After four years of near-silence, former President George W. Bush will reenter the public debate on Wednesday to declare his support for immigration reform — on exactly the same day that Washington is declaring immigration reform dead. Republicans have only won the popular vote once in six presidential elections — and that single time was when Bush won in 2004 with 40 percent of the Hispanic vote. In prepared remarks at a citizenship ceremony in at his presidential library in Dallas, NBC News reports that Bush says that "our whole nation benefits" from immigration, and that "America can be a lawful society and a welcoming society all at the same time." He adds, "I don't intend to get involved in the politics or the specific of policy, but I do hope there's a positive resolution to the debate." But right now, House Republicans think the most positive resolution to the debate is to put it on hold until after the 2014 midterm elections.
Immigration reform is marching toward a "slow death," Politico's Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei report. “The belief among House Republicans is that they’re going to do well in the midterms, and that instead of negotiating now from a position of weakness, they should wait until 2015,” a Republican lobbyist told Politico. That follows what two Republican leadership aides told The New York Times in late June: "Speaker John A. Boehner has no intention of angering conservative voters and jeopardizing the House Republican majority in 2014 in the interest of courting Hispanic voters on behalf of a 2016 Republican presidential nominee who does not yet exist."