Predictions, Predictions

By Jon Feere on December 31, 2013

We can't let 2013 expire without noting the confident predictions that didn't pan out. Like a contractor on a kitchen renovation who for a whole year says the job will be done in just two more weeks, open-border advocates repeatedly promised in 2013 that amnesty was right around the corner. These promises encouraged new illegal immigration and helped persuade lobbyists to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the effort. Since the last failed amnesty attempt in 2007, lobbyists and business groups have spent $1.5 billion pushing the unpopular idea of doubling legal immigration and amnestying illegal aliens.

This constant call for amnesty is not new. Within only a few years of the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act, advocates of high levels of immigration were already calling for yet another amnesty.

Some examples of this year's unfulfilled amnesty predictions follow:

Days after President Barack Obama's re-election win in 2012, the San Francisco Chronicle explained that Obama promised amnesty by January of 2013:

This afternoon, at his first press conference since winning re-election last week, President Obama promised to push for comprehensive reform to fix a broken immigration system by next January.

This time he really means it.

Also in January, Sen. John McCain's former chief of staff predicted that amnesty "will likely pass Congress this year with broad bipartisan majorities."

Again in January, Sen. Chuck Schumer told reporters that the Senate Democratic leadership "strongly" believes that "this will be the year that Congress finally gets some common-sense immigration reform across the finish line."

In his February State of Union Address, President Obama declared that "right now, leaders from the business, labor, law enforcement, and faith communities all agree that the time has come to pass comprehensive immigration reform."

Speaking at Georgetown in April, former president Bill Clinton says, "I think, you know, they're gonna pass this immigration reform. ... I really think this will pass."

Also in April, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi confidently predicted House passage of an amnesty by the end of July: "we'll have an immigration bill ... so we will have immigration reform."

During a May trip to Mexico, President Obama emphatically predicts passage of amnesty: " I'm convinced we can get it done. ... we are going to get it done this year. I'm absolutely convinced of it."

In June, shortly before the Senate approved the Schumer-Rubio amnesty bill, House Speaker John Boehner told ABC's George Stephanopoulos "I think by the end of the year, we could have a bill." Stephanopoulos asks, "But one that passes the House, passes the Senate, signed by the president?" Boehner responds, "Yeah. No question."

In August, Robert Creamer, a Democratic lobbyist and husband of Rep. Jan Schakowsky, offered "Top Five Reasons why Immigration Reform Is Likely to Pass This Year".

An advisor of billionaire and amnesty advocate Michael Bloomberg suggests that the amnesty might happen before Thanksgiving. "There is a window to do it," said John Feinblatt. "You could do it after the debt ceiling. You could have a path to do it between then and Thanksgiving."

After Thanksgiving passed without an amnesty bill reaching his desk, President Obama in November visited a handful of open-border activists participating in an amnesty fast/protest on the National Mall. The president explains that he wants "everybody to know I remain optimistic that we're going to get this done." Obama reportedly told the protestors that there is still time for Congress to pass an amnesty.

By December it was obvious nothing was going to happen before the end of the year, leading Pelosi to announce that she spoke with Speaker Boehner and conceded "we have to wait until next year".

The string of unfulfilled predictions didn't stop Vice President Biden from making more in December: "We're going to pass this Senate bill that we're talking about here. It's going to happen."

Likewise, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said this month that "I feel positive we will get an immigration bill passed ... I think there's going to be so much pressure on the House that they'll have to pass it" and that Speaker Boehner "going to cave in."

Past performance (or lack thereof) is no guarantee of future results; Reid and Biden could still turn out to be right. But the deep public skepticism about "comprehensive immigration reform" suggests it might not be smart to make wagers based on their predictions.