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Morning Examiner: Middle ground emerging on immigration

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Conn Carroll

House Republicans are still mum about when they will unveil their conference’s immigration reform plan, but after this week it has become exceedingly clear that whatever policy they do come up with will be vastly different than the amnesty-for-border-enforcement scheme endorsed by President Obama and Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.

“The people that came here illegally knowingly — I don’t think they should have a path to citizenship,” Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, said on NPR’s Morning Edition yesterday. “If you knowingly violated our law, you violated our sovereignty, I think we should normalize your status but we should not give you a pathway to citizenship.”

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., signaled he was leaning towards a similar approach at a hearing on immigration Tuesday. “Are there options that we should consider between the extremes of mass deportation and a pathway to citizenship for those not lawfully present in the United States?” Goodlatte asked amnesty advocate San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro.

Castro and the amnesty lobby recoiled at the idea. “They were trying to set up a false choice between the extremes of mass deportation and a path to citizenship,” Clarissa Martinez de Castro of National Council of La Raza told a conference call of reporters before the hearing was even over. “To try to paint that rigorous path as amnesty is frankly incorrect.”

Also on Tuesday, Labrador showed he wasn’t naive about what the Democrats real objectives are. “Anybody who’s clamoring for citizenship is looking for voters, and they’re looking for union members. They’re not looking to help the people who are here illegally. They’re looking for a political solution, they’re not looking a policy that actually strengthens the United States,” Labrador told reporters.

As it becomes more and more clear that Democrats have zero intention of ever committing to strong immigration enforcement policies, it is only a matter of time before Rubio abandons the Obama/amnesty plan and starts working with Labrador and House Republicans.

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