Immigration Politics – Cal 2013 – Starter Packet

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Immigration Politics – Cal 2013 – Starter Packet

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Record instructor notes about the file here…

The links still need a lot more work – there’s only enough here to get you started. They are located at the end of the file.


Immigration reform will pass as a result of the border compromise – now is key

Washington Post 6-20

[The Washington Post. “Breakthrough on Senate immigration bill: Democrats, GOP reach border security agreement” 6/20/13 ln//GBS-JV]

A breakthrough at hand, Republicans and Democrats reached agreement Thursday on a costly, military-style surge to secure the leaky U.S.-Mexican border and clear the way for Senate passage of legislation giving millions of immigrants a chance at citizenship after years in America’s shadows.¶ Lawmakers in both parties described a Southern border that would be bristling with law enforcement manpower and technology as a result of legislation at the top of President Barack Obama’s second-term domestic policy agenda. The emerging deal called for a doubling of the Border Patrol, with 20,000 new agents, 18 new unmanned surveillance drones, 350 miles of new fencing, and an array of fixed and mobile devices to maintain vigilance. “This is a border surge. We have militarized our border, almost,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican.¶ “Boots on the ground, drones in the air,” summed up Sen. Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat who has been at the center of efforts to push immigration legislation through the Senate.¶ The plan was announced by Sens. John Hoeven of North Dakota and Bob Corker of Tennessee, Republicans who had been publicly uncommitted on the legislation. Both said other GOP fence-sitters would also swing behind the measure if the changes were incorporated, and by late in the afternoon, two had done so.¶ A final vote on the legislation is expected by the end of next week.

< Link >

Political capital is key – Obama’s maneuvering overcomes hurdles

Birnbaum 6-12

[Jeremy. Politics for the Washington Times. “Sensational Season for Scandal: When a Ship Runs Aground, it’s the Captain’s Fault” The Washington Times, 6/12/13 ln//GBS-JV]

What’s left among major initiatives is immigration reform. However, that faces a tough slog in the Senate and a possibly impossible trajectory in the House of Representatives. Its leading Republican sponsor, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, has already signaled that he might bail on the plan he helped craft if changes — including guaranteed bolstering of border security — aren’t added as the bill moves through the Senate.¶ In other words, official Washington will devote lots of time to little more than housekeeping matters. Congress could pass a few appropriations bills, reauthorize farm programs and raise the federal borrowing limit to avoid the disaster that would come with default. What that means is that not much more than the basics are on track to succeed this year.¶ That’s a big problem for Mr. Obama. The more time that passes, the less political capital he’ll have to muscle through his priorities. Unless he acts quickly, he could lose his chance to make his presidency truly historic. He needs more accomplishments to distinguish himself.¶ More practically, the media abhors a vacuum, and that’s what persistent inaction is creating. Reporters have no choice but to fill their news holes. As a result, minor kerfuffles and governmental failures, which would otherwise be relegated to the second tier, become front-page news for lack of competitionScandals blossom in the absence of a serious agenda. That’s one reason the Obama administration has been battered by the terrible trifecta of the snatching of reporters’ telephone logs, the continuing suspicions about the attacks in Benghazi and, most importantly, the targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service. The recent news that the government has compelled telephone and Internet companies to fork over information about average citizens has also raised concerns because of the dearth of impactful actions otherwise in the nation’s capital.

< Impact >



The border surge compromise ensures passage – it will achieve 70 total votes, which beat any of their evidence about the filibuster, the house, and the ubermajority.

Parker 6-21

[Ashley. Politics for the New York Times. “Border Deal by 2 in G.O.P. Lifts Chances of Immigration Bill” The New York Times, 6/21/13 (morning edition) ln//GBS-JV]

The prospects for Senate approval of a broad overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws improved on Thursday after two Senate Republicans worked out a deal on a plan to strengthen border security with the bipartisan group of eight senators that drafted the original bill, raising hopes that the new agreement could build Republican support for the immigration legislation. ¶ The deal calls for a “border surge” that nearly doubles the current border patrol force to 40,000 agents from 21,000, as well as for the completion of 700 miles of fence on the nation’s southern border. The additional border agents, the senators said, would cost roughly $25 billion.¶ Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee and one of the deal’s architects, said he expected that his provision could attract the support of roughly 15 Republicans for the legislation, which includes a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants already in the country. Those Republican votes would be a significant boon to the measure, which backers hope to push through the Senate by the end of next week.¶ If nearly all Senate Democrats vote for the bill, as aides now expect, the additional Republican support would not only ensure the bill’s passage through the Senate, but that it passes with nearly 70 votes and bipartisan momentum as it heads to the Republican-controlled House.

Top of the Docket

Dann 6-11

[Carrie. Politics for NBC. “Senate votes to begin historic immigration reform debate” NBC News, 6/11/13 ln//GBS-JV]

In an initial victory for proponents of comprehensive immigration reform, the Senate on Tuesday easily passed a procedural vote to begin debate on the broad bipartisan measure, with just 15 senators -- all Republicans -- objecting. The preliminary 82-15 vote -- which required 60 votes for passage -- offers an initial show of strength for supporters of the legislation, although some Republicans who voted for the initial procedural measure say they will not support the final product unless amendments are added to strengthen the legislation’s requirements to secure the nation’s southern border.¶ A short while later, a vote on the motion to proceed -- which needed just a simple majority -- passed by a similar 84-15 marginThe votes came hours after President Barack Obama, flanked by a broad array of supporters in remarks at the White House, urged Congress to act on the legislation and warned opponents that there is “no good reason to play procedural games or engage in obstruction.”¶ “If you’re serious about actually fixing the system, then this is the vehicle to do it,” Obama said.¶ A final vote on the legislation is not expected until before the chamber’s July 4 recess. Obama said Tuesday that he wants the bill to his desk by the end of the summer.

