Saturday, April 18, 2015
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Immigration’s house of mirrors

navarrette column sig

By
From page A7 | February 06, 2014 |

SAN DIEGO — When the topic is immigration reform, Republicans can be counted on to infuriate.

Before heading for an annual retreat for congressional Republicans, House Speaker John Boehner told reporters that this is the moment to tackle immigration.

“This problem’s been around for at least the last 15 years. It’s been turned into a political football, I think it’s unfair. So I think it’s time to deal with it,” said Boehner. “But how we deal with it is critically important.”

So how did Boehner deal with it? For the most part, badly.

First, the immigration problem has been around for a lot longer than 15 years. It’s been 28 years since President Ronald Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act, the last piece of comprehensive immigration reform legislation.

How did the figure “15 years” get stuck in Boehner’s head? What was happening 14 or 15 years ago? Answer: The 2000 Census, which showed that Hispanics accounted for 12.5 percent of the U.S. population. Today, that number is nearly 17 percent. Those changing demographics sparked the modern immigration debate. Boehner unwittingly admitted as much.

Next, at the GOP retreat, Boehner released a list of the six main “standards” that should guide Republicans on reforming the immigration system. More than half are off the mark or half-baked.

In the preamble, there is the absurd claim that immigration laws “are not being enforced.”

Really? With President Obama and the Department of Homeland Security on track to have deported 3.5 million people by the time Obama leaves office, how much more enforcement would Boehner and other Republicans like? Unless, of course, their goal is to remove every single illegal immigrant from the United States – all 11 million – and anything less than that signals a lack of resolve. If so, good luck reaching that goal.

Also, Republicans declare that border security and interior enforcement must come first.

This is right-wing boilerplate. You hear it from those talk-radio hosts who are passionate about an issue they don’t understand. It’s worth the amount of thought they put into it, which is not much. For one thing, we’ll never be able to seal off a 2,000-mile border that goes over mountains, deserts, rivers and private property. We could wait for years for the border to be declared fully secure, with our immigration system continuing to deteriorate all the while.

Besides, Republican leaders don’t appear to have considered the research by U.S.-Mexico border experts such as Douglas Massey, a professor at Princeton. Massey notes that the walls and fences we’ve built on the border in the past 20 years have made it more difficult for undocumented immigrants in the United States to return to Mexico even for a visit because they’re afraid that it will be too difficult to re-enter. So they stay put on this side of the border, where they start families and put down roots.

Finally, some good news. As for what we should do with illegal immigrants who are already here, the Republicans hit the sweet spot by offering what the undocumented really want (legal status) without bothering with what many of them don’t care about (citizenship).

For so-called “dreamers” – young people brought here by their parents – Republicans do even better by offering a path to legal residence and citizenship if they join the military or get a college degree. Sound familiar? It’s the DREAM Act that the majority of Republicans voted against in 2010. Now the GOP leaders are on board.

Or are they? In the house of mirrors known as the immigration debate, things are rarely what they seem. Several right-wing news sites have reported that, according to what rank-and-file Republicans say about what went on at the retreat, Boehner did not appear to be committed to pushing an immigration bill this year. He certainly wasn’t trying to sell one. It sounds like – despite what he is telling the media – he is agnostic on the subject. Not good.

Perhaps this is all just political theater, an attempt by House Republican leaders to fool people and brush off the immigration issue before the midterm elections. This would be disappointing but not surprising.

Republicans have, with a helping hand from the other side of the aisle, made quite a mess of the immigration debate. It could be that they’re not done yet.

Ruben Navarrette is a columnist for U-T San Diego. Reach him at [email protected]

Ruben Navarrette

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
 
Child care program helps teen parents, students

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Wood students entertain guests at Epcot

By Susan Hiland And Susan Winlow | From Page: A2

 
 
 
Solano County Science Fair continues to grow

By Bill Hicks | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Take stock of where you are now, and act

By Murray Bass | From Page: B8

 
Fairfield police log: April 16, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

Suisun City police log: April 16, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A9

 
Weather for Saturday, April 18, 2015

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B10

.

US / World

Family awarded rights to rare coins

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Dog flu outbreak sweeps across the Midwest

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 2 Comments

AG announces anti-bias training program

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

 
 
Gas-line blast closes Highway 99, injures at least 11

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Iraqi officials believe Saddam’s top deputy killed

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Germany mourns citizens lost in plane crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

 
Following Alps crash, debate over pilotless planes heats up

By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

.

Opinion

 
Time for meaningful financial reform

By Paul A. Volcker | From Page: A8, 1 Comment

 
.

Living

Today in history: Saturday, April 18, 2015

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Community Calendar: April 18, 2015

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

Horoscopes: April 18, 2015

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

 
My daughter is upset that I didn’t attend my former in-law’s funeral

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

Idea from Adam Sandler film used to soothe dementia patients

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

 
.

Entertainment

.

Sports

Athletics fall to Royals 6-4 in rematch of AL wild-card game

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Warriors, Pelicans enter series with different pedigrees

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

Prep softball: Seldon powers Rodriguez to victory over Armijo

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
JC baseball: Falcons win as Pavlovsky, Evans homer

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Prep badminton: Mustangs roll to 15-0 win over Wolves

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Prep baseball: Haney hurls Vanden to 3-2 win over Benicia

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

Armijo nears girls soccer title with 2-0 MEL win

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
SCAC girls roll past MEL 55-28 in All-Star hoops game

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

SCAC boys slip past MEL in entertaining All-Star game

By Marcus Lomtong | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Brazil eyes historic medal haul in 2016 Rio Olympics

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

2 weeks before Mayweather-Pacquiao, not a ticket to be seen

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Big Ten’s Delany lays out plan for freshman ineligibility

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Collmenter shuts down Giants, gets three hits in D-backs win

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Merritt’s 61 trumps Masters champion Spieth’s 62

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
2 minor league baseball teams to test game with 5-pitch rule

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NBA could alter schedule, but no change to playoffs, lottery

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Coonan stepping down as Santa Clara’s athletic director

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel says he “let down” fans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
49ers fullback Miller at home in Georgia after March arrest

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Rockhold hopes win over Machida launches him into contention

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Martina Hingis to make singles comeback in Fed Cup match

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Injured Giants fan throws out first ball in San Jose

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Flyers fire head coach Craig Berube after 2 seasons

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Hornets GM Cho: Stephenson ‘didn’t work like we expected’

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Before ruling out an upset in NBA East, listen to these guys

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Western Conference teams face perilous path to NBA Finals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
This date in sports history for April 18

By The Associated Press | From Page: B4

Back on the USA Network: Sports return with NHL playoffs

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10

 
.

Business

California home prices hit new 7-year high, sales rebound

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Secrecy shrouds decade-old oil spill in Gulf of Mexico

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5 | Gallery

Frederick’s of Hollywood reveals closing of retail stores

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Don’t plan to line up for Apple Watch next week

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

Google shaking up search recommendations on smartphones

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5

 
Glaxo recalls flu vaccine due to potency problem

By The Associated Press | From Page: B5, 2 Comments

.

Obituaries

Douglas Craig Sparks

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Carole Anspach

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Dennis Burkhart von Ting

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Wizard of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

 
Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

 
Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7