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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Are immigration reformers talking down chances so opponents will drop guard? -- By Byron York, The Washington Examiner

Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, a leading House advocate of immigration reform, sounded decidedly cautious when asked on ABC Sunday whether Congress can pass a reform bill to send to the president this year. "I really don't know the answer to that question," Ryan said. "That is clearly in doubt."

That certainly appears to be true — after all, a large number of House Republicans oppose some significant parts of the GOP immigration reform principles unveiled at the party's retreat last week. So there is plenty of reason to take Ryan's statement as a plainly factual assessment of the situation.

But Ryan's words still set off suspicions among opponents of immigration reform. They've heard such pessimistic talk from reform advocates before and believe it has been an effective rhetorical tool for supporters of Gang of Eight-style reform.

In this way: If the public hears constantly that immigration reform is in trouble on Capitol Hill, that it has little or no chance of passage, then conservative activists, reassured that there's no threat, aren't likely to mobilize against it. What's the need? It's going to fail anyway. But if the public hears that immigration reform is steaming ahead, that the House leadership is determined to pass a bill, or bills, that will end up in conference with the Senate's already-passed Gang of Eight comprehensive immigration reform measure -- if the GOP base hears that, it will recognize the risk, speak out, and at the very least make things more difficult for immigration reform advocates.

So better to talk down the chances of the reform's success. "The best way to pass a bill is to tell people a bill is unlikely to pass," says one Hill aide closely involved in the issue. "What if Ryan had gone on TV and said, 'Read my lips, we're going to pass a bill'? Can you imagine how much more difficult it would be is for Republicans when they go home to town halls?"

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