When he met with colleagues in a closed door meeting on Capitol HIll Tuesday, House Speaker John Boehner downplayed statements he made last week in which he reportedly mocked some of his fellow Republicans for being too timid to tackle immigration reform. “You tease the ones you love, all right?” he said. “But some people misunderstood what I had to say, and I wanted to make sure members understood that the biggest impediment we have to moving immigration reform is that the American people don’t trust the president to enforce or implement the law that we may or may not pass.”
It’s true that the GOP doesn’t trust the White House, but make no mistake, the reluctance of GOP House members to tackle this complicated issue in a responsible way has made matters worse. The status quo leaves millions living in the shadows, harms the U.S. economy, and makes a mockery of our laws.
Several lawmakers, including the fourth-ranking Republican, have suggested a bill may yet hit the House floor before the August recess. But without an aggressive push by the Speaker, nothing will happen. In the end, it may come down to a political calculus: Can the GOP continue to alienate Hispanic voters and still win elections?