It’s Time to Stop the Immigration Reform Charade

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John Boehner says he’d really, really love to pass immigration reform, but darn it, President Obama’s arbitrary and lawless regulatory changes to Obamacare make that impossible. Republicans no longer trust Obama to enforce whatever law they pass, so they’re stuck.

This is a contrivance so obvious that I think most five-year-olds could see through it, but that’s Boehner’s story and he’s sticking to it. So Harry Reid has now made official what used to be merely idle chatter:

“Let’s pass immigration reform today. Make it take effect in 2017. Republicans don’t trust President Obama,” Reid said. “Let’s give them a chance to approve the bill under President Rand Paul or President Theodore Cruz. To be clear, delaying implementation of immigration reform is not my preference. But I feel so strongly that this bill needs to get done, I’m willing to show flexibility.”

….“If they don’t take our offer, then we’re going to have to go to the second step, which is not my preference,” Reid said. “Administrative rules cannot trump legislation but we’re going to have to do what we have to do as we proved with DACA,” he said, referring to Obama’s program to grant deportation relief and work permits to young illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children.

Look: immigration reform is dead. Republicans just aren’t willing to cross their base and pass something. The lawlessness story has never been anything more than a pretense, so Reid’s offer won’t change anything on that front. As for the executive action threat, Democrats have already tried that once before, when they were attempting to pass a cap-and-trade bill. If the bill didn’t pass, they said at the time, Obama would be forced to curb carbon emissions using executive actions. And he’s doing it! So it’s not as if Republicans figure he won’t call their bluff. They know he will. But that’s still not enough.

Nothing would be enough. The tea party has won. They don’t want immigration reform in any guise, and they control the Republican Party these days. That’s the reality, and I think by now everyone knows it. It’s time to stop the charade and move on.

HERE ARE THE FACTS:

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ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Our fall fundraising drive is off to a rough start, and we very much need to raise $250,000 in the next couple of weeks. If you value the journalism you get from Mother Jones, please help us do it with a donation today.

As we wrote over the summer, traffic has been down at Mother Jones and a lot of sites with many people thinking news is less important now that Donald Trump is no longer president. But if you're reading this, you're not one of those people, and we're hoping we can rally support from folks like you who really get why our reporting matters right now. And that's how it's always worked: For 45 years now, a relatively small group of readers (compared to everyone we reach) who pitch in from time to time has allowed Mother Jones to do the type of journalism the moment demands and keep it free for everyone else.

Please pitch in with a donation during our fall fundraising drive if you can. We can't afford to come up short, and there's still a long way to go by November 5.

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