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Saturday, January 29, 2011

GOP Hits the Ground Going Backwards

By Victor Landa
28 January 2011

So enough speculation, we’re starting to get a real sense of what the new House Republican leadership will be doing with their feet on the ground and their agenda in motion.

The Immigration Subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee opened its tent flaps and got down to the business of its business. The first act on the play bill was this: “ICE Worksite Enforcement – Up to the Job?”

There are a few things to discuss here, and its important to do so because the new House majority made immigration one of the sharpest points of its election pitchfork. As head of the Judiciary Committee, this is Rep. Lamar Smith’s (R-San Antonio) watch, and he was recently called-out by for creating a Toxic anti-Hispanic environment.

First, the sub-committee has come out with both barrels blazing in criticism against the Obama administration’s immigration enforcement record. The sub committee is questioning the President’s plan, which has turned out to be more efficient than his Republican predecessor’s.

Obama has concentrated his enforcement on employers and has, so far, out done his predecessor in total deportations. But the Republican leadership apparently wants him to return to the less effective work site enforcement tactics of the past. Bush’s plan caused more pain to the immigrant but got more publicity – posse sweeps and raids are followed by TV cameras. That’s what the new leadership wants.

The Republican’s are also inching their way toward the deportation of the 12 to 18 million (depending on who’s counting) undocumented taxpayers who live and work in the US. What they are not mentioning is what this would look like, or how much it would cost. But we’ve got an idea. At last count it costs $12,500 dollars to deport one person. Multiply that by 12 million. The Republican idea to deport undocumented persons would cost $150 billion.

This is no longer just about immigration. This is a matter of fiscal responsibility in the wake and throes of a debilitating recession. And this is no longer a political campaign tactic, this is leadership. This is a new congressional leadership that touts smaller government and spending cuts on the one hand while holding hearings to reverse a more efficient deportation plan with an ultimate goal of adding personnel and $150 billion to the federal budget on the other.

Here’s what else it is: it’s the beginning of the 2012 election season.