Last week, John Boehner pretty much shut down any talk in the House of immigration reform until Obama earns the trust of his fellow Republicans.
Boehner released his own immigration overhaul principles only a couple of weeks ago, on Jan. 30 during a House GOP retreat, which laid out a pathway to legal American status for undocumented immigrants.
However, that plan was forced down by an outcry from conservative members of the House, according to The Fiscal Times.
“The American people, including many of my members, don’t trust that the reform that we’re talking about will be implemented as it was intended to be.”
He then cited Obama’s promises of sweeping “executive actions” that have delayed or completely changed the face of the Affordable Care Act as proof that the President can’t be trusted to fully enact the laws that are passed.
Well, Sen. Chuck Schumer may have come up with a creative solution to get the House talking again. On NBC’s “Meet the Press”, Schumer suggested that the House and Senate work together to come up with a plan that doesn’t take effect until Obama is out of office in 2017, which would give some assurance to wary Republicans that the law would actually be enforced.
He said of Obama, “Now I think that the rap against him — that he won’t enforce the law — is false. He’s deported more people than any other president, but you could actually have the law start in 2017 without doing much violence to it.”
If the plan doesn’t become effective until 2017, then the administration would have time to focus on getting out those who are here illegally and have committed crimes or would otherwise not qualify for legalization, and also allow more focus on new immigrants trying to cross borders illegally.
However, Boehner’s spokesman, Michael Steel ran down Schumer’s proposal. He called it “entirely impractical” and said that the plan “would totally eliminate the president’s incentive to enforce immigration law for the remainder of his term.”
Not everyone is so quick to slap down Schumer’s plan, though. Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman said, “I think some Republicans would be interested in that, if we put in place the enforcement measures so that it would work. In other words, be sure the border is secure, be sure that you have a workforce enforcement program that works.”
Portman, himself, voted against the Senate “Gang of Eight” legislation after failing to secure changes to the bill that would have given a huge boost to workplace verification provisions.
The White House? They are sitting, waiting, watching.
“We’ve laid out our principles and we are now stepping back to see what, if anything, the House puts forward,” a White House official said, according to Politico.
Matt House, a spokesman for Schumer said, “They’ve already established they don’t trust the president to enforce the law on immigration, but he’s going to be the president through 2016 whether we pass a law or not. If they believe in immigration reform, why not get things moving for 2017?”
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