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Memo to House GOP: Listen to Bill Kristol on Amnesty

Bill Kristol
My association with Bill Kristol, editor of
The Weekly Standard goes back some twenty-five years to the time we served together on Vice President Dan Quayle’s staff. Kristol was Quayle’s chief of staff and one of the few conservative voices in the upper reaches of the George H.W. Bush White House.

I admired Kristol’s willingness to push back against the efforts of the Bush White House staff to dismantle Reaganism and to empower conservatives on Quayle’s staff, such as David M. McIntosh, (a founder of the Federalist Society and later Congressman from Indiana) to advance conservative policy.

One of Bill Kristol’s great strengths is the ability to put conservative policy into practical political terms – to get it out of the ring binder of wonky policy papers and into the voter motivating sound bite on talk radio, the op-ed pages and FOX News.

Kristol’s daily faxes with talking points and analysis of what was going on during the Hillarycare debate back in the early days of Bill Clinton’s first term were arguably the glue that held the conservative opposition together and helped ensure that Capitol Hill Republicans did not cave-in and compromise to move a bill as the Senate’s establishment Republican Leader Bob Dole was certainly prepared to do.

So when Bill Kristol pens an article for The Weekly Standard, even if you don’t agree with his interventionist-oriented foreign policy views, conservatives and Republicans should take notice.

Here’s what Kristol said in a Monday, January 27, 2014, column on “immigration reform.”

“How might the GOP seize defeat from the jaws of victory?”

Bill Kristol’s answer to that question:  “If there’s one thing that could blow up GOP chances for a good 2014, it would be an explosive debate over immigration in the House.” 

Kristol goes on to say that, “The only sure way to avoid such a debate is not to let anything onto the floor in the first place. Once even an innocuous-sounding measure gets passed, then the pressure to go to conference with the loathed Senate bill will be great. And whatever ultimately were to happen, activists would spend months worrying about and agitating against a betrayal by the leadership, business interests would spend months urging such a betrayal, and Republicans would be consumed by infighting and recriminations on an issue that does them no short-term political good.”

In conclusion Kristol says what we have been saying since the Senate passed the outrageous Obama-Rubio amnesty bill: “Bringing immigration to the floor insures a circular GOP firing squad, instead of a nicely lined-up one shooting together and in unison at Obamacare and other horrors of big government liberalism. Since there really is no need to act this year on immigration, don’t. Don’t even try.”

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Illegal Immigrats Already Here

Sooner or later, we will need to address the issue of what to do with most of the illegal immigrants already here - especially, the children who were brought here illegally. And I, personally, would like to see that these illegal immigrants receive some type of legal status - not citizenship - but something like amnesty with green card status so that they can stay and work in the United States and pay taxes, etc.

But before any of this is discussed and voted on, we must secure our borders so that we stop the majority of illegal immigration in the future. So in that sense, I support the CHQ "No Amnesty Pledge" overall in its agenda. Long term, I still believe that some type of amnesty will be necessary but only after our borders are declared "secured" by all national, and state law enforcement agencies and governors (that border Mexico and the Gulf of Mexico)