Tell Us Your Plans For Amnesty! House Republicans Send a Letter to Obama
House Republicans, in an undoubtedly ill-fated (but spirited) attempt to wring some immigration information out of the president, sent a strongly worded letter to Obama on Monday demanding some answers. Lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee want to know who has been advising the president on circumventing Congress. Political analysts judge the likelihood of Obama being forthright about these questions as somewhere south of zero.
Though Obama has hinted that his executive actions on immigration will include some form of amnesty, it’s still not certain how exactly the ruling will play out. This administration has been careful about saying too much about their plans, even to lawmakers. Certainly, White House journalists have yet to make a convincing case out of it; Obama has kept the darkest, most secretive White House in years.
It is exactly this secrecy that House Republicans addressed when they wrote that releasing the recommendations would “go some way toward repairing the damage to the American political process caused by the secrecy with which your Administration has considered changes to our immigration system.”
While a response may not be forthcoming, it’s nice to see the GOP doing something to vocalize their displeasure over being left in the dark. This is an issue that is big enough and important enough that any actions should be debated in the public sphere. Several recent polls – and the surprise defeat of Republican Congressman Eric Cantor by an opponent with much tougher talk on immigration – have shown that the American public is not pro-amnesty.
The letter, which was written by Rep. Bob Goodlatte and signed by 21 other Republicans on the panel, went on to say, “Whether it’s now or November, it is never acceptable for the Executive Branch to ignore the Constitution and unilaterally give amnesty to unlawful immigrants…The least the Administration can do is give Americans the opportunity to see the recommendations that you are considering before you take any actions.”
That same day, Vice President Joe Biden spoke at an Hispanic Heritage Month meeting at his house, and used the opportunity to make some big promises and some limp warnings to Republicans. He told the gathered audience that Obama would take executive actions that would do much for illegal immigrants while insisting that Republicans would “see the lord” after the midterm elections. “But if they don’t,” he said, “they will see some lightning.”
This sheds a little light on how Obama hopes to handle this situation. Against all the polls and all the available facts, they seem to believe that Americans are going to vote in a pro-amnesty sort of way in November. Obviously, amnesty is not up for referendum, and it would take a chasm-sized leap to pretend that it is. If Democrats retain control of the Senate – which is the best possible outcome for their party – it hardly says that the American public now supports amnesty. And it would be shocking to see House Republicans fold even after a tough election.
The question is – what will it take for the administration to fold on this issue? To realize that it’s against the will of the American people?
Maybe Republicans aren’t the ones who should be concerned about some November lightning.