Just three days ago, Politico.com reported that the Republican dominated House of Representatives had no plan to take up “immigration reform” (or deform) this year. But that same day we get this weird story from Bloomberg:
Evangelical pastors, corporate leaders, elected Republican officials and small-government activists arrive in Washington next week to lobby lawmakers to revamp U.S. immigration policies before year’s end.
The “conservative fly-in” will involve about 600 people and include personal meetings with at least 80 Republican members of Congress, said Ali Noorani, an organizer of the event and executive director of the National Immigration Forum.
“When was the last time that you saw the conservative movement calling for something? Most of the time it’s, ’Stop this,’” Noorani said. “No Republican member really wants to do this, but they’re going to be hearing from constituents demanding that they do it, and do it this year.
Hearing from constituents? That usually happens via email or the phone. If people are able to get airfare and some kind of forum with Congress, that means this is a well-financed and well-orchestrated lobbying campaign. Even Bloomberg could not go along with Noorani’s grass-roots pretentions.
The Republican-to-Republican appeal is the latest tactic of immigration lobby groups that want to jar loose a Senate plan that passed in June and has been foundering in the other chamber.
Who is paying for this?
Which is another way of asking: Who expects to profit from this law?
One answer from the story is farmers who want migrant workers. But I have a hard time believing that farmers are the money behind the effort.
I ask this as someone who agrees with Jerry Bowyer and many other conservatives. I favor leaving alone immigrants who want to move here and work here. While this risks the problem of welfare abuse, the answer to that is to end welfare for everyone.
But I can’t help but be suspicious. Someone is investing a great deal of money in rushing the House of Representatives into agreeing to the Senate bill.
Also, while I have no real opposition to residents becoming citizens eventually, I don’t understand the push to create a “path to citizenship.” Why can’t they simply live and prosper here as legal residents? What is the appeal of citizenship? I have wished I could afford to live in many places all over the globe. Never once has citizenship in that area’s nation-state held any appeal to me.
I have to wonder if this is all about getting votes.
This isn’t the immigration advocates’ first attempt at wooing Republicans with their own.
FWD.us, Zuckerberg’s group, included Democratic and Republican subgroups when it began in April. The Republican version, called Americans for a Conservative Direction, includes as board members former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour and Joe Kaplan, a Facebook executive who served as a deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.
Americans for a Conservative Direction aired supportive advertisements for Republican Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Marco Rubio of Florida and Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan. All three have advocated for changing U.S. immigration policies.
Again, who is paying for all this lobbying? People who can afford to support this kind of organization do so because it is a business investment.