Tuesday, July 22, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

GOP issues a mixed message

navarrette column sig

By
From page A11 | January 23, 2014 |

SAN DIEGO — What are House Republicans up to?

By releasing a one-page set of principles explaining how they would fix a broken immigration system, GOP lawmakers are doing one of three things – or a combination. They’re either trying to find a pragmatic solution to a vexing issue, or sending a bouquet to Hispanic voters who like immigration reform but dislike Republicans, or calling the Democrats’ bluff with the understanding that – despite the rhetoric – blue-collar workers who oppose legalizing the undocumented won’t let the party of Franklin D. Roosevelt support an immigration reform bill that could be passed by Congress.

Whatever the motive, according to published reports about the GOP plan, there is both good and bad in what Republicans have in mind.

Here’s the good: The debate over citizenship – which was a massive distraction – appears to be over. The Republicans will not give most illegal immigrants an automatic path to citizenship, except for those young people who came to the United States as children. But nor will they put up roadblocks that would prevent most of the newly legalized from becoming citizens. The undocumented would be able to step forward and admit wrongdoing, pay fines and back taxes. Then they would get something that, to many, is just as valuable as citizenship: the right to live and work in the United States without fear of deportation, and the ability to travel outside the country. After that, they could apply for legal permanent residence, commonly known as a green card.

The card may be green, but for the undocumented, this is the golden ticket. Those who want citizenship can pursue it on their own just like any other green card holder, but it wouldn’t come automatically.

None of this would happen until additional border security measures are in place. But it’s still a big step forward for Republicans.

Here’s the bad: Republicans have never been particularly competent or courageous when it comes to going to the root of the problem – employers. For the most part, they refuse to bite the hand that feeds their re-election coffers. They ignore employers who repeatedly defy the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act by knowingly hiring illegal immigrants. Those people need to be hit with more sanctions and harsher penalties. Republicans – and, for that matter, Democrats as well – are especially reluctant to go after the biggest offenders: U.S. homeowners who maintain their lifestyles and fulfill their responsibilities with the help of nannies, housekeepers, gardeners and elderly care providers.

In their one-page set of principles, the furthest that Republicans seem prepared to go concerning employers is to make it mandatory that those who hire workers participate in the government-run employment verification program known as E-Verify.

That’s nothing. The program is not completely accurate and doesn’t extend to homeowners. Besides, in earlier debates over the program, conservatives such as Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, have been willing to soften their hard line to give agribusiness a three-year delay in implementing E-Verify. The whole program is a guard dog with no bark and no teeth.

What’s more, when employer sanctions have come up in the past, that language has a mysterious way of quietly disappearing through GOP-sponsored amendments. When it comes to holding employers accountable, the tough-talking Republican Party is usually weak and ineffective.

Some of the new GOP principles on immigration reform might not be so new after all. It’s great that more Republicans are, for whatever reason, coming around to the idea that the undocumented should have a pathway to legal status. That’s a gutsy position that will not go over well with nativist elements of their party. It’s just too bad that Republicans couldn’t maintain that courage long enough to go after employers.

In the immigration debate, the calculus always comes back to division. There’s the split between those who are willing to do the hard things that could solve problems and improve lives, and those who are content to take the easy way out and find a temporary escape from a political jam.

If the Republican principles on immigration reform are guided by the former, they should be embraced. If they’re led by the latter, they can be ignored.

Ruben Navarrette is a columnist for U-T San Diego. Reach him at ruben@rubennavarrette.com.

Ruben Navarrette

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

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

.

Solano News

Weather for Tuesday, July 22, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Library friends set spring book sale

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

 
 
Carpenters training center set to expand in Fairfield

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 2 Comments | Gallery

Man, woman, comic and dance contest primed for box office

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A7

 
Polk first to file for Fairfield council

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

Rockville Trails hike on August calendar

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5

 
Groups plan Zombie Run to raise college scholarship cash

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

Governor signs 2 bills by Frazier into law

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5

 
Video chair exercise class returns to senior center

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A5

2 Vacaville homes hit by gunfire

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
.

US / World

Detroit retirees vote in favor of pension cuts

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Clinton: US, Europe should get tough on Russia

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments

Gaza death toll rises as truce effort intensifies

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Israeli aircraft hit more than 70 targets in Gaza

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Rebels release train with bodies from downed jet

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Genetic mapping triggers new hope on schizophrenia

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Afghan vet who fought wounded gets Medal of Honor

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Hopkins pays $190M in pelvis exam pix settlement

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Ex-teacher convicted of pushing wife off cliff

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

 
Full-contact youth football practices restricted

By The Associated Press | From Page:

BART police enforce stretching ban at stations

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
 
Report: Retaliation by supervisors common at VA

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Law blocks some brown lawn fees during droughts

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

 
California won’t send troops to Mexican border

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

Murder charges filed in California bank robbery

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

 
Cause of deaths in FedEx truck-bus crash released

By The Associated Press | From Page:

California reduces deportations for minor crimes

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

 
Official: State can send inmates to medical site

By The Associated Press | From Page:

.

Opinion

 
Walmart donation benefits Meals on Wheels

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11

Batson’s column on Mideast peace is wrong

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 2 Comments

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: July 22, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
.

Entertainment

Love and Manson guest on ‘Sons of Anarchy’

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
‘Fargo’ gets 2nd season on FX with new cast, crime

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Box office top 20: ‘Apes’ holds reign with $36.3M

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
TVGrid July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

.

Sports

Hugo Perez Elite Training Camp to be held in Vallejo

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Duvall, Kontos help Giants beat Phillies

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Lady Vols coach wants a stronger finishing touch

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Gail Goestenkors quits WNBA job, enters hoops hall

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Chamberlain’s arm and beard fitting in with Tigers

By The Associated Press | From Page:

This date in sports history for Tuesday, July 22, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Big 12 commish’s dire warning about pending change

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Big Papi passes Yaz with 453rd career home run

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Chargers bolt into camp with high hopes

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Broncos primed for another super run

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Seattle says what happened last season is history

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Tony Stewart riding high from sprint car victory

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Head of 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics resigns

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
6 South Americans refuse to return to Donetsk club

By The Associated Press | From Page:

BMC, Team-Garmin Sharp back for USA Pro Challenge

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Tour leader Nibali: A ‘flag-bearer’ against doping

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Witness: Sterling needs Clippers sale to pay debts

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Jeter turns small part of attention to business

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Raiders enter camp with ‘chip’ on shoulders

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

49ers start fresh after forgettable offseason

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
Cain heads to DL with elbow injury

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
.

Business

Microsoft makes design central to its future

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Allergan to cut 1,500 employees in restructuring

By The Associated Press | From Page:

.

Obituaries

Shirley T. ‘Mac’ McFadden

By Nancy Green | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

 
.

Comics

Zits july 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Garfield July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sally Forth July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Blondie July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Cryptoquote July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Beetle Bailey July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Baby Blues July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

B.C. July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Crossword July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baldo July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Sudoku July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Dilbert July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Frank and Ernest July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Rose is Rose July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Word Sleuth July 22

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5