Gang of Eight's Immigration Reform Loses Momentum

By: Kevin Derby | Posted: July 10, 2013 3:45 PM

Ron DeSantis and Mario Diaz-Balart

Ron DeSantis and Mario Balart-Diaz; DeSantis photo credit: Riponsociety.org

The Gang of Eight, led by Republican Marco Rubio, passed immigration reform in the Senate at the end of last month, but nothing much has gone right for the legislation or the junior senator from Florida since, especially in the Republican-controlled House.

With U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller already declaring his opposition to the Senate plan, another Republican from the Florida delegation also announced he was against the bill.

Earlier this week, freshman U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis announced he will oppose the Senate immigration reform bill. Florida's DeSantis, who has been a fierce critic of the Obama administration, insisted in a statement Tuesday that the Senate bill gives too much authority to the White House.

“From Obamacare implementation to immigration enforcement and even overseas military voting, the president has evinced a pattern of behavior in which he asserts the authority to pick and choose which laws to enforce,” DeSantis insisted. “This is an administration conspicuous for its dedication to lawlessness.

“With this in mind, how can anyone view the Senate immigration bill as a viable vehicle for re-establishing the rule of law, securing the borders, and implementing a long-needed entry-exit system? “ DeSantis asked.

The freshman congressman slammed the Senate bill for “being littered with waivers and exceptions such that it delegates discretion ... to Homeland Security and Janet Napolitano about whether to enforce many of its key provisions.”

DeSantis added that he did not believe the Obama administration would enforce the law. “Even if one devised a perfect bill for border security and interior enforcement, what would keep the administration from simply refusing to enforce the law?" DeSantis asked. “Indeed, is there any reason to believe that such a law would, in fact, be enforced?”

House Republican support for the Senate bill is crucial to its passage especially as Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said he will only bring it up for a vote if a majority of the GOP caucus, which controls the chamber, supports it. Based on the Senate vote, where less than a third of Republicans supported the bill, conservatives should be able to kill the bill in the House.

However, while the likes of Miller and DeSantis stand in opposition to the bill, there are some Republicans in the Florida delegation who support it, including U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart.

“I am encouraged by the Senate’s actions on immigration reform,” Diaz-Balart said when the measure passed the Senate. “We need to find a real, permanent solution to our broken immigration system. That solution needs to secure the border, strengthen our economy, respect the rule of law, modernize our visa system, and address the issue of the millions of undocumented immigrants living in the shadows. I will continue working with my House colleagues as we seek a good-faith, bipartisan approach in the House.”

But, despite immigration reform passing in the Senate, increasingly it appears momentum is going against it both in the House and in terms of public opinion.

A poll of likely voters released on Wednesday finds support for the Senate immigration reform bill is decreasing.

Rasmussen Reports released the national poll which finds that 50 percent of voters support the plan while 30 percent are opposed to it and 19 percent are undecided. A Rasmussen poll taken in the second half of June showed 60 percent of voters supported the plan. Since the first poll, the bill passed the Senate though its prospects in the House increasingly look dim.

The poll of 1,000 likely voters was taken from July 8-9 and had a margin of error of +/- 3 percent.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at 904-521-3722.


Comments (2)

4:44PM JUL 11TH 2013
the house will do nothing with immigration and continue shooting their own extremities off. 2014 can't come soon enough to get rid of the present do nothing, accomplish nothing, obstruct everything house republicans.
8:16AM JUL 11TH 2013
While the senate bill needs to have all the pork stripped out, if the tbagger house does nothing, it will cost the gop big time. Oh. and rubio is not the leader of the gang of 8.

Leave a Comment on This Story

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
To prevent automated spam submissions leave this field empty.