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Friday, February 7, 2014

Immigration Reform Stalled In Washington

U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) speaks during his weekly news conference February 6, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) speaks during his weekly news conference February 6, 2014 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

It looks like immigration reform may be going nowhere fast. House Speaker John Boehner signaled last week that House Republicans would move forward on immigration reform. But yesterday, he said his caucus is unlikely to move forward until the president gains Republicans’ trust.

“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,” Boehner said in the news conference.

Jorge Ramos, host of “America with Jorge Ramos” on Fusion, as well as various news programs on Univision, joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss what’s happening on the immigration front in Washington.

Guest

Transcript

JEREMY HOBSON, HOST:

It's HERE AND NOW.

And we started this week with some encouraging signs for proponents of immigration reform. Republicans on Capitol Hill were talking about plans to pass piecemeal reform measures. But yesterday House Speaker John Boehner said that even though he had high hopes for moving the legislation forward, his Republican caucus's distrust of President Obama may keep him from doing so.

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: The president is asking us to move one of the biggest bills of his presidency, and yet he has shown very little willingness to work with us on the smallest of things, whether it's the SKILLS Act, a couple of other bills. The president can reach out and work with us on those and begin the process of rebuilding the trust between the American people and his presidency.

HOBSON: So is that it for immigration reform for now? Joining us from Doral, Florida is Jorge Ramos, Univision news anchor and host of "America with Jorge Ramos" on Fusion. Jorge, welcome back.

JORGE RAMOS: Thank you.

HOBSON: Well, let's talk about what's happening here. Just last week, the GOP unveiled these standards for immigration reform, which include a path to legal status for 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country, tougher border security, a path to citizenship for kids who were brought into the country illegally. And now, based on what we're hearing from John Boehner, it sounds like they're backing away.

RAMOS: I think so. And it is very confusing for many people within the Hispanic community because they felt that these lists of standards on immigration reform was the beginning of a debate, and it was welcomed by millions in the Hispanic community. And just a few days later, they're saying, no, I'm sorry, that's not exactly what we meant. Really at this point we can only blame Republicans and Speaker John Boehner for blocking immigration reform.

And it seems that they did this political calculation that they can wait. They can wait until next year or maybe 2016 for immigration reform. What they have to know is that Latinos will remember and that they will blame Republicans. And if they continue doing this, and blocking immigration reform, Republicans will lose again the White House in 2016.

HOBSON: But they seemed to have made the calculation that they're better off - or at least some Republicans have made the calculation that they're better off not passing it than passing it.

RAMOS: Exactly. I understand that. But I think they're wrong. I think - their talking points right now as you - as we listen to John Boehner and other Republicans, is that President Barack Obama is to blame for not having immigration reform. And we called on President Barack Obama for not keeping his promise in year 2009. But that was 2009. 2014, Republicans are to blame. If Speaker John Boehner wants to bring immigration reform to a vote, he can do it. He can do it tomorrow. But he simply won't do it.

It seems that they really don't get it. They don't understand that the Hispanic community is growing, that in 2016, 16 million voters will go to the polls, that, really, Republicans' future depends on the Hispanic vote and that before Latinos will really take another look on Republicans, they have to resolve immigration. But they simply are not taken seriously. And again, I think Hispanics will remember this moment.

HOBSON: Would Latinos, though, accept the idea that the Republicans were proposing, which is not a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented here but a path to legal status? It was a watered-down version of what the Senate had passed last summer.

RAMOS: Yeah. I think you're right. It is a very divisive issue within the Hispanic community because, as you know, many people think that it is un-American not to propose a path to citizenship. However, when you talk - and I do that every single day - when you talk to undocumented immigrants, what they tell you, what they tell me, is that the most important thing for them is to be able to be in this country legally, to work in this country, to go back to their country of origin if they have to, to visit their family, their parents, and that citizenship, it is - at least right now - not the most important thing.

