On ABC’s This Week today, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough defended the White House’s immigration plan, leaked yesterday to USA Today, as consistent with the White House’s strategy on immigration from the beginning. He explained that the president’s plan was necessary because there must be a plan out there that has “a reasonable option for those here illegally” — which in the White House proposal would involve a specific avenue for them, a “Lawful Prospective Immigrant” program that would make illegal immigrants permanent legal residents within eight years. The various congressional proposals, of course, include methods to amnesty current illegal residents, too.
McDonough explained that “we haven’t proposed anything on Capitol Hill,” though it might seem that the White House’s leaking its own immigration proposal is tantamount to doing so.
While Republican congressional leaders such as Senator Marco Rubio have blasted the president’s release of his plan and the substance of it (as did Representative Paul Ryan later in the show), McDonough asserted that the White House’s strategy is consistent with “what the president said we’d do in Las Vegas.” In the president’s January 29 Las Vegas speech on immigration reform, he explained that, “if Congress is unable to move forward in a timely fashion, I will send up a bill based on my proposal and insist that they vote on it right away.”