Obama administration can’t be trusted: Speaker.
By Deepak Chitnis
WASHINGTON, DC: In a turnaround from the promise that the GOP was showing on immigration reform, with statements and overtures made that its members were willing to compromise with the Democrats on certain measures to get the ball rolling on passing the legislation this year, Speaker of the House John Boehner said on Thursday that Republicans may not be so inclined to support immigration reform simply because they don’t trust President Barack Obama to properly implement it.
“There’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws,” Boehner said to the media, in Washington. “It’s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes.”
The announcement from Boehner is discouraging when considering the apparent progress made during the GOP retreat last week, from which Republicans emerged willing to negotiate on paths to citizenship for the undocumented workers already in the US. While the topics of H-1B and L-1 visas were not touched upon, Republicans said they are willing to work with Democrats on all the major points of contention except providing amnesty for illegal aliens.
Boehner’s comments could therefore be seen as a political move to get Democrats back to the negotiating table on the cumbersome issue of amnesty.
While President Obama has advocated for amnesty several times, Republicans have refused to budge on it, saying all illegal immigrants will have to wait their turn for permanent residency status (“green cards”) like everyone else who came legally. Boehner’s comments that Obama can’t be trusted likely mean that he doesn’t want the Democrats thinking they can steamroll over the GOP.
“The president is asking us to move one of the biggest bills of his presidency,” Boehner said, “and yet he’s shown very little willingness to work with us on the smallest of things.”
When asked about what Boehner’s comments meant, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that passing immigration policies will “take time,” and that “there is a genuine recognition among leaders of the Republican Party that this is the right thing to do for our economy [and] a strong conservative case to be made for passing comprehensive immigration reform.”
One possible solution being discussed by many is the option to pass sections of the bill at a time, in order to get some reform passed during this year while the two parties hash out the more contentious facets and not hold the entire thing up. That idea, however, doesn’t seem to have gathered much steam.
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