So even President Barack Obama - when he gave an interview to CNN - he did say - he was moving. President Barack Obama clearly moving. He said that he was not going to veto any legislation that would include legalization without a path to citizenship. But I think Republicans understood clearly that this was not going to bring any votes to them. Legalization without a path to citizenship was going to be politically exactly the same thing for them in 2016 and they decided not to move on it.

HOBSON: But let's listen to what John Boehner said, because he did point the finger at President Obama. Here's a clip.

BOEHNER: 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.

HOBSON: Now, what about that, Jorge Ramos, the idea that the immigration - that the president is not enforcing the laws that are on the books - although we should note that there were 369,000 deportations last year in this country, which was nine times more than existed 20 years ago. There have been almost two million since Obama took office.

RAMOS: That's really ridiculous. Not enforcing the law? Well, talk to the almost two million undocumented immigrants who have been deported while President Obama has been in power, more than any other president in the history of the United States. Many people call him deporter-in-chief. So yes, clearly the border is more secured than ever before, than ever before. More people have been deported than ever before.

So really, what we have to do is something about the 11 million undocumented immigrants in this country. So it is ridiculous to blame President Barack Obama for not enforcing the law right now, and it is just an excuse for Republicans to not move on immigration reform. They really have to move on immigration reform, but they won't do it.

HOBSON: You don't think that they will. We just have a few seconds left, but you think the issue's dead?

RAMOS: I'm very pessimistic about that. And the consequences for Republicans will be felt in 2016.

HOBSON: Jorge Ramos from Univision and Fusion, thanks so much for speaking with us as always.

RAMOS: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • loyal listener

    Yet another very biased story in favor of amnesty for illegal immigrants. And you interviewed Jorge Ramos AGAIN! With no one to represent the other viewpoint on this very controversial topic…AGAIN! Hey Jeremy: newsflash. .. not everyone wants “comprehensive” immigration reform. Like Boehner said (which you ignored), Obama won’t enforce the current immigration laws, what makes you think he would enforce new immigration laws????

    • VENTO MONTE

      Jorge Ramos is 100% in favor of the Illegals, as well he is a testicles leaker to win; BUT HE WILL NOT SUCCEED, THE AMERICANS ARE MOST POWERFULL!!!!!!

  • dialyn

    Why should I trust Boehner? He’s pretending the Republicans are more trustworthy than the Democrats or Independent, but the reality is that he flips over every time the Tea Party throws a hissy fit. This has nothing to do with immigration, but can anyone explain to me the Republican defense of giving unemployment to millionaires, which appears to be one of their requirements for passing extended unemployment payments?

    • jonathanpulliam

      You should trust Boehner because he’s a competent, reasonable person.

  • M S

    Jorge Ramos is a joke. It’s pretty un-American to reward lawbreakers with citizenship. Great job NPR! Another biased, pro-illegal immigration news story.

    • jonathanpulliam

      Calling persons “lawbreakers” who have not yet had their cases adjudicated, as is their right under U.S, law is offensive to any notion of due process. Deporting these persons without respect for U.S law is reprehensible, and rises, in my opinion, to the very sort of “high crimes and misdemeanors” which disqualifies President Obama from serving as President. He is a stain on our national dignity owing to his pattern of reflexive refusal to adhere to the confines of a President’s constitutionally delineated executive powers.

      • M S

        Oh please, their presence on U.S. soil is enough evidence for me.

      • vento monte

        yes; you are right, Obama is a dirty stain trying to help illegals have rights, & that is not accepted by the American people!!!!

