Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Don’t expect much on immigration

TomEliasW

By
From page A12 | February 14, 2014 | Leave Comment

There’s one big reason why, no matter how much happy talk you hear about “comprehensive immigration reform” from President Obama and members of Congress, it’s unrealistic to expect much action this year: This is an election year.

All 435 members of the House of Representatives face re-election this year, as they regularly do every other year. Until recently, once someone was elected to the House, he or she could expect never again to have much intra-party opposition during primary elections.

But that went out the window with the advent of the highly ideological tea party organizations, which have not hesitated to challenge and oust even the longest-term incumbents, including Republican senators like Richard Lugar of Indiana and Robert Bennett of Utah.

This has a direct impact on the potential fate of changes to America’s highly flawed immigration system this year. For almost two-thirds of the current Republican majority in the House comes from heavily gerrymandered districts where election of a Democrat is highly unlikely.

The majority of GOP voters in those so-called “red” districts tend to lean rightward, and the tea party is strongest in those places. That means even if they are inclined to vote for a limited pathway to citizenship for the millions of undocumented immigrants who have been law-abiding residents after arriving here, doing so could amount to political suicide. Republicans generally call any such plan “amnesty.”

Things are different, of course, for Republicans like Jeff Denham and David Valadao, two Central California congressmen with heavily Latino districts. The same for Republican Gary Miller of San Bernardino County.

All joined the limited-amnesty camp during the latter half of 2013, knowing it would make some of their conservative constituents unhappy. But since the vast bulk of the GOP House majority refused even to hold a vote on whether to allow the issue to come to a vote on the House floor, where Democrats could have joined with a few Republicans to pass significant changes, these men’s stances were never tested by the need to cast an actual vote.

Chances are the same will be true this year, unless Republican Speaker John Boehner is willing to risk defying the right wing of his membership, as he at times hinted he might while complaining about the tea party in late fall.

Despite his complaints about what the far right of his party is doing to the overall GOP, Boehner still shows no sign of allowing a vote on any comprehensive changes. In late December, for example, he said, “We have no intention of going to conference on the Senate bill,” a reference to the bipartisan compromise passed by senators last June, which allows for a very arduous path to citizenship. That means the speaker will not allow the House to vote on any bill similar enough to the Senate’s version that it might merit an effort to hash out House/Senate differences.

Instead, Boehner and other House Republicans have spoken in oxymorons like this one: “We’re committed to moving forward on step-by-step comprehensive reforms.” That’s an oxymoron because nothing done step-by-step will ever be comprehensive.

But Boehner’s remark and some subsequent statements may mean his House majority will accept some changes that stop short of wide amnesty. He’s also hinted he might do something substantial after the springtime filing deadlines for potential primary election candidates have passed. After that, hard-line anti-immigration forces can’t mount as many primary election challenges to incumbents.

Filing deadlines, of course, fall within the next month or two in many states.

If those deadlines leave much of his majority without opposition from even farther right than where they stand, there could be some immigration action.

The most likely prospect is a guest-worker bill to create a neo-bracero program benefiting big businesses and big farms that like to hire cheap immigrant labor, but don’t much care if their workers ever become citizens.

All of which means that while the need for immigration changes grows stronger by the day, it will never be the top priority for individual Congress members. Most important to them will always be their own survival, and that means the only changes that will pass will be ones they see as no threat to them.

— Reach syndicated columnist Tom Elias at tdelias@aol.com

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Former caretaker convicted of murder, elder abuse

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

     
    Old friend helps Brad and others find kidneys

    By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Chuck Rairdan joins school board race

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

    Going green at church, school, everywhere

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    UCD to host Global Health Day event

    By Cory Golden | From Page: A2

    Ukraine insurgents reject call to quit buildings

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2, 1 Comment

     
    Need a new best friend?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    ‘Hitchhiking’ dog looking for new home

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Online K-12 school holds info night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Schwenger lawn signs available

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

    Volunteers needed for Grad Night

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Davis grad makes rain collection a business

    By Jason McAlister | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    A few spots left on history tour

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Chipotle fundraiser boosts Emerson tech upgrade

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Event to provide nature scholarship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Students have new options on leasing front

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Groups join for a day of service

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    NAMI backers walk in Sacramento

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Food for the hungry

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

    .

    Forum

    Dad makes mom look bad

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

     
    More tax money? Answer the question

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

     
    UCD IS responsible for students

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

     
    In search of great ideas

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

    Please keep the nursery open

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Early help is a great investment

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Aggies lose a slugfest in opener at Riverside

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    DHS’ Golston goes full-bore on the diamond

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils show more life in loss to Mitty

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    Sharks double up Kings in Game 1

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

     
    DYSA roundup: Intensity has big week; 10U games dominate schedule

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Pro baseball roundup: Susac sends Sacramento to a rare loss

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    Sports briefs: Aggies set the academic bar high

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    ‘The Bloom’ paves way for Whole Earth Festival

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    DHS tribute to Tony Fields slated for April 25-26

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    ‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    .

    Business

    Ford turns its Focus to domestic market

    By Ali Arsham | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, April 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Real Estate Review

    Featured Listing

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

    Professional Services Directory

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

    Lyon Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

    Jamie Madison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Yolo FCU

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Acacia at Huntington Square

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

    Travis Credit Union

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

    Kim Eichorn

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Suzanne Kimmel

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

    Lynne Wegner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Kim Merrel Lamb

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

    Chris Snow

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Patricia Echevarria

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

    Don Guthrie

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Andrew Dowling

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Sheryl Patterson

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

    Julie Partain & Dick Partain

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Heather Barnes

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

    Malek Baroody

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER13

    Karen Waggoner

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Willowbank Park

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

    Team Traverso

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Julie Leonard

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Tim Harrison

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

    Tracy Harris

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Lori Prizmich

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

    Raul Zamora

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Joe Kaplan

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

    Coldwell Banker

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

    Open House Map

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

    F1rst Street Real Estate

    By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20