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July 16, 2013 10:19 AM Boehner on Immigration: Nowhere To Hide

By Ed Kilgore

A good scoop by Greg Sargent late yesterday, via an interview with Univision anchor Jorge Ramos (see the profile of Ramos and his influence by Laura Colarusso in the May/June 2012 issue of the Monthly) about Latino perceptions of the immigration reform saga in Congress:

“Like it or not, the Hispanic media perceives that approving or rejecting immigration reform is in the hands of John Boehner. When you listen to local radio stations and even national media, most of us are concentrated on John Boehner. We don’t even have a problem pronouncing his name….”
Interestingly, Ramos says some Hispanic media figures are open to the prospect of House Republicans passing immigration reform piecemeal, as they say they want to do, because that could end up getting the debate into conference. But he says most in the Hispanic media will want to see a path to citizenship in the final product — “you don’t want to have a country with two categories for residents,” he says — and that any process moves by Republicans that result in scuttling reform aren’t going to obfuscate who is responsible for killing it.
Indeed, to hear him explain it, many Hispanic media figures are very closely familiar with how all this is playing out in terms of Congressional process. “Any kind of maneuvering to prevent a vote will be seen in a very bad light,” Ramos says. “It could go from preventing a vote, to not bringing the issue to the floor for a vote, to rejecting a final bill agreed on in conference.”

Since Boehner’s whole strategy for dealing with immigration reform seems to be one of rhetorical support for the idea followed by constant bobbing and weaving to blur responsibility for the inevitable failure to enact legislation, it’s important that at least one segment of the media is watching him closely with open eyes.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

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