Well, it’s finally happened. Leading House Republicans finally got together and agreed upon an outline for some kind of immigration reform. But as you can imagine, their “plan” isn’t really a plan as much as it’s just another example showcasing that Republicans really seem incapable of understanding – well anything.
Most of you probably know that last year the Senate sent a bipartisan plan to the House for a vote, which President Obama would have signed into law. Again, this was a bipartisan bill put together by Republicans and Democrats. Heck, it was widely known that there were even enough votes in the House to pass it.
So why didn’t it become law? Well, because Speaker of the House John Boehner refused to let the House vote on it, essentially killing the bill.
Now it seems Republicans are realizing that if they continue to lose the Latino vote, their future is very bleak – so they’ve decided to pretend to care about passing some kind of immigration reform in an obvious attempt to pander to Latino voters.
There’s just one problem – conservative voters are often extremely anti-immigration.
Which is how they ended up with this “plan” of theirs which is essentially nothing. It basically just says, “Look, if you’re here illegally you can stay here without fear – but you’ll have to somehow admit your crime, pass background checks, pay large sums of money, learn English, prove that you can provide for your family and do this all without any help. Oh, and you still won’t be considered an American citizen even if you do all of that.”
No, seriously, that’s what this “plan” is. Take a look:
“These persons could live legally and without fear in the U.S., but only if they were willing to admit their culpability, pass rigorous background checks, pay significant fines and back taxes, develop proficiency in English and American civics, and be able to support themselves and their families (without access to public benefits).”
And Boehner also said that if Democrats insist on a “simple path to citizenship” then nothing will be done this year.
Yet even as horrible as that “plan” sounds, apparently tea party Republicans are expected to strongly oppose it.
Look, I’m not here to say just amnesty everyone and open our borders. But I’m also in favor of a simple path to citizenship for individuals who’ve been in our country, have proven to be upstanding citizens and meet specific criteria. I’ve even supported some kind of a “fine” or “fee” because they are right that it isn’t fair to offer some simplistic path to citizenship for people who came here illegally when those who come here legally are required to pass specific requirements.
I’m even in favor of denying government assistance to those who have been here illegally, but want to become citizens, for some indeterminate amount of time.
But this “plan” Republicans put forward is simplistic, ignorant and doesn’t really address a very complex issue.
Because let’s not forget that many illegal immigrants were brought here as children, completely unaware that they weren’t American citizens until they were adults. I guess we should punish them for simply having the “bad luck” to have been brought here by their parents when they were too young to know what was going on?
What about the fact that many of these people live at or below the poverty line? How exactly are they going to pay all these fines and back taxes? It’s not that I’m defending illegal immigrants, I’m just saying this “plan” is a joke.
To me, this “plan” is clearly designed to set illegal immigrants up for failure – because they really don’t want them to be here. This is their attempt to act as if they’re trying to tackle the problem of illegal immigration without really doing much about it at all.
Then when Democrats reject this plan, they’ll yell, “See, Democrats don’t want to pass immigration reform!” All while ignoring the fact that a bipartisan plan has been sitting in the House for nearly a year, blocked by Republican leadership.
Republicans act as if immigration reform is a black and white situation. There’s a whole lot of gray that they’re not even considering. After all, just look at their “plan.” It’s simple, basic, panders to basically “punishing” illegals and at the end of it all – they’re still not an American citizen.
They’ll make them pay, jump through hoops and learn another language, but at the end of the day they’ll still be illegal.
That is the Republican “plan.” And it’s just another example proving when it comes to matters like illegal immigration (much like many other issues) Republicans simply don’t get it.
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