Unbelievable as it may be to their core constituency, House Republicans are now embracing comprehensive immigration reform. Late yesterday, the Hill obtained a one-page document outlining the GOP’s “statement of principals,” that endorses a path to legal status, once “specific enforcement triggers” have been achieved.

In an apparent sop to their base, House leadership stopped short of offering a path to citizenship, citing unfairness to those who have emigrated here legally, and the “harm” it would do to the rule of law. “Rather, these persons could live legally and without fear in the U.S., but only if they were willing to admit their culpability, pass rigorous background checks, pay significant fines and back taxes, develop proficiency in English and American civics, and be able to support themselves and their families (without access to public benefits),” the paper states.

Earlier in the day, GOP Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers confirmed the GOP’s determination to move forward on the issue. “We heard the president say this should be a year of action and that is our goal,” she told reporters. “We join the president in this effort to make this a year of action.”

A year of political suicide may be more accurate. One that includes a stunning level of collective shortsightedness. Republicans intend to grant some sort of probationary legal status predicated on the federal government meeting certain, unspecified “enforcement triggers.” Undoubtedly, one of them is “border security,” the key item that is supposed to make the rest of the amnesty agenda palatable. That would be the same border security that has been routinely ignored ever since it was promised to be an integral part of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act. Equally ignored was the Secure Fence Act of 2006, that called for “at least two layers of reinforced fencing.”

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