tags: , , , , , , Blog

Former Executive Director of NRSC: GOP Should Pass Immigration Reform This Year

Share This:

Commentators from Jorge Ramos to Rachel Maddow to Jonathan Chait are pushing for Republicans to pass immigration reform this year, warning that the presidential politics of 2015 and thereafter will make it nearly impossible for the GOP to take up legislation.  If Republicans really want to get the issue behind them — and the 2012 election results prove that they need to — 2014 might be their only chance to save themselves from a massive handicap in 2016.

The latest person to make this point is Rob Jesmer, executive director of the NRSC from 2008-2012.  In an interview with the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent, Jesmer lays down all the reasons why Speaker Boehner and the House GOP need to pass immigration reform this year.  Read the interview here, or excerpts below:

“It’s easier to do it now, than to do it later,” Jesmer told me in an interview today. “Presidential politics will consume our party, which will make it more difficult to get it passed. The quicker we start, the quicker we’ll get it behind us. We will severely diminish our chances of winning the presidential election in 2016 if this isn’t solved”…

“I don’t see any data that suggests that this [immigration reform] would increase Democratic chances of holding the Senate,” Jesmer said. “The idea that someone who is sitting at home mad at the president about Obamacare is going to wake up in October and say, ‘I’m really mad that Republicans voted to solve the immigration mess, so I’m not going to vote’ — I just find that to be ridiculous.”

“What people are really saying is, ‘Things are going really well now so we can’t do it,’” Jesmer continued. ”Are we supposed to wait until things are not going well? It’s never going to be easy to do this, because we have many in our party, and many outside forces, who will oppose this whether we do it tomorrow, next month, next year, or 10 years from now”…

“The window basically is the next 15 months,” Jesmer says. “And it will be easier to do it this year than next year.”