It may be true that we are a nation of immigrants but the GOP is also a primary full of people who hate immigration reform. Even though the Senate passed immigration reform with 13 GOP votes the party’s faithful activists (aka the kind of people who vote in primaries and wave signs like the ones below) are not happy.
Consider this polling from the University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll found that 30 percent of those self-identified as Tea Party Republicans in Texas think immigration is the most important problem. When asked about their feelings on comprehensive immigration reform package including a pathway to citizenship for those currently residing in the country, 58 percent of mainline Republicans and 73 percent of Tea Party Republicans opposed the proposal (and 54 percent of those tea partiers “strongly opposed” it).
This should not surprise anyone nor should it that Texas Republicans are pretty similar to Republicans across the country, especially in the South.
These feelings can already be seen in the House of Representatives. House Chief Deputy Whip Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) told reporters today “it is a pipe dream to think that bill is going to the floor and is going to be voted on.” In fact some pundits don’t want the House GOP to do anything.
Neo-con William Kristol don’t want Boehner to pass anything. This former McCain supporter closed his recent post on the Weekly Standard with the rallying cry “No Capitulation, No “Comprehensive” Bill, No Conference.”
If this does happen, which I think it will, and the House GOP does nothing or passes a bill that can’t be reconciled with the Senate version this really screws over Rubio and other immigration supporters like Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan.
They need this issue to go away. With no reform in place it will continue to fester in our national politics. Motivating forces on both sides to keep pushing their agendas, and for opposition forces taking any of them out in the 2016 primary will be a good way to scare the GOP into keeping a hardline stance.