GOP Divided Over Immigration Reform

By:  Raven Clabough
01/27/2014
       
GOP Divided Over Immigration Reform

The congressional debate over illegal immigration continues to get increasingly contentious and divisive as two factions within the GOP clash on the issue. 

While House Republican leaders are preparing immigration proposals that qualify as amnesty, conservative Republicans are creating their own proposals in opposition to their leaders.

Breitbart.com reported last week, “Aides from over a dozen House offices secretly convened today on the Senate side of the Capitol at a meeting organized by Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, a top immigration hawk who has recently involved himself more aggressively in the affairs of the lower chamber.”

Breitbart News obtained a copy of the invitation to the meeting, which read, “Over here in the Senate working for Senator Sessions, we learned a lot last year about the strategies employed by the powerful forces pushing bad immigration policies — and how to counter them.”

According to those closely involved, conservatives are working to issue their own immigration principles to compete with the document House Speaker John Boehner is drafting.

“There is definitely a growing mood of confusion and aggravation among conservatives in the House over the immigration issue right now,” one House GOP aide said in an e-mail to Breitbart News, adding that many on the Right find the “political logic” of riling up the party's base so close to a low-turnout midterm election baffling. “Do we really want to just give up the midterms like this?” the aide asked.

The Republicans plan to gather this week in Maryland to discuss the future of the party, and the debate on immigration is setting the stage for what could prove to be a difficult three-day retreat.

House leaders, such as House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan and House Majority Whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy, have become outspoken on their embrace of immigration reform, with McCarthy even endorsing “legal status” for illegal aliens.

Breitbart News writes, “Boehner’s strong desire to push immigration reform in 2014 has become clearer in recent weeks after he hired a former top aide to Senator John McCain to work on immigration issues and began drafting a set of immigration ‘principles’ to unveil as the GOP’s position on the issue in coming days.”

Naturally, members of the Tea Party are appalled by the assertions made by GOP leaders. “I don't know why in the world House Republicans would move on immigration legislation in 2014,” said Representative Jeff Duncan of South Carolina.

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