  • RAOUL ORNELAS

    Here is the bottom line for the Boehner, Mitch McConnell, Koch brothers driven slogans like: “The American people don’t”, The American people don’t trust the President” or the Classic Mitch McConnell “NO”statements on every proposal made by the President: Republican elitist don’t like Mexicans, people of any color or even anglos unless they earn $250,000.00 a year or more. For these people money, not ethics or moral underpinnings of a person, makes the man and woman. What we are witnessing is a remerging of the old George Wallace statement couched in a slightly different format but with the same message: No immigration reform now, no immigration reform tomorrow and ……….NO IMMIGRATION REFORM FOREVER!
    Come the November 2014 elections, about three or four months before the actual elections, we will start seeing Republican Governors, Senators and Representatives taking Spanish lessons to win votes when they make false promises to Latino voters because they believe Latinos are have short memories and can be fooled. We will also see Mitch McConnell and John Boehner return from their negative Hyde narratives back to their Dr. Jekyll rope-a-dope politics of pretending, just before election time, that immigration reform in total is imminent……ready to be approved by the House of Representatives, that is, if one has the correct Koch brother approved I.D., is will to stand in line for eight to ten hours in a gerrymandered district to vote1?!
    Actually, Republicans are not interested in the 2016 Presidential elections. Why, you may ask? – because they have learned to govern by obstruction which does not require a President from any party. Democracy in America has been ruined for the sake of money.

    • jonathanpulliam

      I can’t wait to see you proven wrong at the upcoming elections. Democrats are going to lose seats everywhere.

  • RLJR1

    TAKE CARE OF THE PEOPLE OF THE US FIRST KICK ALL THE ILLEGALS OUT STOP THE ANCHOR BABY CORRUPTION BULL NO YOURE NOT A CITIZAN OF DA UNITED COMMUNIST STATES OF AMERICA LIKE OBAMA WANTS

    • RAOUL ORNELAS

      You sounds like what the American natives were stating when the Pilgrims came for a visit in America, never left, and stole everything under the name of some God that approved of theft and killing. RLJR1 it’s time for you to go back to England.

      • Cdidan

        RLJR1 am Native American get the hell out tired of u

        • eg55

          You are not Native American you are just one more hater that leaves out the benefits money that comes from illegals.

          • jonathanpulliam

            Timing is everything in life. We’re in the midst of a 10-year “Great Recession”. This is no time to promote an alphabet soup of new flavors of H1B visas. As to deportations, the former practice of prioritizing only the deporting of convicted felons seems reasonable to me. The immigration reform Democrats want is a trojan horse for a corporate assault on hard won workers’ compensation.

        • jonathanpulliam

          Are you a pretendian like our Senator Elizabeth Warren?

    • eg55

      Why is so hard for you to understand that this people need documents?

    • KEN

      RLJR1
      U CAN`T IMAGINE HOW MUCH MONEY U.S GOVT WILL MAKE BY GIVING LEGAL STATUS TO ILLEGAL.
      GOOD JOB RAOUL

  • it_disqus

    What does “immigration reform” mean when we have never enforced our immigration laws? We did this same thing in the 80′s. When is being here illegally going to be illegal?

    • RAOUL ORNELAS

      Actually we have enforced our immigration laws, but it takes man power to do so and Republicans don’t want to pay for the man power, they would rather build phony security walls yet because America is addicted to cheap labor and drugs these mythical Republican walls for security won’t and never will work, however, they do provide for an endless dialog about security first before beginning immigration reform. Second, enforcement begins at the employer level via employers who salivate at the though of making huge amounts of money by passing immigration laws.

      • it_disqus

        We have enforced our immigration laws but it is the Republicans fault??!?!? Wow.

      • VENTO MONTE

        We never needed wetback to pick up the field harvest, we have plenty of force from south Texas & all Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana legal immigrants & no dirty greasers they cross our borders because they are shameless!!!!!!!!

        • RAOUL

          I agree, send those dirty greasers and spics back to their home countries so that Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana can resort to slave labor wages to pay American field workers, then keep bigot ball rolling by shutting down all those dirty greaser restaurants like Taco Bell, Chipoltie and any restaurant that serves Chimichangas, tacos, carne asada, tamales refried beans…… you name it, make a clean sweep of eliminating greaser food from the American pallet, then follow up by renaming all the main highways of America that have Spanish names with good old redneck bigotry names like McConnell or Boehner highways. Now if we did all the above according to the plan I have linked from your plan America would go broke and starve to death. Keep up the good old bigotry work…… your doing a hell of a job.
          Question: What would you call the Pilgrims when they invaded America and stole the land fair and square from the natives of Americas? Answer: White greaser thieves!

