In line with the generally over-optimistic media coverage of the outlook for immigration reform in the House, which manages to convert some of reform's most bitter enemies into supposed "friends" (see my August 6 post), there has been a good deal of focus on the efforts which pro-reform groups will be making in August to persuade at least a few Republican House members from heavily Latino districts to support CIR, as if this will somehow turn the tables which are now so heavily stacked against reform in the lower chamber.

But the Tea Party is going into action this month too, against reform. A site called describes Tea Party efforts to kill reform this summer in an August 2 post by Caroline May called: Tea party groups press House to eschew conference with Senate immigration bill. eschew-senate-conference.aspx

According to the above post, heads of 77 Tea Party and conservative groups, as well as more than 15,000 individuals, have sent a letter to every House member stating their "unflinching" opposition to S.744, the Senate "amnesty" bill, and opposing any effort by the House leadership to go to conference with the Senate on CIR.

The letter claims that the Senate bill would, among other things, dramatically increase the flow of illegal immigration, cost taxpayers trillions of dollars, fail to secure the border, endanger national security, give the Secretary of Homeland Security discretion not to enforce the immigration laws, destroy ICE, and, most laughable of all, reverse America's "melting pot" tradition by funneling money to groups that would "undermine the patriotic assimilation of new immigrants".

There it is in a nutshell (pun entirely intended) - all the unreason, falsehoods, anti-immigrant fear, hate and racism that are blocking reform, neatly summarized in one letter.

The question is: which voices are right wing House Republicans who depend on Tea Party support and are terrified of being "primaried" by even more right wing Tea Party candidates next year more likely to listen to during the August recess and beyond - the voices of reform groups seeking justice, equality and freedom from persecution for 11 million unauthorized Latino and other non-white immigrants, or those of intolerant, generally less educated white voters who dominate the gerrymandered districts which most GOP House members come from?

It is time to place your bets.