A deputy for House Speaker John Boehner has rejected Sen. Chuck Schumer’s Sunday suggestion that the House pass an immigration-boosting bill this year, but also delay implementation until after President Barack Obama leaves office in 2017.
Schumer’s proposal was intended to counter Boehner’s statement last week that the GOP can’t pass an immigration rewrite because the legislators don’t Obama trust to enforce parts of the law that he does not like.
“The trust concerns w/ President are not limited to immigration enforcement,” said a Monday tweet from Becky Tallent, Boehner’s immigration staffer. ”They’re about health care waivers, minimum wage hikes, etc, etc.”
“The trust deficit is a real thing. Pointing fingers at Rs won’t change that. It’s up to the WH to fix this problem,” she wrote in a follow-up tweet.
The tweets significant, because they address fears by GOP legislators that Boehner’s statement is a ploy to continue pushing for an immigration increase while muting public opposition with complaints about Obama’s trustworthiness.
His statement is also suspicious because it focused public attention on trust, not on the economic hazards of large-scale immigration, say critics.
By focusing the opposition on trust, critics said, Boehner would allow Obama to disarm opposition this summer with a meaningless trust-building gesture, such as the appointment of a GOP-affiliated business leader to an enforcement position. Obama’s aides say passage of an immigration-boosting bill is his top legislative priority this year.
GOP leaders, including Rep. Mo Brooks, Rep. John Fleming and Sen. Jeff Sessions, say immigration increases should be opposed because high levels of immigration make Americans poorer, more dependent on government and less willing to vote for GOP free-market candidates.
Last summer, Schumer led the business-backed efforts to pass an immigration rewrite through the Senate.
Schumer’s business-backed bill would triple legal immigration to 30 million over the next decade, and double the inflow of blue-collar and university-trained temporary workers to more than one million per year.
A recent Rasmussen poll shows that 51 percent of likely voters oppose the immigration increase.
The 30 million number includes the roughly 11.5 million illegals living in the United States in December 2011.
There are roughly 28 million teenagers in the country who will need jobs in the next few years. The nation’s working population of 18 million African-Americans is also suffering from a high unemployment rate.
On Sunday, Schumer said that “let’s enact a law this year, but simply not let it actually start til 2017, after President Obama’s term is over.”
Schumer also used his Sunday suggestion to increase the number of illegals who would get an amnesty, by offering legalization and eventually citizenship to illegals who arrived after the end of 2011.
“You simply move the date back from Dec. 31, 2011 to Dec. 31 2013 as to when people, the deadline for people who could get even legalization or citizenship,” he said.