For the second time in less than a week, the House of Representatives failed to pass a Republican bill aimed at reforming America’s faltering immigration system. Blocked by a vote of 121-301 Wednesday, June 27, the so-called ‘compromise’ bill became plan B for Republicans after it was made clear that there was not enough support for the more conservative immigration bill, which was also defeated just days earlier.
The failure of both was fairly predictable. The Democratic Party position on the issue is clear and Republicans are struggling to craft a solution that will please both the moderate and conservative wings of their own party.
Where the Parties Stand
Democrats want the immigration issue to campaign on. Every honest observer knows this. For them, Illegal aliens are the ideal demographic; overwhelmingly non-white, poor, relatively uneducated, and mostly willing to support politicians who feign compassion for them and offer them amnesty. Democrats see them as the future voting base.
With this in mind, it becomes clear that the opposition will continue to refuse to back any reform of U.S. immigration policy. The last thing Democrats want is to hand Republicans a victory on immigration. Therefore, it is unlikely that they would support a Republican bill even if that bill handed them everything they want. Confident that they will always be able to blame Republicans for the plight of illegal aliens, Democrats are happy to sit back and watch the situation become worse, steadfastly ignoring the humanitarian catastrophe of mass illegal immigration.
The conservative wing of the Republican Party is not unified on the issue of how to handle this. Some supported the more hardline bill and only that bill while others negotiated the compromise bill. The two main points of contention on the Republican side are the stricter enforcement of current immigration laws – such as the use of the employer e-verify system – and the fate of those enrolled in the now-defunct Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
Even if House Republicans were able to muster enough votes to get a bill to the Senate, it would certainly die there. The party’s Senate majority is, for all intents and purposes, non-existent, and with no Democrat support, immigration reform stands no chance of landing on the president’s desk.Justice Kennedy
The Supreme Court Distraction
As the media and political establishment braced itself for immigration to dominate the 2018 midterms, Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement from the United States Supreme Court. With Republicans well placed to build on their Senate majority in the November midterms, Democrats will have little choice but to shift their focus from House to Senate races. Suddenly, the nomination of Kennedy’s replacement has overshadowed the immigration fight and practically every other issue.
In case things don’t go according to plan for Republicans in November, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is planning to hold confirmation proceedings, by the fall, for whoever Trump nominates to the Supreme Court. Democrats will do everything in their power to prevent that. For those still focused on immigration, as the public’s attention is drawn elsewhere, a comprehensive solution must appear as far off as ever.