As reported yesterday, USA Today reported on the White House’s proposed immigration bill that would pave the way to citizenship for millions of illegal aliens. Not long after the plan went public, leading Republicans began shooting the plan down and claiming it would be dead on arrival by the time it reached Congress.
Surprisingly, even Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said the plan was a mistake and would never arise from the graveyard of dead pieces of legislation. With Rubio’s Cuban heritage and his obvious overtures for a 2016 presidential run, I would have thought that he would have jumped on the immigration reform bandwagon and supported the president’s proposal. However, the Obama plan was so wrought with problems that even Rubio could not give it more than a last rites look.
Not long after Rubio’s announcement that the plan was dead, Rep Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate in last year’s election, appeared on ABC’s ‘This Week’ and said:
“Leaking this out does set things in the wrong direction. By putting these details out without a guest worker program, without addressing future flow, by giving advantage to those who cut in front of the line…that tells us he’s looking for a partisan advantage and not a bipartisan solution.”
“There are groups in the House and Senate working together to get this done, and when he does things like this, it makes it much more difficult to do that. And that’s why I think this particular move – very counterproductive.”
Sen. John McCain, who has been working on a bipartisan immigration reform plan also viewed the leaked White House plan as being problematic. He said that unlike the past four presidents, which includes Democrat Bill Clinton, that he has dealt with, Obama has had no communication with Republicans on the immigration issue. He said the leaked plan:
“…raises the question that many of us continue to wonder about: Does the president really want a result, or does he want another cudgel to beat up Republicans?”
Within 24 hours of having the leaked White House plan lambasted and buried by leading Republicans, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough tried to peddle it off as nothing more than Plan B in case the bipartisan effort failed to come up with a viable plan. Sounds like they got caught saying something they wish they hadn’t, kind of like Joe Biden, and now they are making excuses to make themselves look better.
The whole impetus behind an immigration reform is to keep the Hispanic vote. In last year’s election, Obama garnered 71% of the Hispanic vote while Romney only managed 27%. That’s why I’m surprised that Marco Rubio isn’t more involved with an immigration reform program that would help win over some of the Hispanic vote. As close as the election really was, a shift in the Hispanic vote of 20%-25% could have been enough of a difference to have given Romney the victory. If Obama manages to get the 22nd Amendment repealed, Rubio or whoever the GOP will run in 2016, will need every Hispanic vote they can get.
That’s what the immigration reform bills are all about, the 2016 election. Members of both the Democratic and Republican Parties are willing to slap legal immigrants in the face by proposing a program to allow illegals to become legals. It’s not about doing the right thing; it’s all about the vote thing.