Divided on immigration

Bush nudges GOP on immigration as lawmakers meet
Associated Press
Jul 11, 2013

Divided on immigration, House Republicans bluntly challenged President Barack Obama's willingness to secure the nation's borders on Wednesday, and appeared unimpressed by George W. Bush's advice to carry a "benevolent spirit" into a debate that includes a possible path to citizenship for millions.

Emerging from a closed-door meeting, GOP leaders affirmed a step-by-step approach to immigration but offered neither specifics nor a timetable — nor any mention of possible citizenship for an estimated 11 million immigrants living in the country unlawfully.

Instead, in a written statement noting that the White House recently delayed a key part of the health care law, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and other leaders said the action raised concerns that the administration "cannot be trusted to deliver on its promises to secure the border and enforce laws as part of a single, massive bill like the one passed by the Senate."

Lawmakers streaming out of the two-hour meeting said Bush's long-distance advice had not come up in a discussion that focused instead on the importance of securing the nation's borders and a general distrust of Obama.

The former president's ability to sway a new generation of House conservatives was a matter of considerable doubt, especially because many of the tea party-backed lawmakers have risen to power since he left the White House and are strongly on record in opposition to any citizenship provision.

"We care what people back home say, not what some former president says," declared Rep. Tim Huelskamp, a second-term Kansas Republican who has clashed with the party leadership in the House.

Still, the timing and substance of Bush's remarks were reminders of the imperative that many national party leaders feel that Republicans must broaden their appeal among Hispanic voters to compete successfully in future presidential elections. President Barack Obama took more than 70 percent of their votes in winning a second term last fall.

"America can be a lawful society and a welcoming society at the same time," Bush said at a naturalization ceremony at his presidential library in Dallas.

For their part, Democrats quickly embraced the former president's message, challenging House Speaker John Boehner to proceed in the same spirit.

The meeting in the Capitol was arranged as a listening session for the House GOP, their first such meeting since the Senate approved sweeping legislation last month on a bipartisan vote of 68-32.

Lawmakers said after the session there was strong support for a bill to create a path to citizenship for immigrants who were brought to the country as children illegally by family members, an idea advanced by Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia. Rep. Robert Goodlatte, R-Va.., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said his panel would soon begin work on legislation covering that group.

Several members of the rank and file said Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., had made a particularly strong appeal for a comprehensive approach, which includes possible citizenship for the 11 million.

But others emphasized there was virtually no support for the Senate's approach of one sweeping measure that dealt with immigration in all its forms.

Nor was there a clear timetable.

"I don't sense any urgency," said Rep. John Fleming of Louisiana. Rep. Peter King of New York said that if any legislation came to the floor for a vote this month, it would deal only with border security.

Other lawmakers said there was concern even about that sort of approach, saying it could lead to negotiations with the Senate that might morph into a compromise that included citizenship for some of the immigrants in the country illegally. They sought and received assurances from Boehner that he wouldn't let that happen, according to Rep. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota.

Boehner had said he wants the House to pass legislation on the subject before lawmakers go home for a four-week break over August, beginning with a measure to toughen border security. He has also said he won't put any bill on the House floor that doesn't have the support of at least half of the GOP rank and file, a pledge that only increases the challenge for Democrats and others who want to give a chance at citizenship to millions now in the country illegally.

"I don't know that Republican leadership has a strategy that is workable," Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the second-ranking House Democrat, told reporters.

Unlike a sweeping, bipartisan bill that cleared the Senate last month, the House Judiciary Committee has cleared four smaller measures in recent weeks, none of which would include the possibility of citizenship.

One would toughen enforcement of immigration laws, and includes a provision that would permit local police officers to enforce such laws as part of an attempt to raise the number of deportations. It also encourages immigrants in the United States illegally to depart voluntarily, an echo of Mitt Romney's call for "self-deportation" in the 2012 presidential race.

Other measures would create a new mandatory system for employees to verify the legal status of their workers, create a new temporary program for farm workers and expand the number of visas for employees in technology industries.

By contrast, the Senate bill, passed 68-32, would increase border security, provide a pathway to citizenship for many of the estimated 11 million immigrants illegally in the country, expand the highly skilled worker program and set up new guest worker arrangements for lower-skilled workers and farm laborers.

