Conservative talk-show hosts who stoked intense opposition to comprehensive immigration reform in 2007 have discussed it less this year. And conservatives have been focused on other issues, such as the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of Tea Party groups, and the administration’s handling of the attacks on Benghazi.
“I think opposition is going to escalate dramatically once the bill hits the floor in a way that people do not expect. People are working tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure that happens,” said an aide to a conservative Republican senator.
“There’s no question that it’s going to be significantly more pushback. The question is if it’s enough to stop the bill in the Senate. I’d say the odds are better than even,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies.
He says conservatives have been distracted by the controversies swirling around the IRS, Benghazi and the Department of Justice’s seizure of journalists’ phone records.
“There are so many scandals going on with the Obama administration that it’s distracting a lot of people. The outrage can only be focused in so many directions,” he said.