Unless the GOP can trust the President to enforce all elements of a bipartisan deal, legislative efforts are likely to fail.
In Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Obama highlighted immigration reform as one of his key priorities in 2014. To many observers, this might come as a welcome statement given multiple failed attempts to address the nation’s ineffective immigration laws over the past decade. But one leading Republican voice – whose influence might very well be crucial to the development of a comprehensive, bipartisan deal on the issue – says that now may not be the time to move forward.
“I don't know if it's going to happen this year; I don't know if it's going to happen with this administration,” said Rubio at a breakfast with reporters Wednesday morning. The Florida senator cites the President’s penchant for selective enforcement of laws as the key impediment to reform.
Referencing such events as the IRS scandal, the Benghazi consulate raid, and delays in implementing parts of the Affordable Care Act, Rubio stated, “This is evidence that the government – this administration – unilaterally decides which parts of the law to enforce and not enforce. That's the fundamental challenge we face right now.”
Immigration reform will not succeed in Congress without bipartisan support, and if Republicans – who as a whole are already quite tenuous about an immigration reform – cannot trust the President to enforce a bipartisan deal as enacted, it will be safe to say that Rubio’s prediction will likely prove to be true.
Alberto González is the Associate Editor of Aleteia’s English edition. His prior endeavors have included working in political campaigns and in the United States Senate. He also maintains an active schedule as a liturgical vocalist and organist.
A native of California, Alberto graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 2010 with a B.A. in Music and Political Science. He currently lives in the greater Washington, D.C. area.