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Huff Post

Posted: 07/09/13 EDT

WASHINGTON — As the immigration reform debate begins in earnest in the House, one of the biggest issues is the math. The bill needs 218 votes to pass. Democratic leaders said they think they can convince most of their party’s 201 members to vote in favor. That means they’d need around 20 Republicans to join them. But House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has repeatedly insisted he will only allow the House to vote on an immigration reform plan if a majority of Republicans support it.

That would mean finding about 120 Republicans willing to back a plan that includes a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, which former GOP leadership aides said is almost impossible. Somewhere between 50 and 80 is a more realistic number, they said — which means a potentially overwhelming majority of House members in favor of reform.

If it becomes clear that the House has far more votes than needed to pass comprehensive immigration reform, the pressure on Boehner to “let the House work its will,” as he’s fond of saying, increases exponentially. That pressure may be the only way to get comprehensive immigration legislation through the House that includes a pathway to citizenship, along with border security and changes to legal immigration and enforcement policies.

HuffPost will be tracking support as the debate goes on. The following count is based on the combined intelligence of several immigration groups and informed House staffers, along with a look at lawmakers’ past votes, public statements and district demographics. It maps out which House members will either support immigration reform or, at the very least, remain quiet on it. If Boehner refuses, as he has said he will, to pass the bill without a majority of Republicans, below are the politicians reformers will try to win over, including some skeptical Democrats and those likely entrenched on either side.

This is not a final count, and will continue to be updated as more information becomes available. If your representative has sent you a letter or made a statement on immigration, please email it to us here with “immigration whip count” in the subject line.

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HuffPost

Elise Foley

Posted: 06/15/2012  9:41 am Updated: 06/15/2012  1:12 pm

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration responded to years of pressure from immigrants rights groups on Friday with an announcement that it will stop deportations and begin granting work permits for some Dream Act-eligible students.

Some 800,000 people are expected to come forward to receive deferred action from deportation, as first reported by the Associated Press on Friday morning. The policy change will apply to young undocumented immigrants who entered the United States as children, along the same lines as the Dream Act, a decade-old bill that passed in the House of Representatives but failed in the Senate in 2010.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told reporters that the policy change is part of a general shift by the Obama administration to focus on deporting high-priority undocumented immigrants.

“This grant of deferred action is not immunity,” she said. “It is not amnesty. It is an exercise of discretion so that these young people are not in the removal system. It will help us to continue to streamline immigration enforcement and ensure that resources are not spent pursuing the removal of low-priority cases involving productive young people.”

“More important, I believe this action is the right thing to do,” she continued.

The policy change will effectively enable Dream Act-eligible young people, often called DREAMers, to stay in the United States without fear of deportation, and without legislation from a Congress that is unlikely to pass a bill.

Undocumented immigrants who came to the United States under the age of 16 and have lived in the country for at least five years can apply for the relief, so long as they are under the age of 30, according to a memo from DHS. They also must be either an honorably discharged veteran of the Coast Guard or armed forces, or a student who has graduated from high school or obtained a GED. Immigrants will not be eligible if they “post a threat to national security or public safety,” including having been convicted of a felony, a “significant” misdemeanor or multiple misdemeanors.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, as well as Customs and Border Protection, were instructed in a memo to immediately react by reviewing individual cases and preventing eligible immigrants from being put in removal proceedings. Those already in proceedings could be granted deferred action for two years, and then may apply for renewal. They will be given work authorization on a case-by-case basis.

A senior administration official told reporters on the condition of anonymity that most eligible undocumented immigrants will be required to go to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to provide documents and pay a fee.

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Huff Post

Elise Foley  Posted: 05/08/2012 1:06 pm Updated: 05/08/2012 3:17 pm

A Latino-vote outreach program on Tuesday plans to stress to voters that the president has failed on immigration reform and deported a record number of people, said the Republican National Committee’s top Hispanic outreach coordinator.

But so far, it doesn’t have a message on what Republicans would do on the issue themselves, and specifically the plans of presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney. In fact, coordinator Bettina Inclan told reporters, Romney didn’t have his immigration policy mapped out and the RNC would not yet be able to talk about it to Latino voters.

