Republicans face a very simple dilemma on immigration: Either they embrace reform, or they are inescapably the party of maximum deportations.
As you know, I’ve been making the case that this is the choice Republicans face. But now we have a senior House Republican essentially confirming it for us.
The Republican in question — GOP Rep. Bob Goodlatte — didn’t put it that way, of course. But in an interview with Univision Jorge Ramos that aired yesterday, he inescapably revealed that to be the case, and in the process, he made real news.
Ramos repeatedly pressed Goodlatte to explain why it is that House Republicans refuse to act on immigration reform. Goodlatte repeatedly claimed the problem is that Republicans can’t trust Obama to enforce the law, as evidenced by the fact that deportations from the interior have dropped. Goodlatte explicitly said the problem is that only people convicted of serious crimes are getting deported from the interior.
Ramos then pressed Goodlatte on whether this means Republicans want to see more deportations from the interior. Goodlatte — who as chair of the House Judiciary Committee is a key player on immigration — refused to answer directly. This is how Republicans have boxed themselves in on this issue: They’ve defined “enforcing the law” as maximizing deportations from the interior, no matter who gets removed. It’s true that removals from the interior have dropped under Obama. But that reflects the fact that the administration is prioritizing removals of people caught crossing the border, which have gone up, and has deprioritized the removal of certain classes from the interior. By defining that shift in priorities as a failure to enforce the law, and claiming this as the chief obstacle to moving forward with their own proposals to legalize the 11 million, Republicans have effectively defined their policy stance as follows: Obama is not deporting enough low level offenders with lives here, so therefore we won’t embrace any form of legal status for them. Read More of Greg Sargent’s Article here…