Rep. Paul D. Ryan might have just given away the road map for House consideration of immigration reform.
“Tentatively, in October, we’re going to vote on a border security bill, an interior enforcement bill, a bill for legal immigration,” the Wisconsin Republican and Budget Committee chairman told constituents at a district town hall event Friday, according to a report by the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel.
Ryan also reportedly said negotiations were underway for the chamber to vote on legislation that would provide undocumented immigrants with “probationary” visas while they waited a minimum of 15 years to attain citizenship.
The timetable is more than most members will volunteer at this point other than to say there won’t likely be any major action before the August recess, which kicks off in one week.
Piecemeal is the way to go, but the fact is, the Republicans are playing right into the Democrats’ hands. Here’s how the game will be played. If the House passes a single large immigration bill, it will go into conference with the Senate and come out looking like the Schumer-Rubio bill. That bill puts legalization ahead of a promise for security that everyone with a brain knows the Obama administration will not fulfill. Any requirements for citizenship will get gutted and sped up. Result: Millions of new voters created for the Democrats over the course of a few years.
If the House passes a bunch of smaller bills, especially the 15-year minimum for citizenship for illegal aliens, then if it gets through the Senate, the Democrats will agitate to drop that minimum before the ink on Obama’s signature is dry. They will cast the GOP as racist for even referring to the language in the law that just passed to defend the minimum. Citing “fairness,” which he consistently values above the rule of law, Obama will issue an executive order dropping as much of that minimum unilaterally as he can. Result: Millions of new voters created for the Democrats over the course of a few years.