Obama is to meet Thursday with two authors of the Senate measure, John McCain, R-Ariz., and Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in the Oval Office.

In more than four years since he left the White House, Bush has rarely spoken out publicly about either policy or politics — and he said he didn't particularly want to do either as he addressed the naturalization ceremony at his presidential library.

Still, his message was an unmistakable echo of the failed attempt he made as president to overhaul immigration laws, including providing a route to citizenship for many.

He said the nation has a problem: 'The laws governing the immigration system are broken. The system is broken."

Without mentioning Republicans or Democrats, he said "I do hope there is a positive resolution to the debate" now unfolding in Congress. "And I hope during the debate that we keep a benevolent spirit in mind, and we understand the contributions immigrants make to our country."

Bush's campaign to overhaul immigration legislation while in the White House included the political calculation that Republicans needed to take steps to appeal to Hispanic voters who are an increasingly large part of the population, particularly in states like Texas, Florida, Nevada and Colorado.

At the same time, relatively few House Republicans represents districts with substantial Hispanic populations, and many say they fear primary election challenges from the right if they support citizenship for immigrants in the United States illegally.

Within a few hours of Bush's remarks, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi took note of them in a letter to Boehner.

"In that same spirit, the 113th Congress has the opportunity to make our mark on American history by enacting comprehensive immigration reform," she wrote.

House Democrats insist that a path to citizenship be included in any legislation, and Obama has said he won't sign any bill that lacks it.

"We believe that the president is very firm on that," Rep. Ruben Hinojosa said after he and other members of the all-Democratic Congressional Hispanic Caucus met with Obama at the White House.

Comments

Contango

Re: "If they are paying taxes, and they are, why would the IRS even be involved with ICE?"

To WHOM do illegals pay their taxes and from WHOM do they receive tax credits and/or refunds?

Many illegals are those who have overstayed their VISA. ICE doesn't have a list?

Proof YET AGAIN, that Obama-holes stick their heads in unsanitary places.

The Big Dog's back

pooh, "YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH".

deertracker

How can you receive either a tax credit or a refund if you are not a taxpayer? DUH???????????????????????

Contango

Re: "How can you receive either a tax credit or a refund if you are not a taxpayer?"

"Most illegals do pay taxes."

So they PAY taxes but do not RECEIVE credits and/or refunds?

And the IRS has no address for the PAYEE?

OH, the DERPY Obama-holes.

deertracker

I was just joking about the Kessler's thing in the beginning but I think I was on to something!

Contango

Re: "Most get a refund from state and federal income tax,"

Proving ONCE AGAIN, that Obama-holes are TOTALLY confused.

deertracker

You forgot your (snip)!

Darwin's choice

Look up the address of a certain home in Atlanta that received 49 million in refunds. Then tell me you can't, former IRS man!

deertracker

Yea, a 48 million dollar refund. Nothing unusual about that!

mammamia

Here is what I know FOR SURE about the taxes illegals DO PAY -

1. They drive so they have to buy gasoline, and therefore pay the same gasoline taxes anyone else pays.
2. They buy things - at the drug stores and pharmacies, clothing and shoes, furniture stores, utilities - and they pay all the taxes included in those purchases.
3. They purchase vehicles - granted they may not be able to legally register them in their own names without a Social Security number but they CAN BUY THE VEHICLE...and that includes a fairly large amount of sales tax.
4. By the way I know of at least 3 instances where an American Citizen has "helped" them by allowing the vehicle to be registered in THEIR name, and the immigrant pays NOT ONLY THE FEE FOR REGISTRATION AND ANNUAL TAGS but has been charged between $150 and $400 each time (by the citizen who is knowingly fronting this...) for the "convenience fee".
5. That citizen chooses the insurance for the vehicle and the immigrant reimburses the citizen not only for the premium but ALSO a "convenience fee".
6. ...and when the immigrant has paid off the loan on the vehicle... I KNOW OF AT LEAST THREE INSTANCES... where the citizen goes and takes the vehicle ... and it's NOT considered theft because it's registered in their name.
7. I am an owner of rental property, and just like any other owner of rental property I DO NOT PAY PROPERTY TAXES; I write the check to the tax agency BUT I DON'T PAY PROPERTY TAXES...IT'S INCLUDED IN THE RENT I CHARGE, JUST LIKE ALL OTHER RENTAL PROPERTY OWNERS DO... so whether your tenant is illegal or not, elderly or on Metro... THE TENANT PAYS THOSE PROPERTY TAXES.
8. I have seen paycheck stubs that clearly show deductions for ALL the same payroll deductions anyone else pays. IF the illegal is using someone else's Social Security # all of these taxes credit to THAT person. The illegals won't get credit for the Social Security OR other taxes deducted from their paycheck. So...if it's YOUR # you can find out by asking for your annual report from SocSec and if you see payments from somewhere you know you didn't work at...YOU SHOULD REPORT IT; or you could say nothing and just take the credit you don't really have coming...? ...orrrr there's the issue of if the employer is withholding the money but not actually paying it in, just keeping it for themselves...

