If immigration reform fails, just blame Obama

Republicans distrust the President, making immigration reform nearly impossible to achieve. Photo: Rally in California draws attention to GOP's Latino problem AP photo

WASHINGTON, July 15, 2013 — At last, the real reason emerges why House Republicans won’t pass immigration reform. It’s basically President Obama’s fault, they say, because he can’t be trusted.

Maybe if he had been President George W. Bush in the White House promoting reform, it might have had a chance. But don’t bet on it. Remember what happened back in 2006 when Bush’s own party killed it?  

President Obama is seen as the problem by many Republicans AP photo

A large number of House Republicans still detest the idea of immigration reform, particularly the path to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants.

Many bellow about border security not being tight enough, even though, thanks to President Obama, fewer people sneak across our border with Mexico than any time in our history. Plus the Senate just passed a bi-partisan bill, adding in even more border security, expected to cost $40 billion, including another 20,000 border patrol agents and 700 miles of fence, thanks to the insistence of their Republican brethren in the Senate.

However, it is not good enough because Obama is the president. It’s no exaggeration. Just listen to the Republican rhetoric after their two-hour conference on immigration reform last Wednesday:

Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kan.): “I made a comment in there, kind of offhand, that trusting Barack Obama with border security is like trusting my daughter with Bill Clinton. We just don’t trust him.”

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa): “Go secure the border with the resources that you have, then come back and talk to us. Show us you’re serious.”

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.): “If the president spent more time working with the Congress instead of trying to undermine it, it would be helpful. But after five years now, I don’t expect it.”

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) released this statement to the press from the Republican leadership, summing up the theme that the President can’t be trusted, which is why Republicans will craft their own piece-meal bills.

“Today House Republicans affirmed that rather than take up the flawed legislation rushed through the Senate, House committees will continue their work on a step-by-step, common-sense approach to fixing what has long been a broken system.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) AP photo

“The American people want our border secured, our laws enforced, and the problems in our immigration system fixed to strengthen our economy.

“But they don’t trust a Democratic-controlled Washington, and they’re alarmed by the president’s ongoing insistence on enacting a single, massive, Obamacare-like bill rather than pursuing a step-by-step, common-sense approach to actually fix the problem.

“The president has also demonstrated he is willing to unilaterally delay or ignore significant portions of laws he himself has signed, raising concerns among Americans that this administration cannot be trusted to deliver on its promises to secure the border and enforce laws as part of a single, massive bill like the one passed by the Senate.”

President Obama was originally advised to keep a low profile when immigration reform moved to Congress  because he would alienate the hardline Republicans, particularly the Tea Party wing. So he pulled back, letting the economics of why reform is good for the country be the talking points. But the Right was not taken in. They knew President Obama was sitting up in Oval Office, lurking with his trusty pen ready to sign a bill that would give a pathway to citizenship to illegal immigrants, what many Republicans such as Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann call “amnesty.”

What does this all mean for the 11 million illegal immigrants and the DREAMers, (young people brought here illegally when their parents slipped into the country or overstayed their visas)?

It means there will be no bill put on the President’s desk that he can possibly sign. Anything that comes out of Congress without a route to citizenship is dead on arrival.

A majority of House Republicans seem to think by blaming President Obama that they can hoodwink the American people — who according to the July 11th Gallup poll support immigration reform and citizenship by 71% — into believing that their failure to pass a reform bill was not their fault, but that of the man in the White House. http://www.gallup.com/poll/163475/passing-new-immigration-laws-important-americans.aspx

However, Americans are not dumb. Nor is the Latino community gullible, having followed this issue very closely. Latinos know very well what is going on in Washington and they know who is working to deny them a future as Americans.

Woe be to the Republicans who seemed to have forgotten or ignored an important fact of life: Latinos will remember in November 2016 whom to blame when immigration reform does not happen. And another Republican presidential candidate will go down in flames.

To contact Catherine Poe, see above. Her work appears in Ad Lib at the Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. She can also be heard on Democrats for America’s Future. She is also a contributor to broadcast, print and online media.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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Catherine Poe

Catherine was named one of the top Progressives in Maryland along with Senator Barbara Mikulski and Congresswoman Donna Edwards. She has been a guest of President Obama in the Rose Garden.

As past president of Long Island NOW, she worked to reform women's prisons in New York, open the construction trades to women, change laws to safeguard battered women, and protect the rights of rape victims. 

Long active in Democratic politics, she served as the presidentof the Talbot Democrats in Maryland for six years and fought to getthe Health Care Reform bill passed.

Catherine has been published in a diverse range of newspapers and magazines, including Newsday, Star Democrat, Rocky Mountain News, Yellowstone News, and the Massachusetts Review.

If Catherine has learned anything over the years it is that progressive change does not come easily, but in baby steps. 

Contact Catherine Poe


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