Beware of Happy Talk on Immigration
by Ken McIntyre, Heritage Foundation, December 2, 2013
Is immigration reform coming back from the dead?
Over Thanksgiving, both President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) have indicated that the issue —which has meant amnesty, by any other name—is alive on Capitol Hill.
Obama said last week that proponents of amnesty should be “thankful” for Boehner’s stated support for immigration reform and prompted laughter by comparing the complicated issue to a turkey that could be sliced up.
“It’s Thanksgiving. We can carve this bird into multiple pieces,” Obama quipped.
But the metaphor doesn’t really work.
It must have been the spirit of the season that prompted Boehner to praise Obama earlier in November for his sudden willingness—amid the wreckage of another “comprehensive” solution, Obamacare—to entertain a “piece-by-piece” process for immigration reform.
“The American people are skeptical of big, comprehensive bills, and frankly, they should be,” Boehner told reporters. “The only way to make sure immigration reform works this time is to address the complicated issues one step at a time.”
While all this talk sounds nice, the bird really wouldn’t be carved in the end. The House and Senate eventually would have to come together, and that’s where liberals are likely to reassemble the pieces, throw in some more, and try to stuff the whole monstrous turkey—including amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants—down Americans’ throats.
But Americans are wary of promises from Washington right now. They have learned the hard way to watch what this President does and not what he says. After all, he has broken promises about Obamacare and acted without Congress to waive or delay parts of the health care law. And he has shown himself more than willing to test the constitutional limits of executive power not only on immigration but many other matters.
The immigration discussions have strayed far from the positive path to immigration and border security reform the country should be on. That path exists, and it does not lead to more broken promises.
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