House GOP leaders have made it crystal clear that it is their intention to pass an amnesty bill based upon every liberal premise of the immigration issue. The only question is timing. Conservatives must sound the alarm and acknowledge that engaging in the upcoming primaries is the only way to preempt Obamacare 2.0 in the lame duck years of Obama’s tenure.
When talking with many grassroots activists throughout the country this primary cycle, it seems that many conservatives are fooled by the false sense of security that a GOP-controlled House would never pass amnesty. After all, why would Republicans reward a lawbreaker – a president who has ostensibly placed a moratorium on border security and immigration enforcement – with the biggest political victory of his second term?
After the government shutdown in October, I felt the same way. There was no way Republicans would play ball with Democrats on immigration after President Obama and Senator Harry Reid conducted themselves with such contempt during the budget battle. But like many others in the movement, I was temporarily overlooking the fact that our party is controlled by undocumented Democrats.
Immediately following the budget battle, we began to see news reports about Speaker Boehner promising a push for amnesty after the primaries are settled. We saw Rep. Eric Cantor hold up the Dream Act as a paradigm of positive conservative legislation. We watched in shock as John Boehner suddenly hired one of the key staffers involved in writing the Kennedy-McCain amnesty bill to be his top policy advisor on immigration. And we saw Rep. Paul Ryan, a rabid supporter of open borders, forge a budget deal for an extra year, clearing the schedule to focus on immigration over the next two years.
Now, the New York Times is reporting that John Boehner is planning to act on his tantalizing open border dreams, albeit through a surreptitious strategy. Knowing that conservatives are repulsed by anything comprehensive in nature, aides to the Speaker told the Times that he plans to push a “step-by-step” approach. In case you were wondering, that step-by-step approach doesn’t include reforming our out-of-control refuge and asylum policy, building the fence, cutting off the welfare spigot, clarifying birthright citizenship, ending chain migration, or reducing our record high levels of low skilled immigration before making other changes. It includes a list of liberal priorities couched with some shiny objects that will never make it in the final bill, especially with Democrats in control of the U.S. Senate and the White House.
And speaking of Democrat control, why are the same people who told us we can’t block bad legislation with control of just the House now suggesting that we can pass conservative immigration legislation with such little power?
The question answers itself. These people do not share our values. This intra-party battle is not just about strategy; it is about substance.
Indeed it is hard to sit back and watch Republican leaders remain silent as Obama hamstrings our border agents, suspends laws of Congress, and even harbors illegal immigrants in his own family. Instead of debating how much enforcement they will demand from Obama, Republicans are already negotiating how much amnesty and chain migration they will unilaterally cede to the President.
If conservatives remain silent, all of the incumbents will coast to reelection and the current leadership will remain intact. Even if Boehner retires, Reps. Cantor, McCarthy and Ryan will pursue amnesty with even more alacrity. That’s why conservatives must work to change leadership.
In addition to engaging in every contested primary this year, conservatives need to commence a discussion with sitting members regarding their plans for next year’s leadership elections. Instead of waiting until the last minute, there needs to be a well-organized effort beginning this year to block the current leaders from retaining or obtaining power during the next Congress.
After three years of failed promises from the Pledge to America, and now with the new push for amnesty by the big four players (John Boehner, Eric Cantor, Kevin McCarthy, and Paul Ryan), it’s time for new leadership. Make no mistake about it, if we are saddled with Boehner and Cantor for leaders, or if Paul Ryan replaces Boehner as Speaker, we will witness the fundamental transformation of America through immigration deform. It’s time we start bringing individual members out of the shadows and document their plans for leadership elections. Otherwise we will all be disenfranchised by an opposition party that joins with a very ambitious lame-duck president who has nothing to lose by pushing a sweeping amnesty bill.
Cross-posted from The Madison Project