The RNC quickly tried to take back the statement, telling reporters who tweeted it that Inclan’s words were misunderstood — or that she was misquoted. Kirsten Kukowski, a spokeswoman for the RNC, said message coordination between the RNC and the Romney campaign is still in its early stages because challenger Rick Santorum only dropped out of the race two weeks ago.

Still, the statement by Inclan seemed to indicate the RNC’s lack of message on immigration, despite an increased effort to turn out Latino voters. Below is the full quote from Inclan, that Kukowski would later say was misconstrued:

I think that as a candidate, to my understanding that he’s still deciding what his position on immigration is, so I can’t talk about what his proposal is going to be because I don’t know what Romney exactly — he’s talked about different issues, and what we saw in the Republican primary is that there’s a diverse opinion on how to deal with immigration. I can’t talk about something that I don’t know what his position is.

A few minutes later, after apparently reading tweets from reporters on the phone and in the room, Kukowski said they were misreporting the statement.

“I want to clear something up. As far as what Governor Romney’s positions are on immigration, that is for him and his campaign to talk about, and they will tell you what their policies are,” she said. “In this room right now, and what we do at the RNC from a Hispanic outreach perspective, is on-the-ground community outreach in the Hispanic community.”

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Mitt Romney on immigration: January 23, 2012 vs. April 2, 2012

Daily Kos

Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 06:50 AM PDT

by Jed Lewison

Now Mitt Romney blamesPresident Obama for Republican obstruction on immigration reform:

“This has always been a priority for the President he chooses to do nothing about,” Romney said. “Let the immigrant community not forget that, while he uses this as a political weapon, he has not taken responsibility for fixing the problems we have.”

Sure … it’s President Obama’s fault that Republicans have blocked comprehensive immigration reform every single time it’s come up during the last decade. It’s Obama’s fault that Mitt Romney’s Republican Party won’t even support the DREAM Act. It’s got nothing to do with Republican extremism at all. Clearly, if you want to see immigration reform, you should trust Mitt Romney and a Republican Congress to get the job done:

“That is something that I will not just talk about in this campaign. This will be a priority of mine if I become president to make sure we finally reform our immigration laws step by step, secure the border, improve our legal immigration system, so we can keep people here and welcome people here who will make America a stronger nation,” he said.

I guess this is exactly what Romney’s campaign was talking about when it said Romney would try to Etch-A-Sketch his primary positions away.

Just a few months ago, he was staking out such a hardline position on immigration that even Rick Perry said he “didn’t have a heart.” And when Newt Gingrich said he didn’t want to deport otherwise law-abiding undocumented immigrants who had been here for a quarter-century, Romney thought it was a golden opportunity to attack Newt for being too pro-immigrant. Then, just to outdo himself, Romney not only said he favored an immigration policy that would lead to “self-deportation,” he said Arizona’s “Paper’s Please” law was a model for the nation.

But now Romney wants to win over a different set of voters, so he says the he’s the pro-immigrant candidate. He says that it’s Democrats who’ve been blocking immigration reform. He says that he wants an immigration policy designed to “keep people here.”

It’s an amazing reversal, even by Romney standards. And the most amazing thing of all is that he expects people to believe what he says.

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Politico

By GLENN THRUSH|

3/20/12 7:17 PM EDT

Greg Mankiw, the Harvard professor who serves as one of Mitt Romney’s top economic advisers, has managed to take a shot at two key constituencies – Hispanics and seniors – in a single linked post on his popular economics blog.

Under the header “A Fiscal Solution,” Mankiw, who served as Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under George W. Bush, posted an uploaded photo of an unidentified newspaper clip, a joke, that read:

“Budget Cuts: The Immigration Department will start deporting seniors (instead of illegals) in order to lower Social Security and Medicare costs. Older people are easier to catch and less likely to remember how to get home.”

It’s unclear what the source of the original clip was – but it doesn’t appear to be The Onion. Mankiw offered no comment other than “Thanks to the reader who sent this along” – but he clearly thought it was funny.