Obama’s pushing and now is key

Kelley 6-12

[Caroline. Politics for Time. “Can Congress Vote On Immigration Reform Before Its Vacation?” TIME, 6/12/13 ln//GBS-JV]

The clock is ticking for immigration reform. On Tuesday, President Obama urged Congress to move quickly on the sweeping reform bill the Senate began debating this week. “There’s no reason Congress can’t get this done by the end of the summer,” he said. The president’s urgency was reminiscent of the way President George W. Bush pushed for his own immigration reform package in 2007. Six years ago this Wednesday, Bush visited Capitol Hill to “make a personal appeal” to Republican senators on behalf of his plan, which included a goal that they vote before Congress’s July 4 recess—the same target recently set for this year’s Senate reform effort by New York Democrat Chuck Schumer.¶ ¶ The Senate couldn’t deliver a vote by July 4 in 2007, however, and Bush’s bill eventually died in the doldrums of summer. Proponents of this year’s version hope for more success. But, they too face a calendar challenge. Norman J. Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, says that he “wouldn’t bet a great deal of money on meeting the July 4th deadline” this year.¶ ¶ A significant delay in the Senate could make it harder for the House to vote on immigration reform before Congress goes on vacation. The House is scheduled to be in session for just 16 days following the July 4 holiday before lawmakers begin their month-long vacation on August 5th. House Speaker John Boehner has said he hopes the House can vote before then.¶ ¶ Reform advocates worry that if a bill isn’t passed before August, opponents might marshal intense opposition to it in the media and at lawmakers’ town hall meetings, just as they did with Obama’s health care plan in the summer of 2009, which threatened to derail that bill. Ornstein thinks immigration reform could survive Congress’s recess, but that the delay would make passage more difficult.

The GOP’s on board

Politic365 6-11

[, a Frequently Updated and Reputable News Source under the larger Umbrella of Roll Call Magazine. “President Obama Pushes Congress on Immigration Reform” 6/11/13 //GBS-JV]

Today President Obama expressed his support for the bipartisan gang of eight immigration reform bill that has been making its way through the Senate. In an speech at the White House, where he was introduced by a DREAM Act eligible young adult, Tolu Olubunmi, President Obama said, “The bipartisan bill is the best chance we’ve had in years.”¶ The President also said that if people are serious about fixing the broken immigration system, then this is the bill to support because it has border security and provides a pathway to citizenship for the undocumented who are living in the shadows. In referencing the border, the President stressed that border crossings are at a historic low.¶ “I know there’s a lot of talk right now about border security, so let me repeat: Today, illegal crossings are near their lowest level in decades, and if passed, the Senate bill as currently written would put in place the toughest border enforcement plan that America has ever seen,” he said.¶ By stressing border security, the President is trying to assure Republicans that securing the borders will remain a top priority. Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) introduced an amendment that would require law enforcement to certify that the border is 100% secure before any of the undocumented could receive permanent status. In recent years, the administration has increased the militarization of the border even utilizing unmanned drones while the number of undocumented immigrants arrested at the border continues to be low.

The substance of the deal makes it politically feasible

Mookim 6-12

[M. Politics for PolicyMic. “Immigration Reform 2013: With One Hurdle Passed, the Bill's Future Is Still Uncertain” 6/12/13 //GBS-JV]

After years of operating under a broken system, Congress has successfully produced a comprehensive, effective plan to reform immigration in a surprisingly politically feasible manner. President Obama delivered a speech Tuesday morning that wholeheartedly endorsed this most recent congressional effort to advance immigration reform. Later in the day, the Senate voted by an overwhelming margin to begin discussing the bipartisan immigration bill recently pushed through the Judiciary Committee that is just now arriving to the Senate floor.¶ In the early stages of the debate, it is apparent that Republicans emerged most critical of the bill, and for easily anticipated reasons. The bill currently includes a grand bargain of sorts: Once border security is improved as per Republican request, Democrats get their much-desired path to citizenship for America’s 11 million illegal immigrants. Additionally, several provisions are included that streamline legal immigration. To name a few, the cap on H-1B visas is raised substantially and backlogs for merit-based visas will be cleared.

CBO report generates momentum

Cox 6-18

[Ramsey. Politics for the Hill. “Schumer: CBO report is ‘huge momentum boost’ to immigration reform bill” The Hill, 6/18/13 ln//GBS-JV]

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Tuesday that the Congressional Budget Office’s report that the comprehensive immigration reform bill reduces the deficit is a “huge momentum boost.”¶ “This report is a huge momentum boost for immigration reform,” Schumer said on the Senate floor moment after the CBO report was released. “This debunks the idea that immigration reform is anything other than a boon to our economy, and robs the bill’s opponents of one of their last remaining arguments.”¶ CBO estimated that the Gang of Eight’s bill would reduce the deficit by $197 billion over the next ten years and reduce the deficit an additional $700 billion during the second decade of its implementation.

