Almost as soon as they came out with their enforcement-first, legalization-last immigration manifesto, also known as "Principles" or "Standards", the House Republican leaders appear to be running away from this document out of fear of retaliation by their irate white supremacist Tea Party base.

POLITICO reports on February 2 that Paul Ryan (R-Wis), in a Sunday TV interview, not only reiterated the House GOP approach of enforcement before "amnesty" (the Tea Party's word for "legalization") but said that the whole question of whether the president would get an immigration bill to sign this year is "in doubt". See Paul Ryan won't commit to immigration action this year.

In other words, there is good reason to believe that the House Republicans' widely heralded immigration reform "Principles" or "Standards" were not meant to be a basis for action, or even discussion, but only a meaningless public relations gesture to try to fool Latinos and other pro-immigrant communities into thinking that the GOP leaders were open to reform and willing to consider it seriously.

But even if this manifesto was originally meant to be a a basis for discussion in good faith, the Republican leaders are running away from it faster than the anti-immigrant bigots in their party's base can say "boo!"

The only realistic conclusion is that the Tea Party is still in the saddle and holding the reins on the Republican approach to immigration reform.