Sunday, May 3, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Don’t expect much on immigration this year

elias column sig

By
From page A8 | February 15, 2014 |

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 intraparty 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 Sens. 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. That’s because 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 members of Congress. 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.

Thomas Elias is a California author. Reach him at [email protected]

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | 1 comment

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

  • JagFebruary 15, 2014 - 7:10 pm

    John Boehner has GOT TO GO, my hopes are the tea party runs him out let home know if he stands in the tea party will not vote for him which could make a democratic speaker over a republican house, To all of you dreamers I am sorry your parents lied to you but that is exactly what happen they lied and I am sure you will do just fine back in your country, Newt Gingrich said we cannot kick 3 million people out of the country but I ask why not? I know we have jobs that they say no one wants but that is why we need work for welfare for example in you live in Fresno and you are on welfare you are picking lettuce It`s not hard to understand and let’s see how fast the welfare rolls decline. On another subject and quick shot and congratulations out to Volkswagen for keeping the union out Great job guys!!

    Reply | Report abusive comment
.

Solano News

 
3rd-graders study nature at Fairfield park

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

Pros have tough time with financial news

By Bud Stevenson | From Page: C1

 
Colliers releases Solano-Napa commercial real estate report

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Fairfield industrial sector remains hot

By Brian Miller and Karl Dumas | From Page: C1, 15 Comments

 
Solano County to add War on Terror names to memorial

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Calico’s legacy lives on to this day

By Brad Stanhope | From Page: A2, 9 Comments

 
I’m asking for your forgiveness

By Steve Kiefer | From Page: D2, 3 Comments

 
Snow Mountain hike set on Mother’s Day

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Library continues spring book sale

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
Knitters group about to start in Vacaville

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

Sacramento rally to support child advocacy

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

 
 
Airmen from Vacaville finish basic training

By Nick DeCicco | From Page: C4

 
Band festival brings sweet music to downtown Fairfield

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
CASA of Solano seeks volunteers

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A13

 
Public hearing set before Mental Health Advisory Board

By Kevin W. Green | From Page: A13

.

US / World

Britain says hello to newest princess

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
‘Be Kind to Animals’ celebrates 100 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: D6, 1 Comment

 
NYPD officer in critical condition after shooting

By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

Drop out thinks he can get you a tech industry job

By Bloomberg News | From Page: A9

 
Damage soars as Oakland demonstrations turn violent

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 7 Comments

Japanese PM sees ‘alliance of hope’ with US

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Plans are at odds over fate of medical marijuana

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

‘Huggy’ returns to Capitol after 12-year hiatus

By The Associated Press | From Page: A11

 
Sea Lion found wandering the streets of SF

By Bloomberg News | From Page: A11

 
Portman doing balancing act with re-election, trade

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Need for cybersecurity experts met by trend in cyber camps

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
Lincoln’s hometown re-enact his funeral

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

Pope Francis set to name Serra a saint in DC ceremony

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
ISIS kills 25 captive Yazidis in Iraq

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

.

Living

US colleges bringing in chaplains to serve the nonbelievers

By The Associated Press | From Page: D2Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
Community Calendar: May 3, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Today in history: Sunday, May 3, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Love Your Lines: stretch marks go viral in support of women

By The Associated Press | From Page: D4

My 67-year-old husband won’t stop viewing porn on his computer

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: D4

 
Crabapples come in many varieties (some aren’t even crabby)

By The Associated Press | From Page: D4 | Gallery

Horoscope: May 3, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: D4

 
.

Entertainment

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

 
T. Coraghessan Boyle wins $30,000 for short story writing

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

On his list: John Oates of Hall & Oates has book deal

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

 
Illness memoir ‘The Iceberg’ wins Wellcome Book Prize

By The Associated Press | From Page: D3

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: C5

 
.

Sports

Mayweather wins unanimous decision over Pacquiao

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders head to Travis AFB for Day 3 of NFL Draft

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Favorite American Pharoah rallies to win Kentucky Derby

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Grizzlies, Warriors ready to meet in conference semifinals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Raiders fill more holes on final day of draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Odor’s RBI single in 10th lifts Rangers past A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Michael Allen leads Champions Tour’s Insperity Invitational

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Posey, Crawford homer in Giants’ 5-4 win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers fortify offense on third day of draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Murray wins twice for BMW Open final against Kohlschreiber

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Jeff Gordon leads Hendrick in pole-winning run at Talladega

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Kreider’s early goal leads Rangers over Capitals in Game 2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Thompson ricochets to share of LPGA Tour lead with Park

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Joey Logano uses big block on last lap to win Xfinity race

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Paul lifts Clippers past Spurs, 111-109 in Game 7

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

McIlroy in a fight with Casey until darkness gets in the way

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

 
.

Business

Starbucks breakdown shows how registers have evolved

By The Associated Press | From Page: C1 | Gallery

 
Offshore wind energy sector off to slow start in US

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

Recalls this week: Kaleidoscope toys, batteries

By The Associated Press | From Page: C2

 
A chip off the old Croc: The return of the ugly shoe

By Bloomberg News | From Page: C3, 1 Comment | Gallery

Review: Getting your Apple Watch? Here’s how to use it

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
US seeks to compensate victims of Sudan, Iran and Cuba

By The Associated Press | From Page: C6

 
.

Obituaries

Sherman Elwood

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

 
George Benjamin Kimes Jr.

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

Gerald Mc Devitt

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

 
Fred L. Kirk

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

Marcello T Gemignani

By Nancy Green | From Page: A13

 
Lois Geraldine Johnston

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A13

.

Comics

.

Summer Sunsational 2015

Solano County Fair: Something for everyone

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM6

Get ready to get down to the music at Dixon fair

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM13

Cars, cars and more cars

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM18

Farmers markets, produce stands offer regional bounty

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM19

Golf, anyone? Lots to choose from

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM20

More wine! Solano offers much to tease the palate

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM22

Get back to nature across Solano County

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM23

Mondavi Center brings world-class performances to region

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM29

Go behind the scene on Anheuser-Busch brewery tours

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM30

Try your luck at area casinos

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM37

Fair fun continues during summer in Napa

By Daily Republic | From Page: SUM45