House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., gave House Republicans an “Immigration Resource Kit” Friday, and the document hints that Republicans will take up legislation providing legal status to some illegal immigrants sometime this fall.
The Senate bill is dead
As much as Goodlatte’s document talks up the prospect of legalizing currently illegal immigrants, it also makes it perfectly clear that the Senate immigration bill is completely dead in the House. The first item on a ten-point list slamming the Senate legislation, notes that the S. 744 is unconstitutional since it raises revenue in a number of ways, “including changes in collections of income and payroll taxes, certain visa fees that are classified as revenues, and various fines and penalties.”
Goodlatte also hits the Senate bill for putting “Legalization Before Border Security” and creating a $150 million slush fund for “liberal activist groups like La Raza, Casa de Maryland, and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.”
Solutions may vary
While the document, obtained by the Washington Examiner, does harshly attack the Senate immigration bill for creating “a special pathway to citizenship for those who knowingly broke our immigration laws,” the kit also says, “House Republicans are currently discussing a way forward on how to provide legal status to unlawful immigrants living in our country.”
“However, the current unlawful immigrant population is diverse,” the kit continues, “so the solutions may vary.” “For example, while some knowingly broke our immigration laws, others were brought illegally to the U.S. as children by their parents. These children came here through no fault of their own and many of them know no other home than the United States.”
Echoing this approach, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., told Fox News’ Chris Wallace that he’s “very active in promoting” what he is calling “a kids’ bill” on legalization. “It says that you ought not hold kids liable for illegal acts of their parents,” Cantor told Wallace.
Pro-amnesty voices only please
Perhaps most noteworthy about the packet, is the complete absence of any voices from those opposed to any legalization at all. The last page of the packet is titled “What Conservatives Are Saying” and features quotes from pro-amnesty voices like Grover Norquist and the American Action Forum. There is even a Roll Call headline noting, “Club for Growth and FreedomWorks to Sit Out Immigration Fight,” as if to assure members it is safe to vote for legalization for currently illegal immigrants without fearing a conservative backlash.
Pro-amnesty activist groups have promised to forcefully confront House Republicans on immigration throughout the August recess. This packet is clearly designed to help members diffuse those exchanges as quietly as possible.
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