J. D. Hayworth is a Republican who represented Arizona in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 2007 and is currently a National Adviser to TheTeaParty.net.
The names may have changed, but the tactics remain the same. After decades of promises to address illegal immigration, we are once again hearing the same old nonsense from Republican politicians. Lawmakers vowing to act tough on border security while looking to secure amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants has become infuriatingly all-too-familiar.
In 2005, as soft Republicans tried to slip amnesty through, I warned that the scheme was a “classic bait-and-switch” by the House passing a bill with “get tough” border enforcement, only to have it watered down in conference by a more liberal Senate that would insist on an amnesty plan. The bill would be brought back to the House where immense pressure from big business lobbies, the establishment media, and Democrats and moderates would be brought to bear for final passage.
What kept that scenario from happening was outcry from the conservative grassroots. Today, eight years later, with a different president and different House Republican leadership, we are seeing the same bait-and-switch tactic, but we are perilously close to them succeeding because the GOP leadership has become smarter, and more devious with their messaging.
The House GOP will vote on tough enforcement provisions in a bill sponsored by Rep. Mike McCaul, Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, but Chairman McCaul has already been told behind closed doors by Speaker John Boehner that this "enforcement bill" will not be brought up in a House-Senate Conference to be combined with the infamous "Gang of Eight Amnesty Bill" that passed earlier this year in the Senate.
So, while House Republicans can brag on their "tough enforcement votes," another bill being pushed by Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte will also be passed by the House and then become the bill sent to conference by the House GOP.
The Cantor/Goodlatte measure enshrines the "DREAM Act." The DREAM Act is a catch-all measure proposed each year by Democrats and moderates that, in theory, outlines criteria for who may be granted permanent residency and who may not. In reality, the true value of the DREAM Act lies in the ambiguous nature of the provisions that allow government to not enforce immigration laws. It has routinely been rejected by Congress until last year, when President Obama pulled an end-run around the Legislative Branch and invoked its provisions via Executive Order.
Once the bill reaches conference, expect Speaker Boehner to appoint conferees who will roll over for the Senate position on amnesty.
Then, the Senate Amnesty Bill will be brought to the House Floor as a "Conference Report," and a minority of Republicans will join with the overwhelming majority of Democrats to foist amnesty on the American People, reward lawbreaking, and ensure a permanent Leftist Majority for 21st Century America.
Reckless spending will go into overdrive, hastening our fiscal doom, and more illegals will rush across our borders, insuring the balkanization of America. And our once great Constitutional Republic will go the way of Ancient Rome.
While the House leadership hopes to change the narrative during this August summer recess, it will be up to the American people to make sure that their representatives clearly understand that amnesty will not be tolerated. We cannot delude ourselves with the false promise of border security for amnesty.
But that’s the plan, and GOP leadership is counting on millions of conservatives to fall for just such
a delusion. They will pass the immigration bill with the no-nonsense border security reforms and the tough mandates. They will proceed to tell their constituents that they “got tough” on immigration. But the subsequent passage of a bill like the DREAM Act will bring about the nightmare of permanent open borders. Some legislators have already adopted the soft and gooey language of DREAM Act supporters, insisting we “owe” legalization to the millions “living in the shadows.”. All the while, these supposed leaders will remind Americans that they fought for tougher border security, but that this was the best deal we could get.
Washingtonians call the Boehner machinations "slow walking 'immigration reform’”; a more accurate description would be "creeping toward amnesty."
This is not a typical partisan battle; Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians, should understand that we must uphold the rule of law. This is not a fight between right and left. It is a fight between right and wrong. And it is a fight that must be won by citizens who understand that border security is national security.
Front page photo credit: Getty Images/John Moore