New Castle News

Editorials

February 7, 2014

Opinion: Rather than admit discord, politicians point fingers

NEW CASTLE — Anyone expecting immigration reform out of Washington should be prepared to wait.

For a very long time.

Yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner indicated Republicans in his chamber would not pursue a reform effort this year. The reason: Boehner claimed it was because President Obama could not be trusted to implement new laws.

Boehner cited changes authorized by Obama to rules in the Affordable Care Act as an example. But we find it interesting that the House just passed a major farm bill, apparently unconcerned that the president would ignore its terms.

The fact is that House Republicans are deeply divided on issues related to immigration reform. And some top GOP lawmakers in the House have acknowledged that the differences aren’t worth an intra-party conflict in an election year.

In short, Boehner’s efforts to blame Obama are a copout. He ought to be more honest with the American people.

As for the claim Obama would ignore the law, that statement overlooks the fact Obama’s administration — despite his supposedly liberal leanings — has been tougher on deporting illegals than his predecessors.

There is no shame in a party having internal differences on an issue as broad as immigration. What is shameful is trying to twist the truth into something else. But Boehner is effectively arguing for no action on immigration until after the 2016 presidential election.

What happens then? Well, Obama may be gone, but the fundamental problems will remain. Some Republicans oppose generous immigration standards, and are particularly hostile to the idea of amnesty for illegals.

But others within the party — particularly those with close business ties — want to encourage the presence of low-skilled foreign workers as a way to keep wage costs down.

We should point out that Democrats also have their disagreements over immigration reform. While Latinos and their advocates within the party want relaxed rules, labor organizations, environmentalists and other groups want to restrict the influx of aliens.

Ideally, reform would address the fact there are many people in this country illegally whose only real crime is working hard to pursue opportunities. It’s hard to rationally argue that deporting them would be in the nation’s interest.

Yet rules exist for a reason. So reform should come with methods that are tough on violators, both illegal aliens and those who might hire them.

Instead, it appears that America can look for years of additional uncertainty on the immigration front.

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