Do Republicans Really Want to Stop Obama’s Amnesty?

As published reports detail the disturbing nature of President Obama’s planned executive action on immigration, House Speaker John Boehner is again talking about the possibility of filing suit. Boehner claims he went to the president to beg for another chance to pass an immigration reform bill but was rebuffed. Now, he apparently wants to add immigration to his seemingly-stalled lawsuit over Obamacare.

My question, and it isn’t asked lightly: Do Republicans really want to stop the president on immigration?

Last week, millions of Americans came forward to demand change in Washington. Deeply concerned about the direction of the country, voters decided to give Republicans a chance to turn things around. While our new leaders have yet to take office, there are already distressing signs that this is all a dog-and-pony show from the GOP.

Congress holds the power of the purse. Without funding, Obama’s executive actions are just so much hot air from the White House. As part of his planned strategy on immigration, he wants to essentially give amnesty to 4.5 illegal aliens. He wants to expand deferred deportations. It’s unlawful, unhelpful, and it could have terrible ramifications that will forever change the fabric of the United States of America.

And I’m not yet convinced that Republicans want to stop it.

Why would they? As far as political strategy goes, nothing could be better for the GOP than to stand by and allow Obama to go through with it. If they can make a decent show of their disapproval – like, say, consulting with law firms over a suit – then they can wipe their hands clean of the results. “Hey, we tried,” they’ll say. “What can you do when the president is unstoppable? Vote Bush in 2016!”

It’s the perfect plan. What’s the alternative? The alternative is to push their own immigration plan through, a move that carries plenty of political risk. If it’s too harsh on existing aliens, they risk losing their portion of the Hispanic vote. If it’s too lenient, they’ll be seen as RINOs. While one might wish for conservative leadership that would stand on principle even in the face of political danger, that’s simply not in evidence. There are a few Republicans – like Ted Cruz – willing to ride the hardline conservative philosophy wherever it takes them, but they are the minority.

This kind of political gamesmanship would be forgivable if we were talking about something like Obamacare. With the ACA, repeal is possible within the decade. As long as the political winds continue to shift in favor of Republicans (which is by no means guaranteed), we could see a new healthcare law replace Obama’s. But this is about the nation’s security. And amnesty, once proclaimed, will be very difficult to take back. In fact, I wouldn’t put the chances of repeal any higher than 1 out of 100. Once it’s done, it’s done.

If Republicans really wanted to stop this thing, they could. You can’t rewrite the country’s laws from the Oval Office. If you do so, you put yourself at risk of impeachment. But when your “opposition” wants to hold on to their jobs more than they want to protect the Constitution, there’s really no risk at all.


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