  • Geheran1958

    Immigration reform may have “stalled” in Congress that hasn’t deterred Barry O administration from opening the floodgates for Muslim immigration with “loose ties” to extremism in their past. With two recent episodes of “dry runs” on US infrastructure (Quabbin Reservoir and the electrical grid in California), more immigration from this source is not a good idea. That aside, consider this:
    In every country where Muslims are in the minority they are obsessed with minority rights. In every country with a Muslim majority there are NO minority rights.

    • jonathanpulliam

      I wish we’d deport you.

      • M S

        The idea of summarily deporting U.S. citizens is equivalent to the tools of the Third Reich.

  • Cacimo

    America has high unemployment, so lets give a bunch more people the right to work here legally. That should really help the job seekers. Hopefully those pushing this like NPR reporters will be the first to lose their jobs.

  • luisa

    America loves cheap labor, corporate America loves cheap labor, undocumented immigrants wouldn’t be here if they wouldn’t be offered a job. Who is to blame, well Corporate America, just plane and simple. Supply and demand. The 11 million that are here already, they have been working all these years. Employers prefer to hire an undocumented insted of an American citizen because they can exploit them and not even pay minimum wage. Wake up people. It is not these 11 million people’s fault, it is American greed. There are plenty of jobs out there but Americans don’t want to do them so guess what, they hire who ever is willing to do them, so stop complaining that we all contribute to undocumented immigration by benefiting of buying goods and housing at a very low cost. Are you willing to pay more for your food and housing???

    • Charles Edward Brown

      The 11 million illegal aliens drive down wages for the poorest Americans. They should be deported.

      • jonathanpulliam

        Ignorant, intellectually lazy twits who make irresponsible posts like yours represent a greater threat to U.S competitiveness, by far, than productive, hard-working immigrants.

        • VENTO MONTE

          what do you mean? are defending the illegals? If you are you better get in their bowl beans to smash with them when the things are going to get sour here in the USA BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE!!!!

    • jonathanpulliam

      Go back to Russia.

    • vento monte

      when Obama’s term as President, things are going to change, because the Republicans are taking over & it’s a Texas candidate.

  • TimPrestki

    The racists Republicans already lost the vote from the Black community in the US. If the thea Party puppets don’t do something for resolve the immigration issue; all these expired grumpy racists will LOSE FOREVER THE HISPANIC VOTE, ALSO THE ASIANS WILL REJECT AND BLAME TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY FOREVER AND EVER!! Everyone will vote for the Democrats which aren often more realistics.
    !! BLAME ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!! THEY ARE THE ANTI IMMIGRANTS EXTREMIST IN THIS COUNTRY!!Therefore, If they don’t FIX the immigration problem in United States Of America they will NOT going to win the presidencial race NEVER..!!

    • Carolyn Walker

      The Hispanic people won’t vote for Republicans,,,so why should Republicans help them

      • rsmith1

        Carolyn, I was going to write a long response explaining voting trends of Hispanics in US, but will limit myself to this short message.

        Hispanics historically voted Republican due to many shared values (look at south Florida), but we’ve alienated them in mid 2000′s by going along with xenophobic minority within our ranks. We are doing the same thing we’ve done to the blacks. Now, even though Hispanics disagree with every Democratic position (except Immigration), they will vote for Democrats for a long time. We’ve done it to ourselves.

        What’s worse? This issue (along with a few others) divided us and forced moderate Republicans (some call them RINO’s) to turn Independent. We are loosing Religious groups, Business groups, youngsters and alienated every minority (which will eventually become majority). What a “jolly” future we are creating for ourselves.

        • VENTO MONTE

          THE DEMS ERA IS OVER/ IS TIME TO PUT LAW & ORDER WITH REAL MAN POWER THE REPUBLICANS & OUT THE ILLEGALS.

    • jonathanpulliam

      You really ought to get back on your meds, Tim.

