Weeks after the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) expiration date passed, a group of legislators hopes to "send a message" to Speaker Paul Ryan - a majority of the House supports a "full" debate on immigration.
Rep. Jeff Denham (R-Calif.) appears to be leading the charge, declaring at a press conference that it is time to have a full debate on what "border security should look like, what a permanent fix for Dreamers should look like."
The stated purpose of the bipartisan event was to show Ryan that 240 House members, including 50 Republicans, support a rarely-used procedural measure to bring to the floor without the approval of a committee or the leadership four competing immigration bills.
Under the "Queen of the Hill" rule, the bill which got the most votes - and cleared the 218-threshold for passage - would move to the Senate.
Among the four bills under consideration is a bill introduced by House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) that has the support of President Trump, but would likely garner no Democrat votes. Conversely, there is little chance Democrats could pull enough Republicans over to vote for the uber-amnesty DREAM Act.
The most likely outcome, however, since congressional Democrats appear unified on amnesty without any meaningful improvements in border security, interior enforcement, or changes to the current system of chain migration, is a bill that couples amnesty with some token spending on securing the border. In reality, the "Queen of the Hill" gambit is an effort by a small group of pro-amnesty Republican lawmakers is to provide the out-going speaker a face-saving way of betraying the party's campaign pledges to voters. It was quickly rejected by Ryan and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).
While Denham and his rogue bloc of Republicans seem to think another round of members reading talking points on the floor of the House will somehow persuade the American people that amnesty for illegal aliens qualifies as immigration reform, the voters who handed them majorities in both houses of Congress and control of the White House have a very different view. The American people have pretty good idea of what true immigration reform should look like. It's about time the folks in the Capitol start paying attention.
Dan Stein is the president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform.