The Corner

New House Immigration Panel Head — Does It Mean Anything?

Representative Trey Gowdy has been named chairman of the House immigration subcommittee for the coming Congress. This could mean one of two things. As I said to USA Today, it could mean that the House leadership is not being stampeded by the “missile gap”-style panic for amnesty engineered by the open-borders Right. Gowdy has an A- grade from Numbers USA and is nearly as hawkish as Representative Steve King, currently the subcommittee’s vice chairman; he is next-in-line but probably less politic than Gowdy.

On the other hand, I’ve heard from sources on the Hill that Boehner has assembled his own group of members to write an amnesty bill, intending to bypass the normal committee process altogether. If true, the group would be akin to the bipartisan pro-amnesty Gang of Eight in the Senate. That would mean the identity or views of chairman of the immigration subcommittee — or even the incoming chairman of the full House Judiciary Committee, Bob Goodlatte — wouldn’t really matter, since neither one would have any influence on the writing of the amnesty bill.

But whoever writes the bill, it would seem that the bigger the crap sandwich Republican members have to swallow as the result of any fiscal-cliff deal, the less flexibility Boehner will likely have to force them to go along with his amnesty plans.

Mark Krikorian, a nationally recognized expert on immigration issues, has served as Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) since 1995.

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