Tea Party Leader Starts Talking Up “Immigration Reform”

Though I wrote about the fight to get amnesty this summer, now Republican Party ruler (he seems to think) Tom Donohue has promised that it will be imposed after the 2014 elections by the lame duck Congress.

And now, one of the Tea Party leaders is supporting it. According to the Washington Times:

One of the original organizers of the tea party movement said Wednesday that the time has come for conservatives to agree to tackle the immigration issue, adding fuel to the push for Republicans to agree to a bill this year.

Sal Russo, who co-founded the Tea Party Express in 2009 and remains the group’s chief strategist, said he didn’t want to dictate the outlines of a deal and didn’t embrace a specific type of legalization, but said it’s time for conservatives to gain a voice in the debate.

“Today, a lot of conservatives, when they hear immigration reform, what they really hear is amnesty. And that vocabulary needs to change. It’s in our interest to change the broken immigration system,” he told reporters in a call arranged by other conservative advocates who back legalizing illegal immigrants.

This makes no sense to me.

Even if one agrees that the immigration laws ought to be changed to allow more legal immigration, why is this a priority? We are facing a huge number of horrible attacks. There is abortion, homosexual marriage, the NSA, and many other battles for the GOP to fight. Why pick out “Immigration Reform” as the one thing that must be done “this year”?

As I have written before, the real question for the Republicans should be, “Why do we suddenly have to act on immigration now?” This story assumes it is somehow paramount that it all be done this year.


The only possible reason I can see is that they want to make sure the law is something that the Democrats are able to influence. Once Republicans have both the Senate and the House they would be able to craft the law they want. AP simply pretends it is beyond dispute that the GOP would want a law made now under these circumstances instead of later.

Polls show the majority of voters either don’t care about immigration reform or else oppose it. It is crazy to pretend that collaborating with Democrats over amnesty will not cost Republicans in the mid-term elections.

The top priority for the Republican Party for 2014 should be to win the Senate. Conspiring with Democrats to betray the Republican base makes no sense.