A new Washington Post editorial counsels President Obama to wait on executive action on immigration. According to the editorial board, while the President is “certainly right on the policy,” and “might be fed up” with waiting on Republicans to act, he should nonetheless “seize the moral high ground and test GOP leaders’ seriousness about cooperating by offering them time to show they can act, including on immigration…The right response to the Republicans’ election victory is not a poke in the eye.”
We respectfully disagree. As we have highlighted, waiting on Republicans in Congress to deliver on immigration reform is a fool’s errand.
This is a response from Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, and expecting Republicans in Congress to deliver on immigration reform during the last two years of the Obama presidency is, well, insane.
“Republicans have blocked comprehensive immigration reform in 2006, 2007, and 2013. In this Congress, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), despite honorable intentions and considerable effort, could not muster enough support among his fellow Republicans to move forward on immigration reform. And then, GOP House leadership in both chambers ceded control of the immigration debate to the likes of Reps. Steve King (R-IA) and Michele Bachmann (R-MN), and voted to end DACA for 600,000 DREAMers and prevent future executive actions. To make matters worse, numerous Republican candidates shamelessly demagogued Ebola, ISIS, border security and ‘amnesty’ in their 2014 campaigns.
“To expect an even more right wing Congress to work with a President they despise on an issue that is unpopular among their members to give him a bipartisan victory is beyond naïve. The Washington Post editorial board has a distinguished history of supporting immigration reform. We agree with them that a legislative overhaul is essential. But unlike the editorial board, we believe that the majority of Republicans have been crystal clear: they don’t support immigration reform if it includes relief for undocumented immigrants rooted in American society. And we believe waiting for the impossible will only mean that deportations will continue for a thousand people a day and relief will be delayed for millions.
“The fact is that Americans want action on immigration and they strongly favor legalization over deportation. Tuesday night’s network exit polls asked what to do about “most illegal immigrants working in the U.S.” and, by a 57%-39% margin, voters nationwide preferred “offered legal status” over “deportation.”
“It’s time for the President to use his existing legal authority to do what the American people want.”