THE BACKLASH has begun against immigration reform, specifically the provision that would legalize the status of 11 million undocumented immigrants and ultimately give these people a shot at citizenship. Led by conservative Republicans and whipped into a froth by right-wing radio talk-show hosts, opponents of reform are banking on derailing the measure with a strategy of delay and dismemberment.
The focus of these efforts is the House, where many Republican backbenchers remain unsold on immigration reform despite the party’s disastrous loss of the Latino vote in 2012.
On Thursday, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee and an opponent of a pathway to citizenship, served notice that the delay-and-dismemberment plan was under way. Rather than wait for a comprehensive immigration bill to wend its way through the Senate, or for a roughly similar plan to emerge from a bipartisan group in the House, Mr. Goodlatte said his committee would consider a series of smaller bills.