President Obama will renew his push for comprehensive immigration reform on Monday in San Francisco, part of his long-stalled three-point plan for improving the economy. Republicans continue to shrug. A year after all of Washington decide3d that immigration reform was a must-pass issue, activists are getting annoyed.
There's a parallel dimension in which Obama's insistence on the issue makes immediate political sense, a dimension in which Barack Obama narrowly lost reelection to a Republican candidate who was heavily supported by Latino voters, prompting self-reflection in the Democratic Party and necessitating that the outgoing president try to bolster his party's outreach. But that is not our dimension. Here, it's the Republicans who, a year ago, were fervent about trying to appeal to Latino voters but now have explicitly postponed the issue until at least next year.
As we noted Monday morning, Obama is being direct in trying to refocus the political conversation on the economy. Earlier this year, he outlined three ways in which he believed Congress could quickly bolster job and income growth — reach a budget deal, passage of the Farm Bill, and immigration reform. The Senate passed a compromise immigration bill in July, but the House never brought the legislation up for consideration. Two weeks ago, Speaker John Boehner announced that the House would never consider the Senate bill.