Republicans, throughout the current push for immigration reform, have blamed everyone but themselves for why legislation hasn’t passed yet. They’ve pointed fingers at President Obama, the Democrats, the legislative calendar, fiscal issues, even pro-reform advocates themselves–anything to avoid the fact that they are a party caught between doing the right thing and confronting their angry base.
Now Heritage Action, an arm of the once-vaunted Heritage Foundation, is trying to give Republicans more bad advice, by encouraging them to not take up immigration reform until Obama is out of the White House. Here’s the Wall Street Journal Washington Wire today:
In an interview to air Saturday on C-Span, the group’s chief executive, Michael Needham, said that Republicans should resist the call for an overhaul of the country’s immigration laws until after the 2016 election, at which point he hopes the GOP will control both the Senate and the White House. Many GOP leaders believe strongly that the party must make headway on the immigration front to rebuild trust with Hispanic voters, who have swung heavily toward the Democratic Party in recent presidential elections.
That’s right–Heritage, the people who famously promoted the idea that Hispanics have lower IQs–wants to help the GOP alienate Latinos further. That Republicans should avoid immigration reform until Obama leaves office happens to be an idea also espoused by Steve King, that other guiding light of GOP policy making.
Unexplained is how Heritage expects Republicans to take back the Senate and the White House without immigration reform, since the GOP has done exactly nothing since the last election to encourage Latino and minority voters to support them. John Boehner’s House GOP has actually gone the other way, by giving Steve King a vote on his amendment to deport DREAMers, and supporting Bob Goodlatte’s SAFE Act.
None less than Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)–no friend to immigration reform and a frequent target of America’s Voice–has pointed out how foolish advice like Heritage’s advice is. As he told National Journal:
My theory is that we can win in 2014 without resolving [immigration reform]. We can’t win in 2016 without resolving it.
The GOP should make no mistake: immigration reform will happen sooner or later. Republicans can either work with Democrats to help resolve the issue, and get credit for it–or they can continue losing elections by refusing to pass it.