‘Act by August, or else,’ is what a chorus inside the nation’s capital is offering as unsolicited advice to Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
In a statement yesterday, a coalition of pro-amnesty groups such as the SEIU and National Immigration Forum urged Speaker Boehner to “seize this moment” by passing amnesty legislation before the August recess. President Obama has also called this moment “a narrow window” for Congress to act before midterm elections. This month, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) delivered a floor speech announcing that reform is an “urgent need” and demanding that House Republicans pass amnesty.
Does that call to action sound familiar? It should.
Four years ago, amnesty activists made a similar cry to act before the midterm elections, targeting the U.S. Senate then. In April of 2010, it was Senator Reid who responded to demands that he put immigration on the Senate calendar within weeks by simply declaring, “I don’t go for these arbitrary deadlines.”
The 2010 Reid, when he was the target of criticism for failing to placate the amnesty lobby, rebuffed the demand that he bring up immigration and saw the arbitrary deadline for what it was: a tactic. Setting an arbitrary deadline is strategy the amnesty lobby uses and reuses. They claim there’s a pressing demand for amnesty, in the hopes that legislators will act quickly without seriously considering all the implications of such a poor policy choice. Now, having pushed the mass amnesty bill S. 744 through the Senate, Senator Reid is using the amnesty lobby’s arguments about urgency as his own.
As in 2010, pro-amnesty forces want Congress to act in the few weeks that remain before the legislature breaks for August recess. In this situation, hopefully, Speaker Boehner will see the August cutoff for what it is and also declare: “I don’t go for these arbitrary deadlines.”