DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson announced the renewal process for DACA this week, and in response, House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte had the gall to criticize the announcement and claim that it could hurt the prospects for legislative immigration reform. As Goodlatte said according to Roll Call:
These actions undermine Congress’ hard work to reform our immigration laws and also raise serious concerns about the administration’s ability and willingness to maintain the integrity of our immigration laws. [The House Judiciary Committee will continue to investigate] the Obama administration’s lax immigration enforcement and … how these changes impact our immigration system.
“Congress’ hard work to reform our immigration laws”? That’s a joke, right?
For the last year, the House has done almost nothing to move forward on real immigration reform. Jeff Denham’s ENLIST Act, a tiny bill which would only help a small number of DREAMers, was blocked by Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Cantor himself is currently going around boasting of how he is “the No.1 guy standing in between the American people and immigration reform.” Goodlatte has some serious chutzpah to speak about Congress’ hard work on immigration reform, when today is the one-year anniversary of the House giving Steve King a vote on his amendment to deport DREAMers. In the last year, the House has voted against DREAMers no less than five times, while completely stalling on immigration reform legislation.
And it looks like they’re about to stall some more. Despite advocates’ warnings that time is running out for the GOP and that Republicans are approaching a demographic cliff, immigration reform is still not on the agenda. Eric Cantor released a memo today detailing legislative priorities for the House GOP in June, and there is no mention of immigration reform.
The GOP has made itself crystal clear. Rep. Steve King is free to run the House when it comes to immigration. DACA is a program that will continue to be attacked, despite the immense good it has done DREAMers like Eduardo Rodriguez, a youth leader in Steve King’s district. Republicans will continue to say lukewarm things about immigration reform, while taking votes call for more deportations. We just hope they’re ready for 2016, when the Latino vote will be crystal clear on how it feels about these GOP shenanigans.