This isn't about my beliefs on immigration or about yours; I won't violate privacy and name my tenants or friends any more than you would or should have to. If there are American citizens working "under the table" TAKE IT UP WITH THEM OR THEIR EMPLOYERS. If an employer isn't paying in what was deducted...WHY BLAME THE ILLEGAL WHO HAS NO CONTROL OVER IT?

If the illegals are taking a job YOU or your neighbors or teenagers WANT, and WILL DO, FOR THE PAY AND CONDITIONS OFFERED - by all means go apply for that job, show up and do it and cash your HARD earned paycheck.

Better enforcement of the border would be good; better enforcement of laws being broken would be good; blaming those who are UNDER the barrel for our frustrations, anger, etc etc solves NOTHING; never has, never will.

The Big Dog's back

Excellent post!

deertracker

Awesome post! Next!

arnmcrmn

How about the illegals costing states and communities millions in Healthcare?

Go visit your local hospital and ask about immigrants (either working or illegal) and insurance or payments......LOL.

Contango

Re: "If there are American citizens working "under the table" (snip)"

Many are day laborers - CASH ONLY.

The entire scr*wed up system SCREAMS for a national consumption tax doesn't it?

Yep! Just hire more well compensated bureaucrats to help oversee the incompetency of broken entitlement system, which is enforced, by other well-compensated bureaucrats.

Contango

Re: "You guys do know Bush is a Republican?"

NEVER voted for Mr. Bush, did you?

deertracker

No, I didn't. Did you?

Contango

Re: "Did you?"

Proof YET AGAIN that Obama-holes are illiterate. :)

deertracker

Do you know what "illiterate" means pooh?

Contango

RE: "Do you know what "illiterate" means,"

YES, DO YOU??? LOL

To quote myself: "NEVER voted for Mr. Bush,"

Here's wishing all the Obama-holes a FUN DAY at the Zimmerman trial! :)

Contango

"Mexico Obesity Rate Surpasses The United States', Making It Fattest Country In The Americas "

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/20...

Fat people are seldom poor.

The Big Dog's back

Bullspit. The poor cannot afford the healthy foods. Food high in carbs are cheaper. Do some research. It's not poor people advertising they are on Nutrisystem.

Huron_1969

The target market for nutrisystem and the like are those who want to loose weight. Like any specialty product, it costs more. You and deertracks sure come up with wild comparisons

The Big Dog's back

Wild comparisons?

deertracker

Only a real clown believes you must be rich because you are fat! SMDH!!

Contango

The point: Aren't the brain-dead Obama-holes always crying about the poor, poor, disadvantaged Mexicans?

Looks like they SURPASSED the gringos in being FAT. :)

deertracker

They are also the reason "gringos" are fat, right?????

Contango

Better keep the illegal Mexicans in the U.S. so that they can "slim down." :)

goofus

What part of the word illegal does the left do not understand!!!

kURTje

Here is a question. Have & do they now (border states) profit from illegal labour? I've heard stories of business hiring & exploiting illegals. Does this still occur? Wasn't there government officials employing illegals as domestics?

deertracker

Any of you cons want to answer that?

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