President Obama can't completely fix our immigration system on his own, but he can ease the nightmare of deportations until Congress gets its act together and he's promised to take executive action to do just that by year's end. But now a group of Republican senators led by John McCain are warning the president against any such initiative, saying
Arizona Sen. John McCain, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio warned Obama that sweeping unilateral action would be “detrimental” to a more permanent fix to the immigration system. [...]
“In this regard, acting by executive order on an issue of this magnitude would be the most divisive action you could take — completely undermining any good-faith effort to meaningfully address this important issue, which would be a disservice to the needs of the American people,” the three senators wrote.
So, according to McCain's new gang, if President Obama takes executive action to reduce deportations, Congress will be less likely to pass comprehensive immigration reform. Here's the problem: They've said the exact same thing before, but when President Obama agreed to give Congress a chance, Congress did nothing—and that was before Eric Cantor lost his primary.
If the next Congress is even more Republican, there's an even smaller chance Congress will take action. Well, technically, I guess it's not possible to have a chance smaller than zero, but you get the point—when these guys say they will get immigration reform done if only President Obama steps aside, they're making a promise they've already made—and already broken.
There's no reason to believe them this time. Republicans in Congress have left President Obama with one option and one option alone: Taking executive action to the maximum extent of the law. They might not like that, but if they want to see immigration reform, then it's up to them to make it happen. And with congressional Republicans more afraid of becoming the next Eric Cantor than dragging their party's brand through the mud for generations to come, the chances of that happening are nil.