When John Boehner says Republicans can't trust Barack Obama on immigration reform, my first thought is to take a sarcastic swipe at his hypocrisy. A snarky headline jumps to mind: House Speaker Pot Calls President Kettle Untrustworthy.
On second thought, I'll stick with the facts to make a case that nobody in Washington is trusted.
Let's start with Boehner: He titillated Washington with talk of a compromise on immigration, an issue in need of reform to bring 11 million illegal residents out of the shadows, to boost the economy, and to potentially save the GOP from extinction. After hard-right lawmakers, commentators, and interest groups labeled the effort amnesty, Boehner retreated.
He deflected blame to Obama, saying Republicans wouldn't be able to trust any deal cut with the White House. "The president is going to have to rebuild the trust (so) that the American people (and) my colleagues can trust him to enforce the law the way it was written," the speaker said.
That's a poor excuse. The fact is the Obama administration has deported nearly as many people as were deported between 1892 and 1997, a level of enforcement that has angered the Hispanic community and other allies. In addition, any new immigration law likely would not take full effect until after Obama leaves office.