If Sen. Marco Rubio’s immigration plan did make it into legislation this year, it would be dead on arrival, according House Speaker John Boehner.
The Florida Republican has proposed an alternative the DREAM Act. Not a good alternative, mind you. The DREAM Act would give U.S. citizenship to children of immigrants willing to meet certain requirements. Rubio’s proposal, on the other hand, amounts to a new version of the terrible Bracero program that brought guest workers to the United States decades ago. He would offer legal status for some children of immigrants—allowing them to stay in the country instead of deporting them—but provide no path to citizenship.
His plan isn’t as bad as the Arizona immigration policy in SB 1070 that Mitt Romney has called a “model.” But Rubio hasn’t put anything on paper yet, so it’s unclear exactly what he has in mind. Perhaps he’s waiting on putting together the details in order to improve his chances for being Romney’s running mate, a job he seems to be trying out for.
For now, it hardly matters. Boehner told a reporter that he has spoken to Rubio about his plan:
“I found it of interest, but the problem with this issue is that we’re operating in a very hostile political environment. To deal with a very difficult issue like this, I think it would be difficult at best.” [...]
“Where’s the president’s immigration plan? Where does the president stand on this issue? Instead of campaigning all the time, maybe he ought to come back to Washington and go back to work,” Boehner said.
More upsidedownism. After shooting down the DREAM Act, which amounts to simple justice, Boehner dares speak of a hostile political environment as if he and his party were innocent bystanders. One more example of just how out-of-touch the GOP is. Faced with the possibility that Latinos will give President Obama a 4-1 margin in November, with all that means for down-ticket races, the Republican leadership isn’t even willing to try to mend fences with a demographic that it must have to win future elections.
They’ve proved time and again they don’t care about the most vulnerable among us. But you would think they would care about how vulnerable they are making themselves.