Why does Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.) continue to voice support for blanket amnesty and massive increases in immigrants and guest workers? The best explanation is that he is acting as the mouthpiece for Speaker John Boehner, who is persistently probing to find the path of least resistance to the final passage of the Senate’s Gang of Eight bill – legislation that is extremely unpopular with voters. Boehner’s strategy for achieving this end is to garner enough Republican votes in the House to pass some kind of immigration bill, even a tough enforcement bill, in order to get to conference with the Senate.
In conference, anything opposed by La Raza and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would almost certainly be stripped out by Harry Reid and Boehner. Such a conference bill would easily be approved by the Senate and open the door to passage in the House where just 17 Republicans, like Goodlatte, would need to join with the Democrats to to make up the 217 votes needed for passage.
Boehner has long been big business’s advocate on the Hill, and with Eric Cantor (R., Va.), Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.), and Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) in key leadership positions, he has surrounded himself with open border acolytes. Goodlatte’s public statements and political posturing over the past few months give every indication that he is on board with the Republican leadership’s plan to abrogate the rule of law in order to drive down wages and conditions for American workers. They are attempting to provide cover for their true intent with the canard that amnesty will win over Hispanic voters to the Republican Party.
Goodlatte told Univision, the largest Spanish-language media outlet in the U.S., that he is “very dedicated” to “finding the appropriate legal status for those who are not here lawfully today,” which he has reiterated means a “pathway to citizenship” for all illegal aliens currently in the country. Goodlatte has also declared that there would be nothing “special” about this process. When called to the carpet for these statements, Goodlatte duplicitously argued that a “step-by-step approach to immigration reform” that promises future border security and enforcement in exchange for immediate legalization of the illegal alien population is not amnesty, while a comprehensive bill that does exactly the same thing is amnesty. (This harkens back to Rubio’s assertion that the Gang of Eight bill is not comprehensive because the word isn’t in the title).
If Goodlatte’s goal really is true immigration reform he should call for Boehner to declare that the House will refuse to conference on the Gang of Eight bill. Instead, he should insist on passage of the SAFE Act as a standalone bill, which would be sent to the Senate for consideration. As it stands now, Goodlatte’s posturing sounds a lot like what we heard from Marco Rubio on immigration last year. That is not a good sign.