GOPer: Immigration reform 'about buying off lawbreakers'

The bipartisan Senate proposal to reform the immigration system is "a shameless political ploy to buy new voters," according to one House Republican.

Rep. Kerry Bentivolio (R-Mich.) sent out a fundraising email ripping the plan on Monday afternoon, using strong language to bash it — and politicians in both parties for supporting it.

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The email's rhetoric is making some Republicans nervous that their own members will undercut their efforts to start repairing their relationship with the Latino community after a disastrous election cycle.

"What you're seeing here is a shameless political ploy to buy new voters. Democrats want the votes and Republicans the cheap labor ... unfortunately the status quo will be maintained," Bentivolio writes in the fundraising email. "Immigration reform shouldn't be about buying off lawbreakers so they'll consider becoming Republican. It's about letting in people who want to become Americans and obey American laws. What kind of country will we be if we reward people for breaking the law?"

The freshman congressman warned that the "entire debate is about politics" and would undermine the U.S.'s ability to control its borders.

"The Senate is already caving to grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants and congressmen like myself in the House will be the only thing between maintaing [sic.] the rule of law and virtually dissolving our border," he wrote.

Bentivolio is not the typical Republican congressman, or even the typical Tea Party member — he's in Congress largely because former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.) badly botched his petition for reelection and abruptly retired, and local Republicans' efforts to defeat Bentivolio in the primary with a write-in candidate fell short. There's also a good chance he'll face a primary challenge this election.

But he's not the only Republican using harsh language while discussing immigration proposals, something which has party strategists nervous. Many border hawks have been railing against the plan as "amnesty," a characterization with which Republicans who back the plan strongly disagree. The email also shows that while the GOP as a whole might benefit politically from being more careful with its rhetoric, some within the party see taking a hard line against the plan as politically beneficial.

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