The headlines out of Capitol Hill today are all screaming about how immigration reform is, yet again, dead.
"Boehner Doubts Immigration Overhaul Will Pass This Year," blares The New York Times.
"Boehner hits brakes on immigration overhaul," Fox News reports.
Don't believe any of it for a second.
If anything, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) opened the door wider for immigration reform this year. But only if President Obama is willing to pass the rest of the House Republican leadership jobs agenda. Here is what Boehner actually said:
Listen, there’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws. And it’s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes.
And it is true. There is widespread doubt among House Republicans about Obama's willingness to enforce current immigration law, let alone new laws that would supposedly make border enforcement tougher.
In fact, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) released a 16-page document today outlining all the ways Obama has bypassed Congress to dismantle our nation's existing immigration enforcement system.
In addition to Obama's infamous mini-amnesty, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program, the document also details Border Patrol station closings, the non-enforcement of public charge laws, and Obama's suits against states like Arizona and South Carolina challenging their immigration enforcement policies.
Boehner, however, is not interested in any of this. He is not demanding that Obama rescind DACA, or open closed Border Patrol stations, or let states enforce their own immigration policies. The same corporate donors that are pushing the House leadership to pass amnesty now, have zero interest in ever seeing any immigration laws enforced ever.
Instead, here is what Boehner did say. "The president is asking us to move one of the biggest bills of his presidency, and yet he’s shown very little willingness to work with us on the smallest of things."
"You know, last week we sent a letter to the president outlining four bills that he talked about in the State of the Union that are sitting in the United States Senate," Boehner continued, "whether it’s the SKILLS Act, the research bill, a couple of other bills. The president could reach out and work with us on those and begin the process of rebuilding the trust between the American people and his presidency.”
In other words, if Obama is willing to force Senate Democrats to move on the House leadership's existing jobs agenda, then that would build enough trust so that Boehner would feel comfortable bringing amnesty to the floor later this year.
If Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) suddenly starts taking up the House passed jobs bills, then the amnesty fix might be in. But if Reid keeps stonewalling the House, then immigration isn't going anywhere.