If Mankiw was just a Harvard professor, the joke wouldn’t likely resonate. But he posted it on Tuesday – the day when Paul Ryan released a budget Democrats instantly decried as a Medicare killer and two days after Romney scored a big win in Puerto Rico’s primary – which counter the flurry of criticism he’s drawn from Hispanic groups for his embrace of the controversial “self-deportation” immigration strategy.

A Romney spokesperson referred calls to Mankiw. He later responded to an email query with this statement: “Obviously, it is not serious. A joke.”

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TPM Muckraker- Nick R. Martin

February  2, 2012, 11:47 AM

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) launched a special fundraising political action committee in October, pledging to use the money to fight illegal immigration and take on other issues she believes in. But based on financial disclosures filed this week, she has so far used it to do little more than buy copies of her own book.

The governor had raised only about $22,000 for Jan PAC by the end of 2011 and spent nearly a quarter of the cash buying books from Amazon and paying a bill at the luxurious Waldorf Astoria hotel in Orlando, Fla. The rest of the money is still in the bank.

Brewer spent $3,423 on books and shipping from the online retailer, according to the financial reports. On her fundraising website, she offers a signed copy of her book “Scorpions for Breakfast” to every donor who gives $100 or more.

In early December she also spent $624 for a night at the swank Waldorf Astoria in Orlando, which her financial disclosures repeatedly misspell as “Orlanda.” Another $513 went to airfare on Southwest Airlines.

A message left for representatives of Jan PAC was not returned.

In October, the governor launched the PAC with several goals: fighting illegal immigration, defeating the president’s healthcare plan, creating jobs and reducing the size of government.

The financial disclosures represent a time before Brewer’s now famous encounter with President Obama on an airport runway in Phoenix last week. Sales of “Scorpions for Breakfast” spiked on Amazon after the event and the governor used her renewed notoriety to encourage people to donate to Jan PAC.

Among the donors revealed in the financial disclosures were former US Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, who lives in the Phoenix suburb of Peoria and gave $250, and wealthy real estate developer Mike Ingram, who gave $1,000.

Brewer’s final term as governor ends in 2014 and she has not said whether she plans to run for another office after that.

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Kansas Republican jokes about controlling illegal immigration by using the gunmen who shoot feral pigs from helicopters

Crooks & Liars- By John Amato
March 15, 2011 10:37 AM

Arizona is having an immediate impact on the sanity of local politicians all over the country. The latest loony-bin candidate is Virgil Peck of Kansas. And you wonder why Tuscon wants to split off and become its own state? Kansas certainly has its share of the nuts.

LJWorld:

A legislator said Monday it might be a good idea to control illegal immigration the way the feral hog population has been controlled: with gunmen shooting from helicopters.

Rep. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro, said he was just joking, but that his comment did reflect frustration with the problem of illegal immigration. Peck made his comment during a discussion by the House Appropriations Committee on state spending for controlling feral swine. After one of the committee members talked about a program that uses hunters in helicopters to shoot wild swine, Peck suggested that may be a way to control illegal immigration.

Appropriations Chairman Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, said Peck’s comment was inappropriate. Rhoades said he thought Peck was joking, but added, “Hopefully he won’t do it again.”

Asked about his comment, Peck was unapologetic. “I was just speaking like a southeast Kansas person,” he said. He said most of his constituents are upset with illegal immigration and the state and federal government response. He said he didn’t expect any further controversy over his comment. “I think it’s over,” he said.

Feral pigs and guns in helicopters. This is truly a horrifying thing to think, let alone say. And that’s not a joke.

Dome On The Range caught the audio and says:

Yes, Virgil. Everyone in Southeast Kansas believes that we should respond to immigration by sniping down brown people from a helicopter. Should we bother checking their citizenship status first or should we just go off “their olive complexion,” as suggested by your colleague, Rep. Connie O’Brien?

So much for toning down the rhetoric after the tragedy in Tucson. It’s worth noting that at the end of February, the Kansas Republican Party called union members protesting in the Capitol “thugs.” What seems more thuggish to you: Kansas workers exercising their right to free speech in a public building (in protest to a bill that suffocated their First Amendment rights), or an elected representative suggesting we should gun down immigrants like pigs?

Check out Peck’s website. It conjures up visions of a cross between VDARE and Stormfront with a hint of the Hutaree Militia.

MORE HERE

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