It’s unclear why House Republicans are even bothering to use President Obama as an excuse not to pass immigration reform this year, since it’s obvious that nobody believes them. Spanish-language media, in particular — including key arbiters of Latino political thought like Jorge Ramos and La Opinión — are growing wrathful toward the GOP for their continued inaction. And that’s bad news for a Republican Party which desperately needs to gain Latino voters in order to survive.
Check out, for example, this interview that Jorge Ramos did with NPR last week, in which he slams Speaker Boehner and House Republicans for indicating that they might not move on immigration reform in 2014 after all. Ramos warns Republicans that Latino voters will remember this inaction — and punish the GOP for it:
RAMOS: It is very confusing for many people within the Hispanic community because they felt that [the immigration reform standards the House GOP released last month] was the beginning of a debate, and it was welcomed by millions in the Hispanic community. And just a few days later, they’re saying, no, I’m sorry, that’s not exactly what we meant. Really at this point we can only blame Republicans and Speaker John Boehner for blocking immigration reform.
And it seems that they did this political calculation that they can wait. They can wait until next year or maybe 2016 for immigration reform. What they have to know is that Latinos will remember and that they will blame Republicans. And if they continue doing this, and blocking immigration reform, Republicans will lose again the White House in 2016…
It seems that they really don’t get it. They don’t understand that the Hispanic community is growing, that in 2016, 16 million voters will go to the polls, that, really, Republicans’ future depends on the Hispanic vote and that before Latinos will really take another look on Republicans, they have to resolve immigration. But they simply are not taken seriously. And again, I think Hispanics will remember this moment.
According to Ramos, it doesn’t make sense for Republicans to claim that Obama hasn’t enforced immigration laws enough — not when Latino and immigrant communities have suffered nearly 2 million deportations under the Obama Administration:
RAMOS: [To claim that Obama is not enforcing the law is] really ridiculous. Well, talk to the almost two million undocumented immigrants who have been deported while President Obama has been in power, more than any other president in the history of the United States. Many people call him deporter-in-chief. So yes, clearly the border is more secured than ever before, than ever before. More people have been deported than ever before.
So really, what we have to do is something about the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country. So it is ridiculous to blame President Barack Obama for not enforcing the law right now, and it is just an excuse for Republicans to not move on immigration reform. They really have to move on immigration reform, but they won’t do it.
And over the weekend, La Opinión published this piece accusing House Republicans of perpetrating a farce on immigration reform — engaging in a “cruel joke” and “monumental insensitivity” at a time when 11 million people remain in the shadows and families live in fear of being torn apart:
Boehner and former vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan blamed President Obama for not being able to advance the bill. Both lawmakers refuse to recognize that within their party’s ranks, there is rabid opposition to a bill that has the support of a majority of Americans as well as the business sector.
They would rather hold Obama responsible for their caucus’ decision to use what is left of the year to repeatedly keep harping on Obamacare with the goal of getting brownie points for the November elections, instead of focusing their attention on urgent issues. That is a decision openly in favor of demagoguery.
Therefore, they have conveniently decided in advance that the president cannot be trusted with implementing laws, especially immigration ones. According to this line of reasoning, what is the point of approving them?
That way of thinking must anger the immigrant community, who for years has suffered through millions of deportations under the Obama administration. It seems like a cruel joke. Using an excuse like that one to avoid working on immigration reform shows monumental insensitivity on the part of the Republican caucus.
The journey of the House majority when it comes to immigration so far has been a farce. A ploy that seems to finish the same way that cheaters end up—blaming others to justify their own decisions.
The anger at GOP inaction on immigration reform is palpable. How many times will Republicans let that wallop them at the ballot box, before they finally take action?