Ext. Will Pass – General

It’ll pass – efforts to block the deal will fall short

Bazinger 4-8

[Kenneth. Political Editor for the NY Daily News and Kiplinger. “For Obama, Republicans, a Pause in Partisanship” 4/8/13 //GBS-JV]

The truce won't last, but it will allow some major bills to pass, including immigration reform. There's a spring thaw of sorts under way in Congress, clearing the path for some big bills to pass before the fall, when the focus will shift to the 2014 elections for House and Senate seats.¶ Both parties, driven by the goodwill that remains from their recent agreement to fund the government through the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year, are in the mood for progress on other frontsThe biggest surprise on tap: immigration reform. A sizable package will pass by the end of the year. It'll include beefed-up border patrols, more work visas for skilled and unskilled individuals and a path for legal residency for many millions of people who are in the U.S. illegally. That last provision was a long shot as recently as a few months ago.¶ Both parties stand to benefit over time. Democrats get to claim another big win for President Obama, allowing immigration to join health care as a cornerstone of his legislative legacy. Republicans gain a vital truce with Hispanic voters that may help them in future elections.¶ It won't be easy. Many tea partyers remain firmly opposed, especially to provisions that would lead to citizenship or legal residency for illegal immigrants. But they'll come up short of votes to block Democrats and mainstream Republicans, who see immigration reform as helping businesses to fill skilled positions that Americans aren't qualified for and unskilled jobs that Americans don't want.

Ext. Border Compromise

More evidence –the new compromise ensures passage – prefer our evidence because its predictive and says the recent compromise is a larger indicator of broad momentum

Washington Post 6-20

[The Washington Post. “Breakthrough on Senate immigration bill: Democrats, GOP reach border security agreement” 6/20/13 ln//GBS-JV]

Corker told reporters the plan amounted to ‘border security on steroidsand said it would impart “tremendous momentum” to the bill on the Senate floor. By day’s end, Republican Sens. Mark Kirk of Illinois and Dean Heller of Nevada said they, too, were prepared to vote for the bill if the changes were incorporated.¶ That brought to 10 the number of Republicans who have indicated they will vote for the bill, far more than enough to assure it will have the 60 required to overcome any attempted filibuster by last-ditch opponents. Democrats control 54 seats, and party aides have said they do not expect any defections from their side of the political aisle.¶ Apart from the border security measures, the legislation as drafted already included implementation of a biometric system to track the comings and goings of foreigners at air and sea ports as well as land crossings, and a requirement for businesses to verify the legal status of job seekers.

Will pass – Cornyn amendment

Dann 6-11

[Carrie. Politics for NBC. “Senate votes to begin historic immigration reform debate” NBC News, 6/11/13 ln//GBS-JV]

The Senate will now spend the remainder of the month debating and amending the bill, with much of the legislative oxygen being devoted to amendments that Republicans say are designed to woo more support from GOP members.¶ One such measure is an amendment by Sen. John Cornyn of Texas that would put in place more stringent “triggers” for border security before undocumented immigrants with probationary legal status can apply for green cards.¶ Speaking with Cornyn at his side, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell pointed to the Texas lawmaker’s proposed legislation as “the key amendment” that -- if adopted -- that would ensure border security to the satisfaction of Republicans.¶ Cornyn told reporters on Capitol Hill that he has been in conversations with Democratic members of the Gang of Eight about the amendment, which Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid calls “a poison pill.”¶ “I think if they had 60 votes to pass the bill out of the Senate, they probably wouldn't be talking to me,” Cornyn told reporters. “But they are, which tells me that they view this as a way to get out of the Senate on a bipartisan basis and give it some momentum and increase the likelihood of a bill passing in the House.”

Ext. GOP

The GOP’s on board

Mariani 3-11

[John. Politics for the Times. 3/11/13]

While some Republicans and conservatives remain skeptical that support for immigration reform will result in more votes from the Latino community, other Republicans mulling a White House bid "are eager to pass something," Bouie said.¶ "So Republicans may end up agreeing to the emerging framework — which would be a real breakthrough for the chances of passing real immigration reform, albeit less ambitious than liberal supporters might like."

AT//UQ Overwhelms

It’ll still be a fight

AP 4-8

[The Associated Press. 4/8/13 ln//GBS-JV]

Senators writing a comprehensive immigration bill hope to finish their work this week, opening what’s sure to be a raucous public debate over measures to secure the border, allow tens of thousands of foreign workers into the country and grant eventual citizenship to the estimated 11 million people living here illegally.¶ Already negotiators are cautioning of struggles ahead for an issue that’s defied resolution for years. An immigration deal came close on the Senate floor in 2007 but collapsed amid interest-group bickering and an angry public backlash.

Will pass – but new fights derail it

Zelizer 3-25

Julian Zelizer, CNN Contributor, Ph.D, Princeton University History and Public Affairs Professor, 3/25/13, Seize the immigration deal,]

