House Gears Up for Immigration Battle

Corey Dade, NPR, January 8, 2013

With immigration expected to be a top issue in the new Congress, lawmakers in both parties continue to call for a bipartisan approach—while also preparing for battle.

The messaging from many House Democrats and Republicans about the chances of passing an immigration overhaul remains optimistic. And some of them, such as Republican Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida and Democrat Zoe Lofgren of California, have begun to meet privately.

But other moves indicate that lawmakers are hedging their bets and girding for a fight.


The Republican leadership has installed a pair of immigration hawks to chair the House Judiciary Committee and its subcommittee that would be charged with drafting any immigration bills. In an apparent countermove, a veteran Democrat has given up his seniority on the coveted Financial Services Committee to join the judiciary panel and help push through possible reforms.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., the new House Judiciary Committee chairman, is a former immigration attorney who has taken a hard line against Democratic proposals, many of which he has regarded as amnesty. He opposes the Obama administration’s policy changes, including its deferred deportation program that provides a two-year reprieve to qualified young people brought to the United States illegally as children.

Any hearings would be presided over by conservative Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., the new chairman of the subcommittee on immigration and border security. Gowdy holds many of the same positions as Goodlatte, including opposition to the Obama policies.

Has the Republicans’ post-election embrace of an immigration overhaul worn off?

Maybe not. Gowdy, who just began his second term, recently told a South Carolina newspaper that he wants to come up with a bill that reflects “the humanity that I think defines us as a people, and the respect for the rule of law that defines us as a republic.”

Gowdy dismissed the notion embraced by some conservatives that the nation should deport the estimated 11 million or more immigrants illegally living in the U.S. But he didn’t indicate whether he would support Democratic principles such as offering a path to citizenship.

He said any legislation would have to reinforce the nation’s borders and order the deportation of lawbreakers to gain the needed support of conservative lawmakers. Many Democrats, including leading Latino lawmakers, have said they would agree to such requirements.

Goodlatte and Gowdy will have to contend with Democratic Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., who took leave from the House Financial Services Committee to be a junior member of the Judiciary Committee and help that panel draft immigration legislation. Immigration overhaul has been the signature issue of Gutierrez’s two decades in Congress.


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  • Don’t worry. Obama will get all he really needs via either executive order or executive inaction, and Boehner will surrender on most of the rest. God bless Gowdy and Goodlatte here, and also others like Lou Barletta, Steve King and others, and they should keep up ekeing out any win we can get

  • The__Bobster

    If we allow this sellout to take place, you can kiss America goodbye.

    Let your Congresscritters know exactly how you feel. Go to NumbersUSA and get to work.

    • George White

      That’s right! Call them every day. Write letters and emails and faxes. Donate to Numbersusa and FAIR. Raise some hell! There is absolutely no logic to giving amnesty to millions of illegals when 22 million real Americans are out of work. The elites just want to displace white Christians and totally disempower us. This really is the last stand, because if they pass an amnesty the breeders will produce a demographic onslaught that will decimate whites. This is an emergency situation and everybody on this site should be devoting time to stop any form of amnesty.

      • George

        Actually, according to most who have worked in an elected rep’s office, if you write or call repeatedly, you will be branded as a nutcase.

        Far better, instead, to write very occasionally…but encourage your spouse, children, co-workers and neighbours to do the same. Short & polite is better than a multi-page rant.

  • ArmenianWN

    Obama will veto it if it doesn’t die in the communist controlled senate. Sorry about that.

  • kjh64

    ” “the humanity that I think defines us as a people, and the respect for the rule of law that defines us as a republic.””
    What is humane about allowing millions of people to stay in our country illegally at the expense of Americans? The only thing regarding humanity should be deporting them in a humane manner, that’s it.

    • Agreed. Anyone who thinks we need to import more poverty here hasn’t seen what’s become of this country.

      The middle class is already under tremendous pressure. We don’t have jobs for Americans and we’re being asked to welcome some border-hopping 3rd world mushrooms? Give me a break. There ain’t NOTHING compassionate about doing that.

  • Garrett Brown

    If this if put in place, we are finished.

  • dave

    My Congresswoman is a racist black woman whose IQ is that of a 10 year old; she has no interest in representing my interests.

    • Ok, then lobby Senators and Congressmen in other places you used to live, where you went to college.

    • fakeemail

      maxine waters, right?

      • bluffcreek1967

        Good Lord, the IQ of a 10 year old about fits Maxine Waters! Just listen to her speak and you’ll immediately discern what a foolish and dull-minded woman she really is. But the district she represents (black and hispanic) keeps re-electing her which tells you something about the level of their intelligence.

        • Let me apologize for my city for foisting her on the world. She’s an alum of the worst high school in St. Louis. She once bragged to her colleagues about her “Vashon Verve.” Now you know what that means.

          • She once bragged to her colleagues about her “Vashon Verve.”

            Not certain what you mean. Is “Vashon Verve” a way of saying vee-jay-jay in ebonics?

          • It’s basically loud screaming and shrieking.

    • Jefferson

      Is your congresswoman Maxine Waters ? She only represents districts that are overwhelmingly Black and Mestizo. I am surprised that you as a racially aware right wing White man would continue to live in a district that has so much “vibrant diversity”. Why haven’t you done White flight yet ?

      • Liberalsuck

        Isn’t she aware that the blacks and Mexicans don’t get along with each other? Wouldn’t it be in her interest as a black person to “save” her people?

    • odius liberal

      Tell her you are black and the mexcians ares tealing your job and raping your wife.

    • mobilebay

      Sheila Jackson Lee. Right?

    • gemjunior

      Say no more. I hate her already, as she hates me and my kind.

  • I had excellent success beating back the last three amnesties. I strongly recommend that you find out the congressional staff members by name. Talk and write to individual, lower level staff members who’s job it is to correspond with constituents.

  • bigone4u

    There is no good reason not to deport any illegal alien found in the USA. Send them back home with a box lunch and a kick in the rear.

    • George

      So long as they are branded/tattooed ‘Illegal in the USA’ on their foreheads to prevent then ever from returning.

  • odius liberal

    Support NUMBERS USA.

    • Punctilious Pedantic Prig

      Odious spelling, bro. 🙂

  • When we’re being told we have to embrace austerity, why in the f*** should we import more impoverished 3rd worlders? If we can’t afford medication for people who paid into the system, I g_ddam well don’t want my tax dollars going to benefit some illegal border hopper and his illegitimate crotch-spawn.

  • mobilebay

    Urge your person in Congress to co-sponsor Rep. Steve King’s bill that will demand that at least one spouse be a legal citizen or no anchor baby citizenship. This will get rid of those who sneak in to have a baby. Jobs are the other magnet. We must keep the pressure on until we elect people who think more of us that the criminals crossing our southern border.

    • George

      If you’re writing to your Congresscritter, be sure to note that there should be steep, punitive and draconian penalties (say, $1,000,000-plus, per) for any business or individual that hires an illegal alien, knowingly *or otherwise*. Unless you can absolutely document that the person has the right to work in the United States, you’re on the hook for a million bucks should the critter be an illegal.

      No illegal gardeners. No illegal cleaning ladies. No illegal lettuce-pickers.

      Naturally, most employers would err on the side of caution, and refuse to hire any Martinez, Hernandez or Montoya that showed up for an interview. So much the better, really.

      The best way to keep them out is to starve them out. If they can’t work, they won’t stay.