Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Craven Spin

Late last month, we were reminded of the people behind the policy. While we often hear about the politics of comprehensive immigration reform (CIR), we sometimes forget about the real people hurt by the broken immigration system. On Sunday, The Sun shared a few of their stories. Here's one.

The 23-year-old nursing student at the College of Southern Nevada came to the United States from the Philippines when she was 7 years old, graduated at the top of her Centennial High School class and has been recognized for her artistic talent.

[Senator Harry] Reid [D] quoted a Sun profile of [Anna] Ledesma and other non-Hispanic immigrants in his first day of floor speeches on immigration, noting how Ledesma would try to tell herself that because she was working so hard to become a nurse, “they’re not going to deport me” — but never quite believed it.

“Like Anna, the Dreamers are talented, patriotic young men and women who want to defend our nation in the military, get a college education and work hard to help their communities and our country,” Reid said, noting that because of last year’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Ledesma could now believe in her mantra: “They’re not going to deport me.”

Anna, Ricardo, Blanca, Astrid, and many more immigrants have important stories to tell. Are we listening? It seems like House Republicans still refuse to. Instead, they continue hawking excuses for killing CIR.

Get a load of this.

“If you look at this Obamacare debacle that they have right now, this administration is actually deciding when and where to actually enforce the law. And that’s what some of us in the House are concerned about,” Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), who until recently was a leading immigration reform negotiator in the House, said Sunday on Meet the Press. “If you give to this administration the authority to decide when they’re going to enforce the law, how they’re going to enforce the law … I can tell you that Janet Napolitano has already said that the border is secure. So what’s going to happen is that we’re going to give legalization to 11 million people, and Janet Napolitano’s going to come to Congress and tell us that the border’s already secure, and nothing else needs to happen.

”Labrador is referring to the Obama administration’s decision to delay the health care law’s employer mandate by one year — a move intended to smooth Obamacare implementation, but that in itself reflects the fact that Republicans will block legislative Affordable Care Act fixes, and that administrative actions are the only way to make sure the law rolls out as smoothly as possible.

Meanwhile, the Senate’s bill is now idling in the House, and with no legislative deadline forcing Speaker John Boehner to hold a vote on it, there’s a real chance it could die quietly as members gear up for midterm elections next year. Labrador says this outcome would really reflect Republicans’ lack of faith that Obama will enforce its strict border security provisions, rather than their objection to its promise of amnesty for current immigrants.

Never mind that this is exactly what Speaker Boehner's Chamber of Commerce allies have been calling for! Now that they got it, the House must schedule another useless Obamacare (or Affordable Care Act) repeal vote. They somehow always have time to vote to take away people's health care, yet they never have time to pass immigration reform. And now, they're trying to blame their inaction on immigration reform on President Obama delaying implementation of the ACA employer mandate?

Who are they kidding?

"Tea Party, Inc." is already trying again to spread misinformation (and outright lies) on Obamacare. And now, the House G-O-TEA Caucus is hoping for a "two-for" in using the ACA scare campaign to sink CIR as well. Why?

Well, they're scared. They're afraid of the polling, yet they're also afraid of their own base. So what will House Republicans do when wedged between a rock (the bulk of the American people, including quite a few Senate Republicans!) and a hard place (the "tea party")? So far, it looks like they're looking for someone else to blame for their failure to pass CIR.

This whole time, Rep. Joe Heck (R-???) has been hoping to have it both ways on CIR. And as long as there's no CIR bill reaching the House floor, he can continue talking out of both sides of his mouth. Yet as he's worrying about his political future, families across America are wondering if they will have any type of future together. Think about that.

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