  • TimPrestki

    The racists Republicans already lost the vote from the Black community in the US. If the thea Party puppets don’t do something for resolve the immigration issue; all these expired grumpy racists will LOSE FOREVER THE HISPANIC VOTE, ALSO THE ASIANS WILL REJECT AND BLAME TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY FOREVER AND EVER!! Everyone will vote for the Democrats which aren often more realistics.
    !! BLAME ON THE REPUBLICAN PARTY!! THEY ARE THE ANTI IMMIGRANTS EXTREMIST IN THIS COUNTRY!!Therefore, If they don’t FIX the immigration problem in United States Of America they will NOT going to win the presidencial race NEVER..!!

  • Charles Edward Brown

    We need our Federal immigration laws enforced and all illegal aliens should be deported. Immigration Reform should require E-Verify be mandatory and retro-active so that all employers of illegal aliens will fire them. With no jobs and not chance to get another job, these millions of illegal aliens will leave on their own.

    • jonathanpulliam

      Pathetic.

  • TimPrestki

    I will NOT vote again for the Republican Party…. I’m NOT a coward, nor a pathetic racist lier!! I love my Country and his diversity… We can’t go back to the 50′s!! Wake up America.. we are leaving in the 21th Century..!!! We have to FIX the current broken immigration in US.

    • jonathanpulliam

      You say you’re neither a coward nor a racist liar, but I don’t believe you.

  • earth

    If there is “WILL” there is definitely a ” WAY” to solutions.

  • eg55

    Good excuse Boehner now blame the President, when we all know that the Republicans care less for the illegals that work hard for America for years. That is just not fair they need documents.

    • jonathanpulliam

      Seems immigrant advocacy groups consistently gave higher marks to Bush I & II than either Clinton or Obama. Obama has proven to be sort of a mini-me Reinhard Heydrich or Heinrich Himmler, if you’re just appraising his humanitarian inclinations as exemplified by adherence to U.S. law and due process vis-a-vis perosns of non-regularized immigration status. Bush II introduced, along with Ted Kennedy, an immigration reform bill, which Republicans like John McCain supported, but Democrats torpedoed the bill.

  • Hin

    It’s better to deport republicans than illegal coz they are hitler styles. Bad luck for them.

  • legalbcmIlegalDueRepublic

    John Boehner will ruin republic and Republic will ruin USA.

  • jason strong

    The truth is RepubliKKKan party’s MAIN PRIORITY in politics is to keep Immigrants and minorities OPPRESSED and SEFFERING even at the cost of elections.

  • Matandolacorruption

    Boehner, Boehner, Boehnee. Stop wiping the Tea Party’s B***. We are paying you to do a job, we are paying you to work for the people. we are not paying you to work for certain group of people. Don’t let a group a racist people do your job. You well know that a reform will make this country strong. Stop with those stupid excuses. You know that we have all the votes for a reform to pass. Why you keep holding it?. It is you and couple other racist people that are holding it. Let it go so that we the public can see what the outcome is. RACIST PEOPLE ARE NOT ALLOW IN THIS COUNTRY YOU AND YOUR TEA PARTY GROUP BECAUSE YOU ARE ONE OF THEM SHOULD BE SEND TO PRISON FOR LIFE BECAUSE YOU ARE KILLING THE DREAMS OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE, PEOPLE THAT HAVE FAMILIES TO SUPPORT, PEOPLE THAT WANT TO SAVE SOME MONEY FOR THEIR RETIREMENT, THESE PEOPLE ARE HARD WORKING INDIVIDUALS, THESE PEOPLE SUPPORT THE ECONOMY OF THIS COUNTY EVERY DAY, THESE PEOPLE PAY TAXES SO THAT YOU CAN HAVE ALL THE BENEFITS THAT THEY DON’T HAVE. THIS IS A GREAT NATION, A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN YOUR LIFE SEE IF YOU CAN DO THE RIGHT THING.

