Republicans have managed to get themselves trapped in their own "clever trap" for President Obama. America overwhelmingly wants the flood of kids from Central America coming over the border with Mexico to be treated as refugees and not as criminals, and as Greg Sargent points out, the GOP can't help but look like a pack of cartoon villains with their proposed House border fix bill, which would drastically cut the President's $3.7 billion request to help these kids into a mere $700 million.
Yet it’s unclear whether even this bill can pass the House, because conservatives such as Ted Cruz, Steve King, and Jeff Sessions are demanding that the measure include language blocking Obama’s program to defer deportation of the DREAMers. The Heritage Foundation has come out against the GOP proposal for the same reason, further dimming chances of passage.
GOP leaders are resisting the inclusion of such language. But it needs to be stated once again that Cruz, King, and Sessions are not outliers in this debate. Broadly speaking, their position on this crisis — and on immigration in general – is the GOP position writ large.
So there's a very good chance that the GOP will once again wreck their own bill, and sure enough Boehner wasn't able to pass it.
Republican leaders don’t want to include any measure against Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals in the current border plan because the politics are terrible. That would entail responding to a crisis involving migrating minors not just by expediting deportations (which the current GOP bill would do), but also by calling for still more deportations from the interior. But the GOP leadership’s position is only that they don’t want any anti-DACA language in their current response to the crisis. The GOP position writ large is still that we should deport all the DREAMers, block Obama from any further executive action to ease deportations, and not act in any way to legalize the 11 million.
Remember: The House GOP already voted last year to end DACA. Meanwhile, Republicans are preparing to cast any future Obama action to ease deportations, no matter what it is, as out-of-control lawlessness and executive overreach, which is functionally equivalent to calling for maximum deportations from the interior. And they are heaping outright derision on the mere suggestion by Democrats that perhaps this crisis should be an occasion to revisit broader reform — yet another reminder that they won’t act to legalize the 11 million under any circumstances. So how, exactly, is this collection of positions, broadly speaking, any different from those of Cruz, King, Sessions, et. al.?
It's not. If they pass the bill, they look like total scumbags. If they don't pass the bill, they look like ineffective buffoons. (Hint: they're both.) We'll see how they get stuck in their own rhetoric this time, but no matter what the GOP does at this point, they've already lost the fight.