Carrie Budoff Brown of Politico offers "Lamar Smith avoids hard line on immigration" . Because we're dealing with definitions of those who aren't trustworthy (such as Brown), it's difficult to tell whether Smith will be weak on immigration matters or whether he just won't support nonsensical "boob bait for Bubba" policies.
Smith's first two hearings as head of the House Judiciary Committee will be about eVerify. However:
At the same time, he downplayed the key planks in the conservative immigration agenda... He won’t say when his committee plans to tackle birthright citizenship, the policy of granting citizenship to every child born in the country. He doesn’t want to talk about whether he will pursue reducing the level of legal immigration, family migration or work visas - all at the top of the wish list for anti-illegal-immigration advocates... “That is later on in this Congress; that is not our initial focus,” Smith said. “We don’t have any specific plans now in the early months to move on these issues. The focus is on creating jobs and protecting jobs.”
In the current environment, it isn't really possible to restrict birthright citizenship to those who have at least one citizen parent. Much groundwork would need to be done, specifically involving discrediting those groups that would oppose such a move. Few people with megaphones have shown any ability at discrediting groups like the American Civil Liberties Union. Further, restricting birthright citizenship, at least when proposed by those like Lindsey Graham, is just a political ploy.
Legal immigration is a different matter and is less prone to being emotionalized because those involved aren't physically present in the U.S. There is, however, a lot of money from those like Microsoft involved. It wouldn't be good for Smith to be weak on that, especially since the rationale the GOP appears to be using is to help with unemployment.
“If he is not willing to do it - there is a lot of public support for reducing legal immigration - he is going to find he will be pressured on that issue"... Camarota said he believes Smith is enough of a dealmaker that he might even consider a modified DREAM Act legalizing young immigrants, if it was coupled with a cut in legal immigration and stronger enforcement — although pro-immigrant advocates would be all but certain to dismiss it as a bad deal.
"People like to really vilify Lamar Smith, but he is not Tom Tancredo... He is someone who will not push legislation if he thinks it doesn’t have the wide support of the American people."
* Frank Sharry:
“He is a very disciplined politician, but he is also very ideological. He is very smart at having lots of smallish-looking measures that add up to a whole lot of harsh enforcement."
* Rep. Steve King:
"I read the Pledge to America. It wasn’t particularly moving... So, OK, they decided not to write the treatise that I would have on immigration. It wouldn’t be the first time that I worked on an agenda that wasn’t laid out for me. I can deal with that."
* Roy Beck of Numbers USA:
"We think there are a lot of issues in the Internet world that people get really excited about, and in many ways, it is a side show,” Beck said, referring specifically to cutting off benefits for illegal immigrants. “It is not as important as one thing, which is taking away the jobs. So if Lamar Smith is going to focus on keeping illegal aliens out of the jobs, that is more important than all the illegal immigration stuff put together."
Fri, 12/24/2010 - 18:07 · Importance: 4