The leaders of a grassroots conservative group that is targeting GOP incumbents in 2014 congressional races say that House Republicans leaders are heading in the wrong direction with their "amnesty first approach" to immigration.
Drew Ryun and Daniel Horowitz of the Madison Project said in a USA Today opinion piece that the House GOP are insisting that "we must grant amnesty before we implement enforcement."
"Washington already tried this approach in 1986, and it failed," Mr. Ryun and Mr. Horowitz wrote, alluding to the immigration reforms passed under President Reagan. "If the politicians want to earn our trust on the issue of immigration, they should implement the agreed-upon enforcement measures before discussing any status for those already here illegally."
House Republicans outlined their plan for addressing immigration last week, ruling out a special pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million immigrants already in the U.S.
The plan, though, would grant some sort of legal status and work permits to most illegal immigrants and calls for giving young illegal immigrants — known as Dreamers — a change at citizenship.
Many conservatives have warned against such an approach, saying lawmakers should not agree to giving immediate legal status to immigrants in exchange for vague promises of improved border security.
"Even if illegals receive only temporary legal status, there will be no incentive for recalcitrant politicians to push for enforcement," the group said. "There will be no political will to revoke that status in the likely event that the security measures are not properly implemented, if at all.
"Furthermore, promising broad amnesty, long before the fence is built and visa-tracking is implemented, will encourage millions more to flow over the border and overstay their visas to benefit from the inevitable suspension of deportations," they said.
The Madison Project is supporting Matt Bevin's challenge against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, state Sen. Chris McDaniels challenge against Sen. Thad Cochran in Mississippi, and Milton Wolf's challenge against Sen. Pat Roberts in Kansas.
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