Thursday, June 6, 2013

Toxic "TEA"

This week, we've been seeing more activity in Congress as S 744 (the "Gang of 8" comprehensive immigration reform [CIR] bill) advances. This morning, we learned of Senator Harry Reid's (D) plan to bring S 744 to the Senate floor next Monday. He and other US Senate Democratic leaders formally announced this just hours ago.

For Senator Reid and many more Nevadans, this is personal. Many of us have family members who immigrated here. And many of us have family & friends who are still struggling with the nation's broken immigration system.

Senator Reid also talked about this earlier in the week.

And there are quite a few numbers to back him up. CIR will actually help our economy if/when enacted. This is why the 21st Century Know Nothings must resort to outright lies false & misleading "reports" and "findings" to try refuting this.

Yet despite this, the "TEA" fueled opposition to CIR gained some big momentum in the "TEA" fueled House today. After all, we are talking about the "TEA" fueled bizarro world where actual governance is shoved aside to make way for Scandal-mania. This is why we actually saw this go down on the House floor just hours ago.

To a chorus of boos from the gallery, House Republicans voted 224-201 on Thursday to approve an amendment that defunds the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. The amendment, from Rep. Steve King (R-IA), undercuts the flexibility that allows the Department of Homeland Security to halt deporting DREAMers and instead focus on people convicted of crimes.

After the vote, the House Hispanic Caucus tweeted,”House Republicans just voted to treat DREAMers and undocumented spouses of servicemembers in the same way as violent criminals.” Only six Republicans voted against the measure. [...]

King, a virulently anti-immigrant congressman, has already announced his intention to undermine any immigration reform effort. When Republicans last held a vote on a similar King amendment, it passed 238-175, with four Republicans voting against it.

But this time, the vote occurred at exactly the same time the House means to march forward on an immigration reform bill that would give DREAMers permanent legal status. The House Gang of Eight may have finally reached a tentative deal for a 15-year path to citizenship, after months of fractured negotiations on a bill. One indication of where the House stands on immigration is House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s (R-VA) vote today. Cantor voted yes on King’s amendment, even though he announced support for the DREAM Act (in theory) in February.

Oh, and make sure to examine this closely. Both Reps. Joe Heck (R-Henderson) and Mark Amodei (R-Carson City) voted for the King Amendment to deport DREAMers. Oh, yes. That's right. They actually voted today to deport DREAMers who were brought here as young children and only know life in America. Oh, and they said nothing about how they plan to pay for such mass deportations.

And of course, we've yet to hear a peep from Senator Dean Heller (R-"TEA" Curious). He talked a good game on immigration reform... When he felt it was politically expedient. But now that S 744 is about to hit the Senate floor and his House colleagues essentially just voted to blow it up, Senator Heller has nothing to say on CIR... But he did just tweet out his love for job-killing austerity!

So is this the end of (the push for comprehensive) immigration reform in the 113th Congress? We may not know for sure just yet, but the signs don't look good now. And once again, this is because Congressional Republicans just don't know how to quit the 21st Century Know Nothings and their toxic "TEA".

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