To dodge public opposition, business advocates and progressives are coalescing around a political strategy that downplays the very unpopular effort to bring in more migrant workers, and muffles the public’s opposition to amnesty by using friendly media to highlight promises of better border security and a conditional “pathway to citizenship” for the illegals. Obama euphemistically describes the amnesty process as “getting on the right side of the law to earn their way to citizenship.”
If the dodge succeeds, progressives get their new voters and Republicans legislators please their donors and get to delay the arrival of up to one-third of the incoming 33 million immigrants to the voting booth.
The deal is a “natural Republican position that is emerging,” Jacoby said.
Democratic legislators are signaling they’ll take that deal. Even with the amnestied illegals kept out of the voting booth, the deal would create 10 million immigrant citizens by 2024 and 32 million by 2036, according to an Oct. 10 report published by the Center for Immigration Studies. Democrats would also get an opportunity to perpetually bind most immigrants and native-born Latinos to their bloc by arguing the GOP had relegated immigrant Latinos to second-class “Juan Crow” status, in which they could pay taxes but not vote.
This delayed-voting strategy is being pushed by the GOP chairman of the House judiciary committee, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Jacoby said. He’s won committee approval for a bill that would create a permanent pool of up to 750,000 guest-workers for the agriculture and food industry — but keep them off the citizenship track.
In contrast, the Democrats’ immigration bill, drafted in the Senate in June, would give visas to 336,000 agriculture guest-workers every five years, but also put them on a fast track to the ballot-box.
“My read on [Goodlatte] now is that he is absolutely committed to getting this [deal] done, and he’s orchestrating it as shrewdly as it can be orchestrated,” Jacoby said.
Other GOP legislators apparently back the workers-for-delayed-voters deal.