Here’s the Real Reason Why Republicans Won’t Do Anything About Immigration Reform

1405811701000-000Even though it hasn’t been in the headlines much the last couple of weeks due to the ongoing debate over the Mike Brown and Eric Garner deaths, the controversy over President Obama’s executive action on immigration is still simmering within the Republican party. In fact, I fully expect it to boil over as soon as the holiday season is over.


But the truth is, ultimately nothing is going to happen. President Obama’s executive orders will stand, Congress won’t pass a comprehensive immigration reform bill and Republicans certainly won’t shut down the government for a second time. Though there is certain to be plenty of fear-mongering rhetoric coming from the GOP and the conservative media in the coming weeks about Obama’s executive actions.

However, the question still remains, why won’t Republicans just pass an immigration reform bill?

Well, the answer to that is simple: Because they can’t.

You see, Republicans are stuck between a rock and a racist place. If they come out and outright reject these sensible measures to deal with illegal immigration, they’ll be seen as out of touch by young voters and as racists by many Latinos. And with 2016 just around the corner, the last thing the GOP wants to do is go on the record alienating Latino voters that they’ll desperately need if they want to stand any chance at reclaiming the White House this next presidential election. But they also can’t embrace comprehensive immigration reform because that would really tick off many of their far-right conservative voters who feverishly oppose any plan on immigration other than “deport them all, build a wall!”

So, what’s their only real option? It’s simple. They’re going to paint President Obama as some kind of unconstitutional dictator who  doesn’t want to work with Congress, threaten to shut down the government as to appear “tough,” but ultimately they won’t do much of anything because they really don’t have the power to do anything to stop the president.

And they know it.


All this posturing is nothing more than pandering to far-right conservatives who are too ignorant to realize that the reason why Republicans won’t shut down the government, or pass comprehensive immigration reform themselves, is because they support President Obama’s plan on immigration. They just can’t publicly say that because they know it will send tea party conservatives into a racial frenzy that could possibly ruin any chance they have in 2016.

It’s the ultimate passive-aggressive approach to immigration. Republicans don’t have to go on the record (via a vote) on either side of the immigration debate (saving themselves from possibly alienating their base and/or the Latino vote), but they really don’t plan to go through with any of their threats against the president because they know those drastic measures would ultimately backfire against their party.

So, at the end of the day what will ultimately happen? Well, in the coming weeks a fussy GOP will continue to throw a temper tantrum like a petulant child that will ultimately accomplish absolutely nothing because deep down Republicans know there’s nothing they can really do. And at the end of the day, all this “Obama is an unconstitutional king/dictator/emperor” nonsense is nothing more than political fodder for the right-wing media to use in their ongoing effort to continually fear-monger against anything and everything President Obama does.



Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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  • LMB

    There needs to be some sort of guidelines set in place that state they must vote on a bill within 90 days of receiving it and if they reject it, they must submit their revised version within 30 days of said rejection. If they feel that they need an extention to further discuss a bill, a written request must be submitted and approved for an extra 30 days. Failure to comply means a 30 day suspension without pay. They don’t want to work, we need to MAKE THEM!

    • Dwight Wilkerson

      LMB there is just 1 huge flaw with your proposal. It is far to straight forward and honest and lacks room for posturing and propaganda in forcing politicians to actually do the jobs that they were elected to do or else, to ever have a chance of being adopted. It is a nice dream though!

  • regressive teaparty trash

    vote reeeeeeeeee-publican!!! they always do what is GOOD 4 ALL AMERICANS!! ( see: past 30 or so years)

  • Kenneth Parsons

    The GOP donors (big business) doesn’t want to send these people home, they enjoy the hard work for slave wages. The Democrats have tried to impose heavy fines on employers that hire illegals, but the GOP blocks them every time. Big fines, no work and no need to cross the border, but big business would suffer.

  • paulroden

    The Republicans like the way the immigration situation is because they want to be able to exploit the labor of illegal immigrants who do their housekeeping, child care, landscaping, harvest their agricultural crops for their rich supporters and corporate agribusiness. They don’t want to have labor protections for these workers or a path to citizenship. They want a cheap labor pool and if any worker complains, they get deported. This is just another symptom of their greed addiction. The only money they want to see spent is on deportation and building more and higher fences, with more high tech, expensive sensors, lights, radar, and other equipment for Border Patrol agents so that the suppliers can make more profits off of us the taxpayers. They just want another issue to beat Obama and the Democrats up over. They really don’t want reform, even if they control both houses of the Congress and the office of the Presidency.

    • strayaway

      You are essentially correct. Establishment Republicans, as embodied by the US Chamber of Commerce, want a supply of domestic cheap labor for the same reason they want free trade – for profits. That’s why the US Chamber of Commerce supports legislation along the lines of the immigration “reform’ bill that passed the Senate. Among other things, it more than doubles the number of foreign IT workers allowed to replace US IT workers for cheaper wages. It goes beyond providing cheap sweatshop labor and also attacks US middle class jobs. Legal alien workers allowed in on permits amount to latter day corporate indentured servants brought in to drive down salaries and raise profits.

    • blackeyes

      Exactly!!!

    • blackeyes

      What I really have come to hate is the way the Republicans come together in lockstep and say essentially the same things in slightly different ways, but over & over & over again, hoping they will stick… no deviations allowed, and then they beat up our president every day over the same few things, day in – day out! When they lose, as with Benghazi, it is suddenly quiet, and the news is released on a day when no one is paying attention. The good thing about Democrats (& the trouble too) is we express our true selves and varied opinions, not lockstep… That makes us vulnerable to people like the Fox “News” crew. President Obama is such a strong man… he tolerates all of it and how he does that without exploding is awesome!