(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Former Exelon chairman John Rowe, a prominent Chicago businessman, who has donated to dozens of Republican Congress members is threatening to withhold campaign contributions to Republican lawmakers who refuse to sign onto a discharge petition that would force a vote on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (“DACA”) legislation.

DACA is President Obama’s unconstitutional program, which gave protections to hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.

Rowe, as co-chair of the Illinois Business Immigration Coalition, is attempting to pressure Republicans to come up with a resolution for the mess that Obama created. Rowe’s actions come amid a broader effort by Democrats, and some Republicans who are trying to force a House vote on the issue. Other businessmen from the immigration group — including David Bender, the group’s co-chair and a GOP county chairman, and veteran Republican donor William Kunkler — are making similar pledges.

House Speaker Paul Ryan has privately asked his members not to back the effort, but so far, 20 House Republicans have signed onto a Democrats’ effort to force a vote on DACA legislation.

More than 200 lawmakers, including the 20 Republicans, have now signed a discharge petition to circumvent leadership and trigger a series of votes on the floor dealing with immigration. According to The Hill,  as of Tuesday evening, just 15 more signatures are needed to reach the 218 required to force the votes. If all 193 Democrats sign the petition, as they are expected to, only five more Republican signatures will be needed for the petition to succeed.

But Republican congressional leaders are fighting the discharge petition, which they say will hand over power to the minority:

Leadership has floated an alternative plan to the discharge petition that would allow a series of immigration votes of their choosing during the third week in June, but the details of the process are still being worked out.

Apparently some Republican Congress critters don’t recall what happened to Eric Cantor, former Virginia Congressman and House Majority Leader who lost his 2014 bid for reelection, Cantor lost the Republican primary to an economics professor after trying to sell immigration reform wit amnesty for illegal aliens.

I feel very badly about what Obama and the parents of the DACA “kids” have done to the DACA folk, but we can’t afford to grant illegals amnesty until we finally control our borders.

We have now been fiercely debating immigration reform for more 11 years, ever since President George W. Bush asked Congress to pass new immigration laws consistent with a dozen or so key concepts. While I gave President George W. Bush credit for his willingness to take on such a controversial issue, I opposed his plan for going too far. I remain opposed to any immigration reform that provides legal status to  illegal immigrants already here until we control the border, have a reliable and effective visa control and tracking system and a reliable and effective e-verify system.

As I have written many times, starting in 2003, I’m not against immigration. We are, after all, a nation of immigrants. Immigration is one of the factors that provides the ambition and drive behind this country’s strong entrepreneurial spirit. I understand that certain industries are heavily dependent on immigration. None of the multitude of reasons proving the benefits of immigration justify the illegal immigration.

We need to control immigration. Our immigrants need to play by the rules.

We have an immigration policy. What we haven’t had until President Donald J Trump, is anyone willing to enforce it. We won’t secure our border. State governments encourage the provision of government services to illegal immigrants. Local and even state governments enact “sanctuary” programs for illegal immigrants, preventing their employees from reporting an illegal alien’s status. Right, these problems have been around for a long time.

There has been a movement afoot since the turn of the century to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants who have demonstrated a willingness to live and work peacefully and productively in the United States. Dick Gephardt, then a presidential wannabee, called this “earned legalization.” The movement was sidetracked by 9/11.

We tried amnesty once before. The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, made nearly four million illegals eligible for legal residency with the understanding we would control the border. That policy was an obvious failure because now there more than 12 million illegals to be considered for legal status, or as some say amnesty. If amnesty or legal status is now given to any of these millions, then we should only expect requests for legal status from millions and millions more.

We almost accomplished immigration reform in 2006. Senate Republicans reached a compromise on the status millions illegals in the U.S. The compromise would have treated illegal aliens differently based upon the length of time they have been in the U.S. I was willing to accept this compromise. But According to the Associated Press and Eleanor Clift the Democrats wanted a political advantage more than they wanted immigration reform.