Support for comprehensive immigration reform is strong and only growing stronger, but House Republican leaders have refused to take action so far. Even if they don’t want to listen to the broad support coming from the overwhelming majority of Americans, they’ll surely listen to Members of their own party, right? Guess not. As reported by the Washington Post, House GOP leaders told Republican Representative Mario Diaz-Balart that immigration reform is dead:
“GOP Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, a key player in the House on immigration, just met with the House GOP leadership to make one final plea that Republicans act on immigration reform in the face of the current crisis. He was told that it is dead for the year.”
“In an interview with me just now, Diaz-Balart confirmed the meeting, and said he is ‘very disappointed’ in his party’s decision not to move forward. Crucially, he cast the GOP leadership’s refusal to move forward as the key obstacle to reform. He said he had legislation ready to go, and that his conversations convinced him that a solid number of Republicans and Democrats would have supported it.”
“‘I’m seriously disappointed,’ Diaz-Balart told me. ‘We have a historic opportunity to fix a system everyone knows is broken. We’re squandering that opportunity. The bottom line is, we have a bill that is ready to go. We had bipartisan support. And yet I’ve been told we’re not going to move forward this year.’”
“‘The current crisis has thrown a bucket of cold water on reform, and to me, that’s interesting,’ Diaz-Balart said. ‘It’s precisely another demonstration that we have a broken system that has to be fixed. And we have legislation to do that.’”
“Diaz-Balart’s comments provide another indication that the primary obstacle to moving forward on solving the broader crisis here has always been the House GOP leadership’s refusal to do so. The Republican reaction to the current border mess — treat it as an argument against broader reform, when it is actually an argument for it — only further underscores this basic overarching truth about the debate.”
House Democrats aren’t going to stop calling on House Republicans to act on immigration reform – and neither will the American people. House Republican leaders can change their minds at any point, and allow the House to work its will. It’s clear that if they did, immigration reform would pass. The blame for inaction falls squarely on the House GOP.