Congressman Paulsen Abandons Immigration Reform

One day after President Obama called on the House to pass a comprehensive, commonsense immigration reform bill, Congressman Erik Paulsen’s Republican leadership has announced that they will once again oppose reasonable solutions and block immigration reform for the rest of the year.

Politico reported this morning that Congressman Paulsen’s Republican leadership has no plans to bring any comprehensive immigration reform up for a vote this year, and that they do not believe there are enough Republican votes for any immigration legislation. Independent observers have noted that the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform become even more dismal in an election year like 2014. Meanwhile, the Senate has already passed reform legislation with a broad bipartisan majority that secures our borders, protects workers, gives immigrants an earned pathway to citizenship and boosts our economy.

“Congressman Paulsen’s Republican leadership has admitted that they will block all reforms to our immigration system for the rest of the year, following in the footsteps of their failed government shutdown strategy of rejecting all bipartisan cooperation,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “The Senate has already passed a commonsense, bipartisan immigration reform bill with broad support from business groups who say reform would help grow our economy, yet Congressman Paulsen and House Republicans continue to be the one roadblock to reasonable solutions, admitting today that they are abandoning immigration reform all together.”

BACKGROUND:

House Republicans are Refusing to Allow a Vote on Comprehensive Immigration Reform. “House Republican leadership has no plans to vote on any immigration reform legislation before the end the year. […] Following the fiscal battles last month, the internal political dynamics are tenuous within the House Republican Conference. A growing chorus of GOP lawmakers and aides are intensely skeptical that any of the party’s preferred piecemeal immigration bills can garner the support 217 Republicans — they would need that if Democrats didn’t lend their votes. Republican leadership doesn’t see anyone coalescing around a single plan, according to sources across GOP leadership.” [Politico, 10/25/13]

Headline: House GOP plans no immigration vote in 2013 [Politico, 10/25/13]

House Republican That Participated in Immigration Reform Talks Said Immigration Reform was Dead Because of Republican Government Shutdown. “The bad blood between House Republicans and President Barack Obama has only worsened since the fight over funding the government and paying its debts, and Rep. Raúl Labrador (R-Idaho) said Wednesday that it had doomed any chances for immigration reform. After Labrador said during an event with conservative members that they could no longer trust the president on immigration, HuffPost asked him a simple question: Is it dead? ‘I think it is,’ he replied. ‘For us to go to a negotiation, to the negotiating table with President Obama after what he has done over the last two and a half weeks, I think would be probably a very big mistake.’” [Huffington Post, 10/16/13]