With the House of Representatives passing a suspension of the debt ceiling yesterday, perhaps it’s finally time for Congress to get to work on all of the other issues it’s been avoiding. How about immigration? Last night, Jon Stewart checked in on the status of immigration reform in a segment titled “American Border Story,” and there’s a reason he named it after a horror television series.
Why hasn’t anything been done on the issue? Even though immigration reform remains a top priority of President Barack Obama, Stewart points out that, as always, there’s just one problem: “Umm … Republicans.”
Because, you see, Congressional Republicans just can’t make up their mind on immigration reform. On January 30, Speaker of the House John Boehner said, “It’s time to deal with it.” Great news, right? In the words of Stewart, “Ladies and gentlemen, pass the nachos, I think this is going to happen.”
Except pundits aren’t on board, saying things like “I think it’s the one thing that could cost the Republicans the Senate.” Come on! “You bastards,” Stewart said. If these nay-saying pundits aren’t careful, Boehner and Republicans are going to change their minds.
Too late: “There is widespread doubt 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,” Boehner said on February 10, less than two weeks after he said that it was time to deal with the issue. What happened? Republicans can’t trust the president to enforce our laws? As Stewart said, this might be “the greatest projection in the history of psychology.”
Stewart ran through the list off the Congressional Republicans’ record of enacting laws, like voting 40-plus times to repeal Obamacare, blocking a substantial number of Obama’s nominations and appointments, and trying to gut regulations like Dodd-Frank. “The GOP saying they don’t trust the president’s ability to implement the law is like Bob Costas saying ‘No I don’t want to borrow your glasses, I don’t know where they’ve been,’” Stewart said.
The impasse on immigration reform has led us to what Stewart calls a “disingenu-off” riddled with passive-aggressive governance. So yes, immigration reform is still a frightening mess. Our only hope, according to Stewart: “Chris Christie 2016! Now there’s a guy who knows how to clog a border.”
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.