Politics

Conservatives Battle GOP Leaders On Immigration

Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

“GOP leadership has two audiences, two bases,” said Fleming.

“One is the established Chamber of Commerce group that looking for less expensive labor and they’re the ones who contribute a lot of money and so the [leaders] want to keep them happy,” he said.

“On the other hand, the Republican voting public out there wants the problems fixed, they want illegals treated humanely and they want border security and they want the newest wave sent back,” Fleming said.

Also, there’s no coordinated leadership in the GOP to hammer out a long-term and consistent policy on immigration, says conservatives.

Without a shared strategy, the GOP is shoved around by events, by lobbyists who profit form large-scale immigration, by Democrats and the media, Horowitz complained.

“John Boehnner has said so many things on immigration that I have no confidence on where he will be today, tomorrow, a year from now,” said Brooks. “He’s been all over map.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is leaving after he lost his June 10 primary after his opponent ran against him on immigration.

His replacement, California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, is a political manager, not a policy guy, said Horowitz. ”He’s gone out of his way not to annoy conservatives,” but has not developed an immigration strategy that allows the party to harness the country’s increasingly hawkish response to Obama’s immigration policies, Horowitz said.

“Leadership is inexorably against us. … They are with the monied interests,” he added.

The GOP leadership says their border bill will “specifically and responsibly target resources to deploy the National Guard, help Border Patrol officials do their job, change the 2008 law, and speed up the process of returning these children to their home countries.”

“The working group recommendations that have been included are the options I believe represent the most urgent actions that need to be taken to curb the flow of unaccompanied minors, along with women with children, from making the perilous journey to the U.S. border,” said a statement from Texas Rep. Kay Granger, who was picked by the GOP leadership to chair the group of legislators that drafted the package.

The bill was not drafted by legislators on the immigration panel of the House Judiciary Committee.

The leadership’s actions on immigration don’t face much resistance from the GOP caucus.

Most GOP legislators would rather avoid the immigration issue than work to promote conservative immigration policies, Horowitz said. ”They just want to it to go away. … They’re not going to vote for amnesty, but they’re not going to fight it,” he said.

That passivity from most GOP legislators leaves “the fox guarding the henhouse,” said Horowitz.

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