The GOP House leadership has yet to unveil its new framework for immigration reform, but conservatives are already gearing up for a challenge.
House Speaker John Boehner is expected to release a plan
to fellow Republicans at a three-day Chesapeake Bay retreat starting Wednesday that would give millions of immigrants already in the country illegally a path to legal status; it would also offer a path to citizenship for immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.
That has some of the party's conservative strategists pushing back publicly.
"It's one of the few things that could actually disrupt what looks like a strong Republican year," William Kristol, editor of The Weekly Standard, told The New York Times
, calling the push "a recipe for disaster."
A National Review
editorial on Monday titled "Don't Do It," also argued against reform at this stage.
"The basic tactical reason not to act now is that the last thing the party needs is a brutal intramural fight when it has been dealt a winning hand on Obamacare," the editors wrote.
"The other prudential reason not to act is that President Obama obviously can't be trusted. Any immigration deal would have to trade enhanced enforcement for an amnesty. Since the president refuses to enforce key provisions of his own healthcare law, let alone provisions of immigration law he finds uncongenial, he obviously can't be relied on to follow up on his end of any bargain," they added.
Some legislators also are staunchly opposed to the plan. Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa
believes that undocumented immigrants who are allowed to become citizens will eventually vote for Democrats, according to The Los Angeles Times.
"It's political suicide for Republicans to do this," he told the newspaper.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama is expected to make his case for an overhaul of immigration policy in his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
"There are important economic consequences for passing immigration reform, from expanding economic opportunity to creating jobs, to reducing the deficit," a senior administration official told The Los Angeles Times
Monday, adding, "There are a whole lot of good reasons for the Congress to take action on this."
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