The stars seem to be aligning for immigration reform. The election of 2012 scared many Republicans into thinking that their increasingly hardline stance on immigration is cutting against big demographic changes. These Republicans fear that they might risk writing themselves off for decades to come, if the GOP loses a vital part of the electorate to Democrats. A growing number of prominent Republicans are coming out in favor of a liberalized immigration policy, including the tea party darlings Sens. Rand Paul and Marco Rubio. During a recent speech to the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Paul said that "immigration reform will not occur until conservative Republicans, like myself, become part of the solution." Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York announced that an eight-person bipartisan group will soon reach a deal to move forward in the Senate. So it appears that the opportunity for bold immigration reform has finally arrived. But as any observer of congressional history knows, nothing is inevitable on Capitol Hill, particularly in the current Congress, where both parties remain extremely polarized and there are high costs for bucking the party orthodoxy. What needs to happen to close a deal? It is instructive to look back at history when Congress passed two landmark civil rights measures: the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Both were highly controversial; but ultimately, they went through as a result of bipartisan deals. Even though Congress is different in this era -- with both parties deeply divided internally and a closed committee system that dampens the power of party leaders to control members -- those historical struggles offer some instructive lessons for today as to how to seize a great opportunity that emerges. The news media have always been a powerful force in our society. At times, they have helped push our political system toward reform. Right now, a new generation of reporters can shine by taking on the biggest stories of the day that would have long-term impact on the direction of our country. This is what happened during the early 1960s, when a young generation of print and television reporters brought the nation vivid reports from the front lines of the civil rights struggle. In those years, reporters covered the brutal clashes that were taking place in southern cities like Birmingham and Selma, Alabama, showing the nation the reality of race relations. When presidential speechwriter Richard Goodwin watched the clashes on his television screen, he instantly understood how the media were transforming the national conversation. He noted, "For a century the violence of oppression had been hidden from the sight of white America. ... But now the simple invention of a cathode ray tube, transforming light into electrons, registering their impact on the magnetic tape, had torn the curtain away. And America didn't like what it saw." Similarly, in the new Internet age that we live in, the media can offer the nation a better understanding of the plight of immigrants who are living in this country and the kinds of problems that legislation can redress. Too often, discussions about immigration have revolved around vague and caricatured images. In the next few months, young and enterprising reporters can help politicians and voters see why the government needs to resolve this issue and how it can best do so. Another important lesson from history is the need to reach out to the other side when a rare opportunity comes along. In the civil rights debate, President Lyndon Johnson depended on the Senate minority leader, Republican Everett Dirksen of Illinois, to deliver the votes needed to end a filibuster in 1964. In order to get Dirksen on his side, Johnson told his administration team and congressional leadership to play to Dirksen's ego and sense of history. The key was to allow Dirksen to shape the bill, within certain parameters, so that he could leave his imprint on the measure. "You get in there to see Dirksen!" Johnson told Sen. Hubert Humphrey, the Democratic whip who was shepherding the bill through the Senate. "You drink with Dirksen! You talk to Dirksen! You listen to Dirksen!" Dirksen made some important changes to the bill during the negotiations but in the end, he delivered over 20 Republican votes, which killed the filibuster. Johnson got what he wanted. President Obama will need to make the same kind of moves, giving Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell some kind of a role so that he can buy into the legislation and win some amount of credit for producing a bill. The president will need to do the same in the House, where Speaker John Boehner will play a vital role as he tries to tame the radicals in his caucus. While giving either Republican such a role might frustrate Democrats who feel that their party is in command, the results could be powerful. Immigration rights activists can sit tight as the final months of the debate unfold. For all the talk about bipartisanship in the 1960s, the reality was that bipartisanship was often produced when legislators felt immense pressure from the grass roots. When the Senate debated the civil rights bill in a lengthy filibuster that lasted 60 days in the spring and summer of 1964, civil rights activists -- who had already forced Congress to deal with the issue through a mass march on Washington -- conducted protests in states and districts and gathered in Washington to lobby members. The immigration rights movement has been extremely effective in recent years, and now it must show its chops once again. It must also form alliances with other organizations, such as civil rights and gay rights groups, that have indicated they are willing to enter into a broader coalition to support this cause. The movement needs to work on legislators who are currently on the fence, especially Republicans who are thinking of joining Rubio, Paul and others. The key is to do this without stimulating some kind of backlash in their constituencies. The moment for an immigration deal has arrived. The political incentives for saying yes are strong in both parties, and this is an issue that needs a resolution. The key question will be whether Congress seizes this opportunity or whether partisanship paralyzes the institution once again, as it has done so many times before.

Visas aren’t inevitable

FN 4-9

[Fox News. “Senators arguing over high-tech visas for foreign workers in immigration deal, aides say” 4/9/13]

Senators finalizing a massive immigration bill are arguing over plans to boost visas for high-tech workers, Senate aides and industry officials say, with disputes flaring over how best to punish companies that train workers here only to ship them overseas.¶ Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., who's taken the lead in pushing to crack down on outsourcing firms, also is seeking higher wages for workers brought in on the H-1B visas that go to specially skilled foreigners, aides and officials say. High-tech industry officials say his efforts risk punishing companies not involved in the abuses he's trying to target, and lawmakers including Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., are taking the other side.¶ The dispute comes as aides to four Democratic and four Republican senators have been racing to put the finishing touches on sweeping immigration legislation that would secure the border and grant eventual citizenship to 11 million people here illegally, while also allowing tens of thousands more high- and low-skilled workers into the country on new visa programs.¶ Aides worked into the evening Monday on the high-tech visa issue, and senators were to resume meeting in person Tuesday after returning to Washington from a two-week spring recess. They were hoping to complete their legislation this week, though next week may be looking more likely. The high-tech visa question loomed as one of a few remaining unsettled matters.At issue is overwhelming demand from companies like Microsoft, Apple and Google for the H-1B visas, which are now capped at 65,000 annually, plus 20,000 more that are reserved for foreign workers who have earned an advanced degree from a U.S. university. On Friday, the Homeland Security Department announced that after less than a week of accepting applications, it already had received more requests than visas available for the 2014 budget year.¶ Faced with that demand, senators have contemplated lifting the cap to around 100,000, with the ability to go as high as 150,000, aides and officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because negotiations were ongoing, and they stressed the numbers remained in flux and no final decisions had been made.¶ Such an increase would be a win for the tech industry, which has boosted its lobbying muscle in Washington in recent years. On a related issue, the legislation also is likely to allow permanent U.S. residency to unlimited numbers of people who get advanced degrees in science, technology or math from U.S. universities.