  • ken

    who cares for citizenship just give legal status so they can work legally and visit their family.
    it would be great.if they can do that much and not blaming any political party.just think about nation. if they dont move now thn problem for repulican in coming elections.

    • wigglwagon

      Why not enforce the law? That will put 10 million Americans back to work and off of welfare.

  • Ken

    By posting comment here it won’t really work. We all should really make him understand why reform should be done in 2014. If it does not happen now thn they will never do it.

  • earth

    Tea Party Republicans need to work with Democrats for safety of American people from tracking and solving likely terrorist through the Immigration Reform on Emergency 911 basis. Cheers ! . Tea Party Republicans should not be racist and blame the Democratically elected President by the majority of American People and Tea PArty Republicans got to TRUST the President like a Jesus Christ(God) for American People.

    • TimPrestki

      The Republicans, specifically the GOP Congress are the ones who will crucify to the Lord.

      • earth

        President has Jesus Christ looks and mind of peace.

    • jonathanpulliam

      “All your bases are belong to us.”

  • Sun_ny

    Simply triple the amount allocated for deportations and problem is solved in 12 years, why to blame anyone after crossing borders illegally or overstaying visas, doing identity theft, looting public assistance and facilities and then in a deportation queue.

  • wwagner

    I strongly support immigration reform. We can’t blind to 12 million people without document in this country. We need to act now for the safty of our nation, safty of our neiboughhood, and for the humanism. It’s irresponsible and dosn’t make any sense to let it sitting there

    • Melissa Montana

      The citizens of these states owe illegal aliens nothing

      • jonathanpulliam

        Your sentiment wasn’t very convincing the first time you spewed it.

  • earth

    I am a supporter of Republicans, but when Tea Party Republicans throw cheap craps and doing nothing hurts my support for them. I feel sorry to see their behavior of not willing to move America forward.

  • Randy L

    Do you even know the history of Reagan’s amnesty? Millions
    were given citizenship; the Democrats AND Republicans reneged on their promise
    of enforcement and look what happened. We, now, have 11 – 20 million people, as
    opposed to 3 million in 1986, here without permission.

    E-Verify, WITH TEETH, will force these businesses to obey
    the law or they lose their business. It will eliminate the incentives for
    people to come here illegally, jobs. It will force the ones here to go back to
    where they came from, be it Canada or south of us.

    Consider how many people are out of work, or under employed,
    in our country. Consider that millions of people, here illegally, have jobs
    outside of agriculture; construction, fast food, hotels/motels and, numerous
    other fields that Americans used to do until business realized that no one
    would punish them for hiring illegal aliens. Unless you’re a spoiled rich kid,
    where your parents cover all your costs for everything, the youth of today have
    to fight for these jobs, if they’re available to the public.

    Look at the latest reports on how well Americans are doing,
    the screams for jobs in our country. Look at the CBO reports on how our country
    will fare in lower wages and higher unemployment if millions gain legal status
    for, at least, the next decade.

    People like Zuckerberg/Facebook and Microsoft. These businesses are colluding with
    politicians to allow even more H1B visas for the higher wage jobs, impacting
    the plight of middle class Americans.

    Politicians and business….read the news reports of who wants
    immigration reform and look at what they are asking for, then, look at who will
    benefit from it and who it will be a detriment to.

    Open your eyes; don’t follow blindly because someone says
    it’s the right thing to do. Think for yourself, Watch/read the bias from both
    sides and make an informed choice, and, not just for immigration, for
    everything. Quit being pawns.

  • dialyn

    I wouldn’t want to play poker with Sen. Chuck Schumer — he not only called Boehner’s bluff (and that of his wealthy handlers) but he took a lot of steam out of their tiresome ploy to blame their lack of ability to do anything on Obama. I don’t know why the Republican insist on catering to bigots and racists (must be those giant checkbooks they wave around) but it’s deteriorating the party which used to have some credibility and now is just a protective shield for corporations and the ultra-wealthy. Very sad.

  • Melissa Montana

    The citizens of these states owe illegal aliens nothing.

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