La Opinión: The 'Political Farce' of Immigration Reform

La Opinión: The 'Political Farce' of Immigration Reform

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The political football that is immigration reform keeps bouncing back and forth between a White House afraid to act and a leadership in the House of Representatives that is openly hostile to the very idea. 

President Obama postponed until August a review of deportation proceedings that he had ordered a few months ago, saying he wants to give Congress time to vote for reform. The House, according to Speaker John Boehner, cannot pass an immigration bill because the Republican majority doesn't trust that Obama is complying with immigration law.

What a political farce!

The president several months ago privately criticized immigration reform activists who had complained about his administration's record number of deportations. That's when he announced that he was ordering the review that he is now postponing. This does not help the president. The delay or change of plans further damages the credibility of a president who, for whatever reason, came into office promising immigration reform and then surpassed the record for highest number of deportations.

Meanwhile in Congress, the leadership is allowing recalcitrant Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) to be the leading voice on immigration. Last week he prevented a full vote on an amendment to the defense budget that would have allowed immigration regularization for Dreamers (undocumented immigrants who came the U.S. as children) through military service.

However, yesterday the House passed an amendment by King to finance an investigation by the Justice Department into deferred deportation proceedings that have freed "tens of thousands of criminals," according to the congressman.

Everyone is afraid of doing the right thing because of the potential political repurcussions, despite widespread national support for comprehensive immigration reform.

Today our leaders and representatives in Washington are more afraid of the reaction from ultra-conservatives than they are of Latino voters. These are the calculations that they will one day have to pay for when it comes time to vote.