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‘Comprehensive’ Immigration Reform? Just Say No

9:01 AM, Jun 26, 2013 • By WILLIAM KRISTOL
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Sean Trende asks, in a thoughtful and data-heavy piece, whether the GOP has to pass immigration reform to be competitive in the future at the presidential level. The answer is no.

John Boehner

Meanwhile, with respect to the 2014 congressional elections, it's increasingly clear that allowing any form or permutation of the Senate bill to become law would divide and demoralize potential Republican voters. So if Republicans want to win House and Senate seats in 2014, John Boehner should kill the Senate bill—first refusing to take it up in the House, and also by making clear the House will refuse to go to conference with it. The House can still pass specific bills to address particular immigration issues this session (which presumably the Senate won't take up—but let Harry Reid explain his refusal to do so). But the key is for Boehner to kill "comprehensive" immigration "reform" in this session of Congress.

The primary and indeed sufficient reason to do this is of course because the Senate legislation is such bad public policy. But it may be reassuring to elected officials that doing the right thing won't hurt politically in 2014 or most likely 2016. And it's also the case that Republican presidential candidates can set forth whatever proposals they think right in 2015 and 2016, so they're not just saying no. But the House GOP, for the sake of party and country, should say no: No Capitulation, No "Comprehensive" Bill, No Conference.

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