Is Boehner Set to Move Forward on Immigration Reform after Budget Victory?
Will House Speaker John Boehner's recent success with the budget bill bolster his confidence enough to move forward on immigration reform? It certainly appears the answer to that may well be a resounding yes. Politico's Seung Min Kim reports that Boehner responded to a question from a group of reporters asking if immigration reform was dead with a confident sounding, "Absolutely not." He went on to pledge that the House was sill continuing its work on a series of immigration and border security bills.
“I believe the Congress needs to deal with this,” Boehner said. “Our committees are continuing to do their work. There are a lot of private conversations that are under way to try to figure out how do we best move on a common-sense, step-by-step basis to address this very important issue. Because it is a very important issue.”
Boehner went on to say that President Obama seems to be coming around to the House's lead on resolving these problems with a series of piecemeal bills to deal with specific issues related to fixing our broken immigration system and securing our nation's borders with verifiable border security. “The American people are skeptical of big, comprehensive bills, and frankly, they should be,” Boehner said. “The only way to make sure immigration reform works this time is to address the complicated issues one step at a time. I think doing so will give the American people confidence that we’re dealing with these issues in a thoughtful way and a deliberative way. So I’m hopeful that we can make progress on this very important issue.”
Meanwhile, Niall Stanage with The Hill reports about groups that are backing immigration reform and those who oppose it. Tamar Jacoby, president of ImmigrationWorks USA said, "Boehner's confidence is going to be improved. Anything that gives him more juice is a good thing."
At the same time, Dan Holler with Heritage Action for America, as strong conservative group told The Hill that the Speaker, "was sending the signal to conservative groups that they don't have a role to play in the Republican House."
I suppose if your answer to everything is "NO," you probably don't have a big role to play with a Speaker who is trying to actually get some things done. Republicans, and especially independent voters, don't want the House to be in a "no" only position. We expect our representatives to find ways to develop solutions to real problems and get them implemented in the current reality of today's Washington, D.C. landscape.
Franco Ordonez, a writer for McClatchyDC reported that Democrat Luis Gutierrez believes a solution to immigration reform can be worked out in a similar fashion to the budget deal. "It takes commitment from the leaders on both parties," Gutierrez said, "and it takes hard work and the willingness to compromise."
I know "compromise" is a dirty word in conservative circles who believe in ideology over everything else. But at some point you have to govern. At some point you have to fix problems that are broken and just saying no fixes nothing.
Conservatives should have a voice in this process. They can earn that voice by bringing solutions to the table. Border security is important and must be addressed. A well-regulated guest worker program is also important and needs to be established. We need to find a way to open immigration that meets the economic needs of our nation. And finally we must find a human way of dealing with the non-criminal element of the population of people who either entered this country illegally while we were ignoring our borders or those who entered legally and then overstayed their visas because of the complications of trying to comply with a broken and understaffed immigration department.
All of these issues have solutions that can be implemented with conservative principles that respect the rule of law while acknowledging the broken aspects of our out of control immigration system. Let's show the nation that Republicans do have solutions for problems, and we deserve to take control of the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016.