AT//Needs 70 / UberMajority

They’ll get 70 votes

Koplan 6-18

[Tal. Politics for Politico. “Graham predicts 70-plus votes for immigration reform” Politico, 6/18/13 ln//GBS-JV]

Sen. Lindsey Graham predicts immigration reform will pass the Senate with more than 70 votes, saying passage is necessary to stop the "demographic death spiral" in the Republican Party.¶ “I’m going to leave you on a positive note, I think we’re going to have a political breakthrough that Congress is going to pass immigration reform. I think we’re going to get plus-70 votes, I’ve never been more optimistic about it,” the South Carolina Republican said Sunday on NBC's “Meet the Press.”¶ Saying the Republican Party had a “deep bench” of candidates for the 2016 election, especially former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Graham, a member of the Senate Gang of Eight that fashioned the reform bill, said immigration reform was still necessary to win.¶ “If we don’t pass immigration reform, if we don’t get it off the table in a reasonable practical way, it doesn’t matter who you run in 2016,” Graham said. “We’re in a demographic death spiral as a party, and the only way we can get back in good graces with the Hispanic community, in my view, is pass comprehensive immigration reform.”

AT//Won’t Pass the House

A senate deal would make it through the house – new deal, bipart, momentum

Barrett and Walsh 6-18

[Politics for CNN. “Senate negotiators seek new compromise on immigrationCNN News, 6/18/13 ln//GBS-JV]

A bipartisan group of senators is scrambling to reach a fresh compromise they hope can propel a proposal to overhaul U.S. immigration policy toward passage in that chamber and provide momentum heading into the Republican-controlled House.

New Obama strategy generates momentum for House passage

Sherman and Palmer 6-13

[Jake and Anna. Politics for Politico. “White House dials up efforts with House Republicans” Politico, 6/13/13 ln//GBS-JV]

This push is strategic, of course. Obama wants to pass immigration reform, and — for the moment — the House is the biggest stumbling block between Capitol Hill and a bill being signed into law. The White House wants to gather a gaggle of Republicans who just might support Obama’s initiatives.¶ “The president and senior staff at the White House have routinely engaged House Republicans on a variety of issues in an effort to build what the President has called a common sense caucus that works to find common ground on priorities like strengthening the economy, reducing the deficit in a responsible way and reforming our broken immigration system,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest wrote in an email to POLITICO.¶ Of course, this hasn’t yet brought the president and Republicans closer on policy. These meetings and phone calls haven’t resulted in legislative agreements on gun control, deficit reduction, tax reform or an overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws. But it’s a noticeable shift.¶ When Obama wanted to blunt the sequester or enact new gun laws, he fanned out across the country, looking to build pressure on lawmakers by rallying their constituents. It was widely perceived as a failure. Now, the White House recognizes that it must have a real relationship with lawmakers before asking them to support something, according to sources involved.¶ This quiet outreach isn’t Obama’s only action on the Hill. The administration has put a full-court press on Senate Republicans, dining with them and bringing them onto the golf course. The White House also recently reached out to top Republican senators about a deficit deal.

It’ll pass the House

Weil 6-18

[Dan. Politics for Reuters. “ House Begins to Move on Immigration Reform” The AP, 6/18/13 ln//GBS-JV]

A House bipartisan group plans to unveil its own long-awaited comprehensive version of an immigration reform bill this week, as the Senate continues debate on its controversial plan that establishes a pathway to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants.¶ At the same time, however, Politico reports that Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte moved ahead Tuesday with a markup of a measure calling for tougher enforcement of immigration laws.¶ House Speaker John Boehner also planned to meet Wednesday with the all-Democratic Congressional Hispanic Caucus to discuss immigration and other issues of particular concern to Hispanic members, signaling even more movement toward what could be a bipartisan effort to get immigration reform though Congress

Differences can be reconciled

AP 4-8

[The Associated Press. 4/8/13 ln//GBS-JV]

But overall, all involved are optimistic that the time is ripe to make the biggest changes to the nation’s immigration laws in more than a quarter-century. For many Republicans, their loss in the November presidential election, when Latino and Asians voters backed Obama in big numbers, resonates as evidence that they must confront the immigration issue.¶ “The politics of self-deportation are behind us,” said Graham, referring to GOP candidate Mitt Romney’s suggestion in the presidential campaign. “It was an impractical solution. Quite frankly, it’s offensive. Every corner of the Republican Party, from libertarians to the (Republican National Committee), House Republicans and the rank-and-file Republican Party member, is now understanding there has to be an earned pathway to citizenship.”¶ After consideration by the Judiciary Committee, floor action could start in the Senate in May, Schumer said.¶ Meanwhile two lawmakers involved in writing a bipartisan immigration bill in the House, Reps. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., and Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., sounded optimistic that they, too, would have a deal soon that could be reconciled with the Senate agreement.


