The Corner

Overpromising on Immigration

Tamar Jacoby’s business-oriented pro-amnesty lobbying group ImmigrationWorks held a conference call for members last week to report on the state of play on an immigration bill. A little birdie sent me his/her notes on what was said, and much of it was interesting but not surprising:

* Business demands increased future immigration as part of any bill, not just amnesty (because, you know, 10% unemployment isn’t high enough, I guess). Also, Napolitano has told the activist groups that Schumer’s bill would indeed have a “guestworker” component, despite union opposition;

* The legislation will be “framed as a law and order bill”;

* The White House and DHS have not yet decided to pursue a piecemeal approach, sticking instead with the “comprehensive” idea, because if word got out that the White House had decided to pick off separate bits of the immigration issue, the push for comprehensive would fall apart;

* DHS has made clear that continued enforcement is necessary to build credibility for a future amnesty.

Two more things of note. Tamar explicitly drew the connection between the fate of Obamacare and the prospects for amnesty; as my note-taker related her comments, “If the GOP ‘just says no’ on health care reform and finds that’s ok with the public, they may become emboldened.” In other words, emboldened to fight against amnesty. So one could conclude that the cheap-labor employers most interested in amnesty and increased immigration are rooting for the Democrats to succeed on health care.

And finally this comment by John Gay, formerly head lobbyist for the National Restaurant Association, about Cecilia Munoz, former vice president of La Raza and now White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs: “Cecilia Munoz said the prez looked her in the eye and promised to get CIR [“comprehensive immigration reform,” i.e. amnesty] done in January or February.” Hah! Like he promised to close Gitmo.