House Speaker John Boehner and the Republican insider-elite assure us that immigration reform (amnesty) isn’t going to happen this year. So why are talk radio hosts from across the country planning to gather in Washington this spring for another Hold Their Feet to the Fire collective broadcast?
Because we know better, that’s why.
Earlier this year, House GOP leadership put in motion a series of smaller immigration bills that would have simply replicated last year’s massive Senate bill (S-744). Shortly afterwards, conservative pundits and media -- and most powerfully talk radio -- questioned the wisdom of introducing a divisive issue during a midterm election year in which the Republicans appear to have the upper hand. And even more vocally, Americans who are desperately scrambling for work questioned how flooding the labor market with millions of additional foreign workers would result in anything but increased competition for scarce jobs and reduced wages.
Boehner finally pulled his head out of the Beltway bubble, assessed the political climate and -- for the moment -- has backed off a bit. But make no mistake, this is a temporary condition. Isn’t it always? There’s just too much money pushing for amnesty, the Chamber of Commerce is not going to take no for an answer and the Speaker has not come this far to stop this soon. He still wants to do it. For Boehner this is not a question of should he do it, but rather when.
And that “when” happens precisely the moment the pressure is off. So we head to Washington with on-going resistance and persistence and several messages in mind for a Speaker of the House who just doesn’t seem to understand the issue.
We support principled immigration that assures that our laws are enforced and the public interests are served.
There is one, and only one, principle for true immigration reform: Like any other public policy it should serve the greatest interests of the greatest number of Americans. It should be serviceable to the national purpose and help, not hinder what we want to accomplish as a nation. For most of us those goals are balancing the supply and demand for labor by limiting foreign and illegal competition, protecting our national security, making sure that our limited social service resources are not drained dry by excessive levels of immigration, and protecting our natural resources and energy supplies.