Bob Schieffer to Paul Ryan: Can GOP Survive Without Immigration Reform?

As NewsBusters has been reporting, the liberal media have been for months making the case that the Republican Party is doomed if an immigration reform bill isn't enacted.

A fine example is CBS Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer who on Sunday actually asked Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) - with a little bit of a chuckle no less! - "Can your party survive as a major political party if you don't come up with some sort of immigration reform?" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

BOB SCHIEFFER, HOST: All right, let me ask you about another very controversial issue within your party and that is immigration reform. Can your party survive as a major political party if you don't come up with some sort of immigration reform? I mean, Lindsey Graham for one says you're in a downward demographic death spiral unless you figure out some way to reform immigration. What do you think the Republicans ought to do on that?

Imagine for a moment Schieffer or any liberal media member asking a Democrat if his or her party can survive if a certain piece of legislation isn't enacted.

Never happen, right?

Fortunately, Ryan predictably had an intelligent answer to a Democrat talking point:

CONGRESSMAN PAUL RYAN (R-WISCONSIN): Look, I disagree that we should approach this issue based on what's right for us politically. We should approach this issue on what we think is the right thing to do, what's the right policy. And speaking to that, we are not going tyke up the Senate bill in the House because we don't support the Senate bill. We have been listening to the American people. So what we're going to do is take a step-by-step approach to get immigration right, not a big massive bill but separate bills so people know what's in these bills. Number one, Bob -- and just look at this terror threat we have -- we don't have control of our border. We don't know who is coming and going in this country. We need real border enforcement and that means we really don't trust the administration with discretion in this area.

So we need a border enforcement law, first and foremost, that cannot be voided. We need interior enforcement and we need to fix our legal immigration system. Right now people come to this country based on family relations, not based on skills. Most other countries have a legal immigration system that's good for their country, we should do the same.

And when it comes to the undocumented, people who came here illegally, we want to give people a chance to get right with the law while respecting the rule of law and that means not doing an amnesty. So, we have got specific ideas that we're looking at on how to get people and get right with the law, that means going on probation. You have it to go on certain terms of probation, and it's one track policy -- you don't meet the conditions of your probation. Pay fines, pay back taxes, get a background check, learn English, learn civics and make sure we have independently identified we have secured the borders. And have our interior enforcement provisions like e-verify and a visa tracking system in place. Then and only then can that person get a legal work permit, no special path way. And if a person in this situation wants to get in the line to get a green card, like any other immigrant, only at the back of the line, because we to be fair to that legal immigrant who did everything right in the first place. We think that's the right way to go. That's the opposite of amnesty.

And more importantly, Bob, this step-by-step approach I think will be better guarantees that we are not in the same mess 10 years from now which is exactly what happened last two times we did immigration reform. So we want to get it right. And we want to do what's right for national and for economic security and our motivation is not what's good for us politically, because if we just think like that, we're not going to do this the right way.

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