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Speaker Paul Ryan is trying to get some pats on the back for saying he prefers a path to legalization over mass deportation.
“I’m a person who believes that for the undocumented, we have to come up with a solution that doesn’t involve mass deportation, that involves people the opportunity to get right with the law, to come in and earn a legal status while we fix the rest of legal immigration,” Ryan claimed.
But when asked about why he hadn’t brought immigration reform to the House floor — something his predecessor John Boehner also refused to do — Paul said that President Obama had “poisoned the well” with DAPA and DACA+.
As a former Republican President once said, there they go again.
We’ve already warned about not falling for the spin that Speaker Ryan is in any way shape or form pro-immigrant — he’s got his recent “extraordinary” vote against DAPA and DACA+ to debunk that. Not to mention that business about running with the “Self Deportation” guy back in 2012.
But this thing about President Obama poisoning the immigration well? Just another empty talking point harkening back to the old Speaker Boehner days. Let’s not forget that President Obama acted on immigration in November 2014, more than a year and a half after the Senate passed comprehensive immigration reform by a large bipartisan majority.
Boehner had an entire year-and-a-half to pass something. But instead, he spent that year-and-a-half dilly-dallying with excuse after excuse (remember that time Jorge Ramos called him out on it?) and warning that Obama would “poison the well” and kill any chance of reform by acting alone.
In reality, Boehner had no intention of passing anything, as hard as his colleagues and advocates tried to push him. It was Boehner who poisoned the well by giving Steve King his fill of anti-immigrant votes putting DREAMers and their parents at risk of deportation, at one point bringing DHS to the brink of a shutdown.
If Ryan wants to talk poisoning the well, we can talk about him trying to come off as pro-immigrant while he’s allowed eight anti-immigrant votes on his House floor this Congress alone — seven of which he’s joined in on.
Meanwhile, he’s still claiming he’d like to see immigrants on a path to legal status, but won’t bring any such legislation to the floor to do that, even though he’s got the power today. But, he apparently does have time to file an amicus brief against the President’s immigration actions.
Poisoning the well, indeed.