With the House approving a budget deal before its December 13 deadline, some are trying to predict how the deal, and the process of getting to a deal, will impact immigration in 2014.
Many of us have heard the harsh criticisms this week by Speaker Boehner directed towards some of the factions within the GOP. This is being viewed by some as proof that Boehner is willing to move on amnesty even if he doesn't have majority support of his caucus. Others, however, point out that more than 70% of Republicans voted for the budget deal, making it much less controversial than amnesty.
So, we really don't know how this week's actions will impact immigration in 2014, if at all. What we do know is that nearly everyone thought amnesty was a cinch in 2013:
"The good news is that we really do think that ... on the immigration issue, that we will, before summer, have comprehensive immigration reform."
-- House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, 3/20/2013
Even though we've been able to stop amnesty in 2013, the battle is far from over. The devastating Senate-passed Schumer-Rubio amnesty bill, S.744, and it's Pelosi-introduced companion, H.R.15 in the House, will still be out there in 2014. But as the House ends its business for 2013, it's a good time to remember the millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans who were spared massive increases in foreign worker competition this year.
Earlier this week, NumbersUSA's Rosemary Jenks touched on that very point during an immigration panel hosted by Judicial Watch.
"We have the lowest labor force participation rate since women started entering the workforce in the 1970s. We have unemployment of 7.2%. We do not have a labor shortage in this country. We have a job shortage. We need to ensure that our representatives in Congress represent us."
Sadly, as Rosemary pointed out, big business is too invested in pushing for massive increases in the labor force despite their misguided claims about worker shortages.
"I think what explains the Republican drive for amnesty, and what drives Speaker Boehner hiring Becky Tallent to do immigration reform for him, is a draw to big business, to money. It's about the money," Rosemary said.
She was joined on the panel by Rep. Steve King and CIS director Mark Krikorian. Krikorian further explained the role that big business has had over the last several years, but thinks they're missing a key point -- the failure of multiple administrations to enforce existing immigration laws, which has created a trust gap with the American people.
"$1.5 billion has been spent on lobbying for amnesty over the last 6 years, and it's not going to work. And here's why it's not going to work. Much of the public would be willing to go along with some sort of an amnesty, if it were the last amnesty. ... Nobody believes that tomorrow's immigration laws will be enforced any better than today's. That's the trust gap."
That sentiment was made clear in a Rasmussen poll released this week finding that 60% of Americans believe the federal government is not aggressive enough in deporting illegal aliens. Krikorian believes there's enough mistrust from the American people to derail reform in the upcoming year.
"I'm taking early bets that the President will not have an amnesty bill on his desk in 2014."
Of course, Krikorian's confidence isn't rooted in a belief that the House doesn't want to act. Instead, he's confident that NumbersUSA's 2 million activists and millions more will put enough pressure on their elected officials in 2014 to prevent passage of an amnesty.
For more on the panel, click here.
CHRIS CHMIELENSKI is the Director of Content & Activism for NumbersUSA
Updated: Mon, Dec 16th 2013 @ 8:54am EST