Although Speaker John Boehner just ludicrously refused to tell Face The Nation what he thinks about “immigration reform” a.k.a. the 2013 Amnesty/ Immigration Surge, it’s all too obvious what the House Republican leadership really wants: a sell-out. That’s why House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is holding hearings today (July 22) on his personal version of the DREAM Act—to be called the KIDS Act. (DREAM spells “Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors”, KIDS spells I-don’t-know-what at this point. But the “D” stands for “Donor.”)
If the GOP really was a GAP, rallying patriotic opposition to this nation-breaking legislation, it would be holding hearings that expose its weakness (see my suggestions below). Instead, it’s steering debate into a sob swamp—which might well result in a bill going to conference into which S.744 could be stuffed.
Ironically, the Washington Post story on the press conference announcing this showed John Boehner and Cantor posing behind a lectern with a banner that says GOP.GOV/JOBS. [House panel plans hearing on children of immigrants, By Ed O'Keefe, Washington Post, July 17, 2013. Actually that’s “illegal children of illegal aliens,” but, hey, this is the Washington Post].
But what Boehner and Canto are talking about a plan to give American jobs and subsidized college educations to millions of foreigners—at a time when 37 million Americans are struggling to pay off student loans and over half of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed.
Boehner claims “basic fairness” means an Amnesty for the KIDs (what about basic fairness to Americans?), And Cantor, for his part, says
“[T]he history of our country is one that moved away from holding kids liable for the deeds, misdeeds, commitment of crime by parents. And these, in many instances, are kids without a country if we don’t allow them to become full citizens of our country.” Cantor: Making Citizens of Young Illegals the Decent Thing to Do, By Elizabeth Harrington, CNSNews.com, July 17, 2013
Of course, this stuff about “holding kids liable” is just nuts. These “kids” are in possession of stolen property—US residency—that they’re not entitled to, just as much as if their parents had burgled a house. Nobody is proposing caning them (or their parents) like the Malaysians do to illegals. But they have to give it up.
But Cantor is playing the sentimental Ellis Island card—in February he made a speech about amnesty which remembered the pogroms his ancestors faced, irrelevant (and insulting) in today’s immigration debate for any number of reasons.
Needless to say, this attempt at surrendering the moral high ground to the Left is getting the GOP Leadership no traction with either conservatives or liberals. POLITICO says:
Conservatives in the House are not rushing to embrace an immigration proposal from party leaders to offer a path to citizenship to children who were brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents. Conservatives in no rush to embrace 'Kids Act' on immigration, By Russell Berman. Politico, July 19, 2013
And MSNBC’s MaddowBlog, a typical example, says that for liberals it’s too little, too late:
First, in 2010, the House brought the Dream Act to the floor and over 95% of House Republicans voted against it. Among those voting in opposition were some guys by the name of Boehner, Cantor, and Goodlatte. If this is "about basic fairness" now, where were they two-and-a-half years ago?
Boehner, Cantor switch gears on 'basic fairness', By Steve Benen, July 19, 2013
Benen wants to know if Boehner is still willing to deport the kids’ parents? I’d like to know that, too, since if they make both parents and children undeportable, that would be amnesty.
The KIDS themselves are treating the GOP proposal with their characteristic arrogant contempt:
“I want to be clear, Dreamers will not stand for this,” said Greisa Martinez, [Twitter] a Dreamer from Texas whose father was deported in 2006. “Proposals to provide citizenship for some young people while excluding our parents is not going to get our stamp of approval.”
DREAMers Respond To KIDS Act: ‘We Will Not Stand For This', By Griselda Nevarez, VOXXI, July 20, 2013
"Do it for the children" has now become a GOP talking point? This is low, real low, even for weasels like Boehner and Cantor. We're being sold out, one step at a time. I've had it with the GOP.
Of course Cantor and Boehner aren’t really doing it for the KIDS. They’re doing it for the donors. Boehner has always been a major corporate weasel, and Cantor, as House Majority Leader, has his finger on the pulse—and his hand in the pocket—of the Chamber of Commerce and the various big donors who want amnesty. (See Cantor's Dream Amnesty Betrayal: Did Sheldon Adelson's $5 Million Play A Role?) It’s all part of what we call Conservatism, Inc.
The problem they both have: the House Republicans, who have to face the voters, hate the idea of amnesty. (See Revolt Among Republicans On Immigration Bill: 70 House Members Risk Careers In Planned Showdown With Leadership, By Madeleine Morgenstern, TheBlaze.com, June 13, 2013.)
So Cantor, in holding these hearings, is doing exactly the wrong thing.
What should the GOP leadership be holding hearings on, instead of this modified limited DREAM Act? Here are a few ideas:
James Fulford [Email him] is a writer and editor for VDARE.com.