Boehner’s on board and momentum controls his vote

AP 6-11

[The Associated Press. “ Obama Exhorts Congress to Pass Immigration Reform” The AP, 6/11/13 ln//GBS-JV]

President Barack Obama prodded Congress Tuesday to send him a bill by fall remaking the nation's immigration laws, even as the Senate prepared to cast its first floor votes on the landmark measure opening a door to citizenship for millions.¶ "Congress needs to act, and that moment is now, " Obama said, surrounded by immigration advocates, business and religious leaders, law enforcement officials and others in the East Room of the White House.¶ "There's no reason Congress can't get this done by the end of the summer," the president said. "There's no good reason to play procedural games or engage in obstruction just to block the best chance we've had in years to address this problem in a way that's fair to middle class families, business owners and legal immigrants."¶ The Senate was set to vote Tuesday afternoon on a pair of procedural measures to officially allow debate to move forward on the far-reaching legislation. The measure would boost border security and workplace enforcement, allow tens of thousands new high- and low-skilled workers into the country, and create a 13-year path to citizenship for the 11 million immigrants in the country illegally.¶ Both votes were expected to succeed by comfortable margins, because even some senators with deep misgivings about the immigration bill said the issue deserved a Senate debate.¶ Ahead of the votes, senators were readying amendments on contentious issues including border security, back taxes and health are coverage. Some Republicans said they were seeking to strengthen enforcement provisions so that they could be comfortable voting for the bill. Other GOP measures were already being dismissed by Democrats as attempts to kill the bill by striking at the fragile compromises at its core.¶ Meanwhile House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, made his most positive comments to date on the issue, saying Tuesday he thinks there's a good chance that legislation can be signed into law "by the end of the year."

Boehner will play ball

RC 4-21

("Boehner Faces Competing Immigration Paths," 2013,

Leadership aides said that’s true, that Boehner doesn’t have a thumb on either side of the scale and that a wide array of options are still on the table. Besides, it’s still unclear whether the recently unveiled bipartisan Senate group’s bill can pass in that chamber: If it does, it would put new pressure on the HouseEven while they say there is no explicit commitment from Boehner, members and aides who are part of or close to the bipartisan group seem to have confidence, even cockiness, that Boehner secretly has their back.¶ Part of that is based on who Boehner is as a legislator: He’s a dealmaker at heart. But it’s also because of repeated public comments in which Boehner gave the group great deference.¶ The existence of the group was revealed in a video of the Ohio Republican answering questions at the Ripon Society, a conservative think tank.¶ In his remarks then, he said the bipartisan group was “the right group of members” to make progress on the issue of immigration and suggested some level of ownership or authorization of the effort.¶ “My theory was, if these folks could work this out, it’d be a big step in the right direction,” Boehner said.

AT//Rubio Jumps Ship

No benefit to jumping ship – Rubio will fight for CIR

Terbush 4-9

[John. Politics for the Week and TPM. “ Is Marco Rubio stalling on immigration reform?” 4/9/13 //GBS-JV]

For now, Rubio is still expected to sign on to the final bill. However, spurning the legislation could be a political win-win, since it would allow him to "say that he wanted to make a deal, but the other side was too unreasonable in its demands," says the American Conservative's Daniel Larison.¶ As Talking Points Memo's Benjy Sarlin notes, there is some recent historical precedent for Republicans initially supporting controversial Democratic-backed bills, only to wind up voting against them. However, he argues that Rubio's actions are more likely "a wink to conservatives without any actual substantive concerns behind it." Rubio has already placed himself to the left of his party on the issue, so there's no real benefit to turning back now, Sarlin argues.¶ Conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin made a similar argument Monday, writing that Rubio's communications director told her that the senator has only been angling for more leverage in the negotiations, not attempting to stall the bill into oblivion. ¶ "No one has more to gain than Rubio if immigration reform passes — and passes with a good share of the GOP support," says Rubin. "And, in turn, the Republican Party has much to gain by jump-starting legislation that President Obama did not champion in his first term."

AT//Poison Pill Amendments

No amendments that derail the deal

The Hill 4-18

("Gang of Eight vows to stay united, defeat immigration reform poison pills," 2013,

Members of the Senate’s Gang of Eight say they are open to amending the 844-page immigration reform bill they unveiled this week but will band together to defeat poison-pill amendments.¶ “We expect and welcome suggested improvements to the bill by our colleagues,” Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said at a press conference Thursday. “We will oppose only those amendments that are intended to prevent a comprehensive solution from passing.”¶ Business groups want to increase the number of visas for immigrant workers while labor unions want to speed up the path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants.¶ Democratic and Republican members of the gang, though, pledged unity to fend off attacks on the bill from the right and the left.¶ A bipartisan coalition of senators made a similar pledge in 2007, the last time the Senate debated comprehensive immigration reform.¶ The agreement broke down, however, as some members of the group voted for amendments that others called poison pills. Members also squabbled over the characterization of amendments and some Democrats complained that then-Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) was often too quick to label a proposed change a poison pill to protect his work from revisions.¶ Members of the gang described a difficult negotiation process that at several points appeared on the verge of failure.¶ Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said negotiations over a new class of visas for low-skilled immigrant workers, a hot point of contention between business and labor groups, was especially intense. The group held 24 meetings before finalizing legislation, which it introduced this week. The other members are Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.).¶ Schumer said he expects additional obstacles.¶ “Today is just the beginning of our voyage. It will be long and arduous. There will be perils we can’t even anticipate but we start off with optimism because this bipartisan agreement gives us a sturdy ship to ride out the stormy seas ahead,” he said.

