Immigration Wars 2015: Conservatives v. Establishment?

Monday, January 26th, 2015 and is filed under Blog, Immigration

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After the most interesting election for Speaker of the House in years, John Boehner won again and promised he would fight President Obama’s executive amnesty “tooth and nail.”

Many are skeptical of that promise, wondering if Boehner and his leadership friends will truly stand up for conservative principles in the face of the coming 2016 elections.

The first test for Republicans comes this week, when Rep. Michael McCaul’s border security bill comes up for a vote. It sounds good from the outset but key conservative leaders like Sen. Jeff Sessions — newly appointed chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on immigration — aren’t so sure about that.

The bill is reported to provide multi-billions for drones, radars, surveillance systems, fencing and more — but Sessions said it “fail[ed] to include the measures necessary to fulfill its promises.”

Even though McCaul calls it the “toughest border security bill ever set before Congress,” it’s clear that conservative leaders want to get this right the first time.

After Obama’s amnesty passed last year against major opposition, they know there’s little room for error when it comes to re-establishing a solid immigration reform plan for the future. By placing Sessions in a high level position on the immigration issue, it’s clear Republicans are serious about taking a hard line stance.

The McCaul bill, however, just isn’t good enough.

“Democrats fight with more passion in defense of illegal immigrants than Republicans fight in defense of American workers,” said Sessions recently.

What exactly is the problem with the McCaul bill? Sessions says it’s a bad use of taxpayer money to put more into the border Obama’s policies have moved the problem inside the country, with amnesty for up to 5 million and permits for more to enter legally.

As The Daily Caller reported from one Hill staffer who opposes the bill, “Even if additional spending and border guards catch more migrants, Obama’s deputies will likely release them and give them work permits unless the laws are changed.”

Sessions isn’t alone in his concern. Rep. Steve King (R-IA), Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) and Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) have all expressed doubts about the bill. Fleming claimed it has “too many loopholes” and many conservatives agree.

With less than 2 years left in his Presidency, Obama is on a destructive policy pathway and it’s up to conservatives in Congress to stand strong for foundational principles on immigration that will have a lasting legacy.

If this border security bill isn’t good enough, they need to create something that is — and get the rest of the GOP on board.

UPDATE: House Republican leaders have pulled the border security bill from this week’s schedule, pointing to bad weather conditions.