embrace it in a news conference as early as Wednesday, a move designed to build momentum for the plan. But conservative critics cautioned Tuesday that the legislative process must not be rushed.
An open process “is essential to gaining public confidence in the content of the bill. We know it’s complicated,” said Sen. John Cornyn (Tex.), the top GOP member on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s immigration subcommittee. “I can’t see any reason to undermine confidence by trying to jam it through without adequate time for people to read it and to hear from their constituents.”
Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) called the pace of the legislative process — with Judiciary Committee hearings set for Friday and Monday — a “serious problem.”Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) suggested to the conservative National Review that caution on immigration is important in light of early speculation that the Boston Marathon bombings might have been carried out by a foreign national with a student visa — speculation that authorities said is not based on any specific finding.
Cornyn. Grassley. King. Of course. And, Jefferson Beauregard Sessions will play a leading role for the anti-immigrant side.
And, look who else is joining in–Kris Kobach:
Those factors make immigration reform “a heavy lift,” said Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a lawyer who helped Arizona draft one of the nation’s strictest immigration laws in 2008. “Twenty million Americans are unemployed or underemployed. At any other normal time, no one would breathe about amnesty.”
Besides writing Arizona’s SB 1070, Kris Kobach was the top adviser on immigration for Mitt Romney, and advocated for the self-deportation strategy that led to Romney’s defeat — and the thumping Romney took from Latino voters.
Republicans have a choice. They can follow the strategy of Cornyn, King, Grassley, Sessions and Kobach — or they can do the right thing and pass real reform with a path to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans.