Bloggings on Immigration Law

by Roger Algase

Bloggings: Anti-Immigrant House Republicans Could Pose a Clear and Present Danger to CIR. By Roger Algase

There has been much focus on the constructive role that Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI), last year's GOP vice-presidential candidate and a CIR supporter, may be able to play in persuading his colleagues in the House to vote for legalization for unauthorized immigrants and other elements of reform. See my comments in the April 23 ID and Greg Siskind's in the April 25 ID.

But this is only one side of the picture. An April 25 Washington Post article, House conservatives to push own immigration agenda, describes how the anti-immigrant wing of the Republican party in the House may succeed in derailing reform entirely.*

The Post's article states:*

"Leading conservatives have begun to seek ways to delay and, potentially, defeat the push for the legislation, which includes a path to citizenship for up to 11 million illegal immigrants."

The same article reports that House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), a former immigration lawyer who opposes the path to citizenship, intends to pursue a "narrower path" by introducing his own more conservative proposals. The objective would be to drag out negotiations and give time for the opposition to reform to grow, while putting pressure on Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), a CIR supporter and potential 2016 presidential candidate.

The same article continues:

"The split within the GOP's conservative wing has set up a difficult political calculation for House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio), who must decide whether to risk angering the Republican base or allow extended debate that could imperil the legislation."

However, another political calculation which Speaker Boehner might want to give some thought to is whether there will be a Republican party as we know it, with nationwide power and influence, after 2016 (or even 2014) if the reactionary wing of the GOP in the House succeeds in killing reform, assuming that it passes in the Senate.

The American people, including Latino and Asian voters, sent a clear message in favor of immigration reform in last year's election. If Republican politicians ignore the voices of reason in their own party and continue to pursue their familiar agenda of anti-immigrant bigotry, they may doom their party to extinction.


About The Author

Roger Algase is a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been practicing business immigration law in New York City for more than 20 years.

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) alone and should not be imputed to ILW.COM.