AT//Labor Disagreements

Labor’s on board

Elias 4-9

[Thomas. Staffer for the Californian. “Will farm labor shortage drive immigration changes?” The Californian, 4/9/13 ln//GBS-JV]

One reason: A large percentage of California fruit and vegetable pickers are illegal immigrants. Farm bureau organizations in other states report similar labor shortages. So farmers want any immigration changes coming from Washington, D.C., this year to include a guest worker programAgriculture organizations that usually support Republican politicians have pushed several years for a system allowing temporary hiring of foreign workers if employers cannot find U.S. citizens or legal residents to take the jobs they offer.¶ Organized labor has long opposed such a revival of the old Bracero program that allowed American employers to bring in unskilled foreign workers during and after World War II, the unions claiming it could deprive U.S. citizens of work. But the nation’s largest labor group, the AFL-CIO, has now worked out a deal with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business interests that would allow workers to be imported as needed to fill jobs that otherwise go unfilled. The proposed new visa would not specify a single employer for each worker, so that employers could no longer discipline migrant workers by threatening to have them deported if they’re not docile. It would also include wages above the federal minimum and require decent working conditions. The chamber also agreed to the unions’ idea of setting up a new government bureau to curtail work visas when unemployment rises to as-yet unspecified levels. Two things are clear from all this: It’s highly likely that any major immigration change legislation passing Congress this year will have a guest worker component. And that this is happening mainly because of the labor shortages here and in other big farm states.

AT//Path to Citizenship

That hurdle’s been overcome

Mariani 3-11

[John. Politics for the Times. 3/11/13]

The eight Republican and Democratic senators working on immigration reform have agreed in private on a pathway that some 11 million illegal immigrants could take toward citizenshipThe group, which includes New York Democrat Charles E. Schumer, has been meeting behind closed doors to craft an immigration reform bill, but aides familiar with the talks gave the Los Angeles Times the details of the proposed pathway to probationary legal status:¶ "... the bill would require illegal immigrants to register with Homeland Security Department authorities, file federal income taxes for their time in America and pay a still-to-be-determined fine. They also must have a clean law enforcement record."¶ Achieving probationary legal status would allow immigrants to work. It would not let them receive federal public benefits, including food stamps, family cash assistance, Medicaid and unemployment insurance, the Times reported.

AT//Executive Order

Won’t do it – pref our ev because it speaks to Obama’s political calculations

Hamilton 3-26

[Keegan Hamilton 3-26, “How Obama Could (but Probably Won't) Stop Deporting Illegal Immigrants Today,” The Atlantic, 3-26-13,]

On the other hand, Kenneth R. Mayer, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin and author of the book With the Stroke of a Pen: Executive Orders and Presidential Power, argues history is littered with executive orders popular with the president's party and condemned by the opposition.¶ "Democrats and liberals say, 'This is wonderful, it's about time,' while conservatives and Republicans are outraged, saying 'He's nullifying a law, he can't do that!'" Mayer says. "The answer is they're both right. In practice, the president can do this. But Congress could try to stop him, and the way they do that is raising the political cost to a degree the president doesn't find acceptable."¶ With immigration-reform legislation inching toward the president's desk, it's unlikely he'll waste political capital by halting deportations or even reducing the immigrant detainee population, despite the budgetary considerations. The prospect of doing anything that might alienate Republicans, especially with a compromise so close, alarms activists like Tamar Jacoby, president of ImmigrationWorks USA, an advocacy group comprised largely of small-business owners.

Doesn’t solve the DA – executive action causes a fight and gets rolled back

Rodriguez, 10

(Law—NYU, 59 Duke L.J. 1787)

On the first question of political feasibility, I leave aside whether the current mix of Democrats and Republicans in Congress, the legislative priorities of the current president, and the legislative agenda as it is now unfolding would be conducive to the creation of an agency, largely because such details are ephemeral. Instead, the important question is whether Congress, as a general structural matter, will be willing to delegate its power. Historically, Congress has been resistant to executive meddling in the allocation of visas. During the 1965 immigration reforms, for example, a proposal to create a commission charged with allocating visas proved to be a sticking point. The 1965 Hart-Celler Act n152 eliminated the national-origins quotas but phased in the new regime over a period of years. Members of the Johnson State Department were nonetheless concerned about the foreign policy implications of reducing the number of visas available to Northern European immigrants, even though the visas were underutilized. n153 The bill would have put into place a procedure for executive reallocation of visas to provide "the flexibility needed to deal with unforeseeable problems of fairness and  [*1839]  foreign policy." n154 It would have required the president to consult with a new Immigration Board, whose task would have been conducting continuous study of migration conditions and advising the president on criteria for admission. n155 Key players in the House - primarily Representative Michael Feighan, Chairman of the Immigration Subcommittee of the House Committee on the Judiciary - resisted. n156 Feighan argued that the Board would "usurp [Congress's] statutory duty and functions" of regulating immigration, n157 transforming the president's limited power to keep immigrants out in emergencies into a power to let them in. n158 The administration ultimately bowed to the pressure engendered by the specter of executive micromanagement and dropped the Commission from the bill. n159 [*1840]  The Hart-Celler experience raises the classic administrative law question of why Congress does or does not delegate. n160 As noted above, in the case of immigration, Congress may be reluctant to delegate because of a general desire to protect its territory, as core immigration policy over time has become entrenched in Congress's bailiwick. Perhaps Congress regards immigrant admissions decisions as value judgments that do not require the expertise of agencies or bureaucrats - a key factor in the decision to delegate. To put the proposition in lofty terms, immigrant admissions constitute membership decisions, which belong to the legislative body standing in for the people.

