There are not enough legislative days left for the 113th Congress to decide anything about immigration reform. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy told reporters that there just isn’t enough time for Congress to decide anything concerning the 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the United States.
Depending on how this story spins, it could have disastrous results for either Republicans or Democrats. On one hand, President Obama garnered nearly 71% of Latino votes in the 2012 election, due in part to the widely-held assumption that his administration would make immigration reform a top priority.
Instead, Obama focused on healthcare reform, which we all know has been a marked and abysmal failure to date. This failure to uphold his promises could result in a Latino voter backlash against the Democratic Party in the mid-term elections.
But let’s not hold our breath. In the past, Obama has leveraged even his failures to consolidate his fan base. There are still many people who blame the failure of Obamacare, the government shutdown, and other leadership debacles on the intransigence of the Republican Party. Many believe that the Republican Party is so obsessed with making Obama look bad, that they would even ruin the country in their quest for justification.
Because of this largely misleading popular assumption, Obama’s successes are wholly to his credit, while his failures are laid squarely at the feet of the Republican party. And the dead-in-the-water immigration reform bill may be used as another knock against the impediments of partisan Republican politics.
On a related note, I’m for immigration reform. I don’t think that should include complete amnesty to illegal immigrants, but I do think the immigration policies of this country are absurdly complicated and gummed up with red tape. It should be relatively easy for a foreigner to gain citizenship if that is his desire. Right now, the legal morass surrounding immigration almost ensures that most of the people who end up staying in the United States will be people who don’t care much about the law of the land. People with a respect for the country are being turned out, and they dutifully comply. The effect is similar to gun control. According to the oft-recited refrain: If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. Similarly, if you make legal citizenship prohibitively difficult, the only immigrants who stay will be, of necessity, not law-abiding.
And, contrary to the opinion of disappointed Latino voters, Obama actually has been working on a real solution to immigration reform, though he and his administration may not realize it. He’s “fundamentally transforming” the United States, remember? So he won’t stop until our country is just like all the countries people currently want to escape. Immigrants have traditionally flocked to the United States as a land of freedom and opportunity. But if this administration accomplishes all of its plans, we will no longer be a country of freedom or opportunity, and we will therefore no longer have an immigration problem—because no one will want to come here. Problem solved. Thanks, Obama!