The 2014 Congressional Elections and Real Immigration Reform, Pt. 2

By Stanley Renshon on March 19, 2014

Republicans are not the only ones involved in a game of "Beat the Clock".

Democrats and Senate immigration bill advocates have their own version, namely:

After all, the demographics of midterm elections might be a bit more favorable to the Republicans, but the demographics of presidential elections are more favorable to Democrats — and becoming better every year. Plus, the fact that Republicans killed bipartisan immigration reform in 2013 and then turned around and offered security-first legislation Hispanics found offensive in 2015 is only going to help amp up Latino turnout. And nothing shakes a political party out of its-stubbornness like losing three presidential elections in a row and watching the country's demographics turn further toward your opponents.

The authors of that piece, liberal to their core, are certain that:

On the margin, the Democrats have the better of this argument. If immigration reform dies in 2013 it's ridiculous to believe it's returning in 2015. But it's not at all ridiculous to believe it's returning in 2017, after Scott Walker loses to Hillary Clinton with only 16 percent of the (now even larger) Latino vote.

Yes, perhaps, but that very much depends, and the Senate bill's chief architect, Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) knows it.

That understanding explains the clever, at least at first glace, plan floated by Sen. Schumer on "Meet the Press" for the House to pass immigration legislation now and have it take effect after President Obama leaves office.

Let's enact a law this year, but simply not let it actually start till 2017, after President Obama's term is over. Now I think the rap against him, that he won't enforce the law is false. He's deported more people than any other president. But you can actually have the law start in 2017 without doing much violence to it.

You simply move the date back from December 31, 2011, to December 31 2013, as to when people, the deadline for people who could get even legalization or citizenship. So we could go after the new people who come in later. And it would solve the problem.

No it wouldn't.

And it wouldn't stop the president from making more "administrative" policy changes that amount to changing the rules for immigration enforcement policy as he is now doing with deportations.

The chances for real immigration reform will change dramatically if the Republicans win control of the Senate as well as the House. As the Wall Street Journal has noted, "Some suggested pushing the issue to 2015, when Republicans might have control of the Senate and more leverage."

That analysis is correct. Therefore, it makes perfectly good sense for House Republicans to await the results of the 2014 congressional elections, but not only for the reasons ordinarily given.

Next: The 2014 Congressional Elections and Real Immigration Reform, Pt. 3