Conservative Republicans on Wednesday ruled out any immigration legislation in the House this year, insisting that the GOP should wait until next year when the party might also control the Senate.
House GOP leaders unveiled their broad immigration principles last week that gave hope to advocates and the Obama administration that the first changes in the nation's laws in three decades might happen in the coming months.
Immigration legislation is one of the top priorities for Obama's second term.
But several of the conservatives were adamant that the House should do nothing on the issue this year, a midterm election year when the GOP is angling to gain six seats in the Senate and seize majority control. Democrats currently have a 55-45 advantage but are defending more seats, including ones in Republican-leaning states.
"I think it's a mistake for us to have an internal battle in the Republican Party this year about immigration reform," Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, told reporters at a gathering of conservatives. "I think when we take back the Senate in 2014 one of the first things we should do next year after we do certain economic issues, I think we should address the immigration issue."
What nonsense. This is nothing more than pandering to the nativist bigots in the Republican party who cannot abide the idea of actually admitting brown people as citizens, preferring instead to create a group of second class people who are allowed to work, contribute to the economy, but not derive any citizenship benefits.
Joe Barton's excuse screams Bigot 101:
"This is not an issue that's ready for prime time to move legislatively," said Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, who said Republicans should use the principles to begin a dialogue with Hispanics.
As long as you're screaming about America the Beautiful being sung in different languages, I'm pretty sure 'having a dialogue' isn't going to fly, Rep. Barton.
Here's the real reason they won't tackle it:
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“If there’s one thing that could blow up GOP chances for a good 2014, it would be an explosive debate over immigration in the House,” William Kristol, the editor of The Weekly Standard, wrote in a public memo to Republicans.
“Bringing immigration to the floor [insures] a circular GOP firing squad, instead of a nicely lined-up one shooting together and in unison at ObamaCare and other horrors of big government liberalism,” he wrote.
If they think this is a pathway to taking control of the Senate, they might want to think again.