Now that Congress has passed an appropriations bill and a farm bill, GOP leaders are planning the House agenda for 2014. At the House Republican Conference retreat over the weekend, members of the House attempted to come up with a plan to deal with immigration reform.
Representative Rob Woodall, whose Gwinnett and Forsyth County Seventh District is considered to be the most diverse in the southeast, dealt with the issue in a Washington Watch newsletter sent out last night.
Immigration reform is desperately needed, but unfortunately, the term “immigration reform” has been stolen by those with a political agenda. For some, it means “open borders.” For some, it means “unlimited cheap labor from overseas.” For others, it means “amnesty.” And for others, it means “citizenship for all who desire it.” You know as well as I do that it is difficult to have a conversation even among friends about immigration reform because the very term has taken on a political life of its own.
While “immigration reform” is characterized many ways by many people, at its core, all it means is ensuring that America’s laws reflect America’s interests. That’s why I’ve always been a supporter of cutting the red tape for the brightest and hardest workers who want to make America better and ensuring that no president can unilaterally choose not to enforce the law. Truthfully, I don’t believe the question that most Americans are asking is, “Does America need immigration reform?” The question is, “Can we trust this President to help us get immigration reform right?” Sadly, the answer from most constituents here at home and most Congressmen in Washington is a resounding “no.”
Some conservative activists have railed against any sort of reform, especially if it would lead to illegals gaining citizenship, calling it amnesty. Atlanta’s D.A. King, founder of the Dustin Inman Society, said, “The Republican establishment is clearly saying to voters ‘drop dead.’”
Yet, in a survey conducted last August by the Gwinnett Republican Party, 72% of those responding said the House should bring up the issue.
The response to the Coca-Cola Super Bowl commercial featuring America the Beautiful being sung in multiple languages made for a revealing Rorschach test of our views about people from different countries. It will be interesting to see how far the immigration reform effort gets in the House.