By Mike Allen July 29, 2013

PLAYBOOK FACTS OF LIFE: We were puzzled by Paul Ryan’s declaration at a Friday town-hall meeting in Racine -- as reported by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and highlighted by Drudge and Playbook -- that the House planned an October vote on a path to citizenship. We’re pretty wired into leadership thinking on immigration, and knew of no such plan. Well, there isn’t one. A top House leadership source scoffs at Ryan’s remarks, calling them “pure wishful thinking.” Immigration reform still appears to headed for a slow death in the House this fall, with votes on border-security in September and internal-enforcement in October – nowhere near comprehensive reform. There’s ONE way that could still happen, resulting in a bill for President Obama to sign. It’s a longshot, but here it is, per a top staffer: “Our members, by and large, want to get something done. They'd like to get a solution, but we're not going to be taking up a comprehensive bill. So, to the extent that you really do want to get something done, you better start trying to figure out how to do it through a piecemeal process. We're not going to suddenly collapse into a comprehensive bill.

The odds of this are very low, but at the end of a process -- if we’re able to advance some piecemeal bills -- you could potentially get something broader. There's the growing understanding in our party that we’ve got to deal with the legalization/citizenship issue, but that doesn’t affect the desire to get the enforcement right. So if you're going to go and start stitching something together, our guys are going to have to have the enforcement stuff under their belt -- border security, internal enforcement, E-Verify, all that.

“We are never, ever going to put immigration into an open-ended conference [committee with the Senate], because it could give rise to motions to instruct on the floor, and we're not going to expose our members to that. So, if you're going to have a comprehensive bill, you're going to have to get a bunch of stuff individually through the House, and then you're going to have to negotiate what we would call a pre-conference bill and it would basically have to be written. Then you would go into conference and come out right away with the bill.”