Yesterday, we wrote about Ju Hong, the California DREAMer who made national headlines when he disrupted President Obama’s speech on immigration, in order to ask the President to stop the deportations.
“Mr. President, please use your executive authority to halt [deportations]. We agree that we need to pass comprehensive immigration reform, but at the same time, you have the power to stop deportations,” Hong said–and we agreed. Obama and the Democrats have their own political problems on immigration, thanks to the President’s record-high rate of deportations.
After a year of House Republican inaction on immigration reform, however, members of the GOP are in no position to get cute with this fact. According to Benjy Sarlin today, Izzy Santa, who handles Hispanic outreach for the Republican National Committee, tried to slam Obama on deportations, telling MSNBC:
Democrats are facing credibility problems, whether it is from Obamacare failures or massive deportations, that’s why you see the president’s approval ratings suffer. The fact is that Republicans continue to work on immigration reform, which is more than Democrats ever did when they controlled the White House and Congress.
No, GOP. Just no. Republicans don’t get to talk about the other party’s failures on immigration when it’s the House GOP who still refuses to pass reform, even though they have enough votes and time this year to take on legislation. They don’t get to talk about it when the only vote the House as a whole has taken on immigration this entire year is on Steve King’s amendment to deport DREAMers. ‘Republicans continue to work on immigration reform’? If the King amendment equals working on immigration, then we hope they take the rest of the year off. If not, where’s their bill on citizenship for the 11 million? So far, there isn’t one.
The GOP’s record on immigration will continue to be an albatross, until they pass real reform. As Benjy Sarlin put it today:
The RNC, which has backed efforts to pass immigration reform, may be able to tweak Obama a little over deportations. But the vast majority of Republicans in Congress are on record demanding even more aggressive deportations. The only House vote Republican leaders have allowed on the topic this year was an amendment by anti-immigration firebrand Steve King calling on the White House to deport DREAMers. It passed with almost unanimous Republican support…
While Obama faces his own pressures, his refusal to back away from talks puts the onus on Boehner to prove his party can deal with the deportation issue at all. And right now there’s no consensus within the party as to whether the country should let any undocumented immigrants remain, let alone get on a path to citizenship. Until they can start naming some demands, they’re for self-deportation by default.