Immigration Reform on Backburner After Gov’t Shutdown

President Obama says that he still hasn’t given up hope in the passage of an immigration bill, and he had said that he would push for it after the government shutdown and debt ceiling disputes were resolved.

Obama told the Los Angeles affiliate of Univision, the Spanish language television network, that “Once that’s done — you know, the day after — I’m going to be pushing (Congress) to say, call a vote on immigration reform.”

As he did during the government shutdown and debt ceiling debates, Obama placed the lack of a vote on an immigration bill squarely on House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, adding “we had a very strong Democratic and Republican vote in the Senate (and) the only thing right now that’s holding it back is, again, Speaker Boehner not willing to call the bill on the floor of the House of Representatives.”  In fact, the Senate passed an immigration bill earlier this year, but the House has not voted.

But Obama’s hope for an immigration bill will still face opposition in the Republican-run House, where members describe a proposed path to permanent residency as amnesty for lawbreakers.

As reported in Reuters:

“The president’s domestic agenda has been sidetracked in his second term by one problem after another. As he coped with the revelation of domestic surveillance programs, chemical weapons in Syria, and a fiscal battle that has shut down the U.S. government and threatens a debt default, immigration has been relegated to the back burner.

“But Obama, who won re-election with overwhelming Hispanic backing, had hoped to make reforms easing the plight of the 11 million immigrants who are in the United States illegally. …

“Boehner said the sweeping Senate bill would not pass the House and has said the lower chamber would tackle the issue in smaller sections that would include stricter provisions on border protection.”

And now that the government shutdown and debt ceiling disputes have been resolved, mostly because of Democratic support with some Republican votes, the resolutions are only temporary.  We will go through this mess again in middle of January, with regards to another government shutdown deadline, and early February, regarding the next debt ceiling debate.  As long as these issues gets kicked down the road without a more substantive resolution to these self-induced crises, any other agenda item will never be discussed.  And maybe that’s what the Tea Party wants to do – stop President Obama’s agenda.

And even though the polls show that support for the Tea Party has precipitately declined following the dangerous silliness that we just observed in Washington, I don’t think that that will stop these anti-Obama, anti-government politicians from acting the way that they have been behaving.  They do not have the majority of Americans in mind and they do not believe in governance.

Therefore, kiss any immigration reform bill goodbye for now, but I do hope I am wrong and President Obama is right.


The hardest thing to learn in life is which bridge to cross and which to burn.”

– David Russell, film director