AT//Thumpers – General

It’s the top of the docket – 1NC Bazinger says it’s the only issue of relevance that congress’ discussing and that it was discussed during Obama’s meetings with Congress this week. All sides of the aisle are working toward a deal, which should frame the way you evaluate uniqueness. It’s not enough for the aff to have a card that there’s “something else” that congress has to deal with – you should hold it to a high standard – must say it interferes with the immigration deal

Only CIR gets through

Calmes 4-7

[Jackie. Politics for NYT. “Obama Must Walk Fine Line as Congress Takes Up Agenda” The New York Times, 4/7/13 ln//GBS-JV]

Each measure — on the budget, guns and immigration — in its own way illustrates the fine line that Mr. Obama must walk to succeed even with national opinion on his side. Privately, the White House is optimistic only about the prospects for an immigration bill, which would create a path to citizenship for about 11 million people in the country illegally.¶ That is because an immigration compromise is the only one that Republicans see as being in their own interests, given their party’s unpopularity with the fast-growing Latino electorate. In contrast, most Republicans see little advantage in backing gun legislation, given hostility toward it in their states or in districts throughout the South and the West and in rural areas. A budget compromise would require agreeing to higher taxes, which are anathema to conservative voters, in exchange for Mr. Obama’s support for the reductions in Medicare and Social Security that they want.

AT//Budget Thumper

Obama’s retreat from the budget fight was a tactical victory – makes immigration reform more likely

Ford 3-28

[John Ford, PolicyMic, 3/28/13, Why Obama Signing Sequestration Into Law Was a Strategic Move ,]

President Barack Obama finally signed the Sequester into law, locking the infamous spending cuts into place, at least until this September. It is rare for a president to sign into a law a program that he actively opposes – President Obama called them "dumb" – so why did this one allow these cuts with relatively little confrontation?¶ At the risk of seeming weak, President Obama is engaging in a tactical withdrawal here, not a retreat. The president sees that no more can be done on the budget stalemate at this time; with public opinion favoring him, and a popular mandate still only four months fresh, he is better off using his political capital on other reformsWith over half of his term gone, and a huge laundry list of initiatives still tabled, every move Obama makes is a time management puzzle. And with another inevitable fight on the budget scheduled for the summer, it is time for him to focus on other things for the springWhat is next for the president now that the budget is, for the moment, a settled issue? According to the White House, he is going to emphasize projects that do not require budgetary support: a raise to the minimum wage, immigration, and housing, for example.

AT//IRS Thumper

Not connected to Obama

WP 6-12

[The Washington Post. “Republicans Still Struggling to Connect Obama to IRS Scandal” 6/12/13 ln//GBS-JV]

So far, the House Oversight Committee’s investigation of the Internal Revenue Service and its targeting of Tea Party groups has yielded no evidence that the White House was involved. The original story — that this was the work of a few employees struggling to handle a growing workload — remains intact, and the available information we have throws water on the idea they were motivated by partisanship. The IRS agent who initiated the flagging, for example, was a Republican. And several of the groups denied tax exempt status were — as the New York Times reported recently — ineligible, given their partisan activities.

AT//Scandal Thumpers

The scandals have no effect on immigration reform and are even expediting its process

ABC 5-17

[“Why Immigration Reform Will Survive Obama's Scandals”, May 17th, 2013,, ]

The trio of scandals facing President Obama have many in Washington asking whether this marks the beginning of the end for his legislative agenda. An issue such as tax reform might be impeded considering that the Internal Revenue Service is at the center of one of the scandals. But an initiative that could emerge unscathed, or even strengthened, is immigration reform. Before the scandals, immigration appeared to be the item on Obama's second-term agenda that seemed likeliest to pass through Congress. Deep fault lines have developed between both parties on issues like gun control, the deficit, and debt reduction. But on immigration, there is strong political incentive for GOP leaders in Washington to join in the effort to pass a bill. And the scandals haven't changed that. Although it's only been a few days since the scandals have overtaken the political atmosphere in Washington, developments on immigration have quietly chugged along. A bipartisan group in the House announced Thursday evening they have reached a deal in principle on a comprehensive bill after four years of on-again, off-again talks. And in just three markup sessions, the Senate Judiciary Committee has considered 82 of the 300 amendments offered by its members, over a quarter of the total. Supporters and opponents of the bill believe that the immigration reform effort can make it through the scandal-obsessed environment in Washington. "I think the conditions are ripe for the [immigration] bill to make it through. The president's been very helpful. He's been there when we've asked him to be, he's laid low when we ask him, and I've got no complaints about the president and I think he can be very helpful getting it over the finish line," Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the Gang of Eight, told Politico. The publication noted that he is one of "Obama's chief Benghazi critics." Mickey Kaus, a political blogger and well known critic of the Senate Gang of Eight bill, said last week that the scandals could take away attention from the immigration reform effort, claiming that could improve its chances of success. "I actually think these distracting scandals help the bill's chances of passage," he said at an event sponsored by BuzzFeed. "The problem with this bill is: the elites like it, the voters don't like it. Every time there is publicity, every time it's at center stage, its chances of passage get worse." (We would note that polls show that Americans who know about the bill are divided over it, while a plurality haven't yet formed an opinion. But moving on...) So, yes, there are plenty of reasons immigration reform might fail. But scandals just aren't one of them.

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