Michele Bachmann’s one woman crusade to kill immigration reform
Rep. Michele Bachmann is on a mission to kill an immigration overhaul.
The Minnesota Republican contends immigrants who came to the United States illegally shouldn’t be rewarded with legal status. She says they are taking jobs from American citizens and depressing wages because they work for less. Creating a path to legal residency is a key piece of the bill passed by the Senate last month.
Bachmann wants to finish building a fence along the border to stop the flow, and then – and only then – consider what to do with the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants already in the country.
She hopes to persuade fellow House Republicans at a special meeting Wednesday to dump any idea of a broader overhaul until the fence is built.
“Until they can certify that the border is secure, I don’t think we should take up any bill whatsoever,” Bachmann said in an interview Tuesday.
“This is one of the most consequential topics for the American people, for job creation, for the costs of government,” Bachmann said. “If we don’t have a full-throated conversation within our own ranks in the House Republicans, this will be a highly charged atmosphere, I think. Because members are waking up to this issue now, because the folks back home are waking up on this issue.”
Bachmann said she got an earful from constituents during the July Fourth recess, and many opposed immigration reform, particularly the opportunity to earn citizenship, which she equates with amnesty.
“It’s like the old commercial from Burger King, ‘Where’s the beef?’ You know, where’s the fence? There is no fence,” she said.
And she asserts that new proposals to increase the number of border agents and beef up security in other ways are empty gambits designed to trick Republicans into approving legalization, a key goal of Democrats and the Obama administration.
“Legalization equals amnesty, which equals citizenship. And that is the must-have. That’s the goal of the administration is legalization because they want tens of millions of voters to pay for, to vote for their agenda. That’s really what this is about. Everyone knows it. And it’s not about border security,” she said.
Bachmann said her primary concern is immigrants taking jobs from American workers, but immigration advocates deny that providing undocumented workers with an opportunity to earn citizenship will cost Americans jobs or drain federal benefits from citizens. In fact, they contend it will boost the economy exponentially.