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May 15, 2014 10:13 AM Another Manana Moment for Immigration Reform

By Ed Kilgore

Nothing the least bit surprising about this news from The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, but it’s part of the perpetual game played by congressional Republicans to promise action on immigration reform manana, always manana:

Senate Republicans say they’ll try to pass immigration reform legislation in the next two years if they take back the Senate in November.
The Republicans say winning back the Senate will allow them to pass a series of bills on their own terms that have a better chance of winning approval in the House.

Marco Rubio, who of course wants a do-over of 2013, wherein he still gets to be the champion of immigration reform but without alienating conservatives, is at the forefront of this talk.

Rubio said he would support an immigration reform push in 2015 as a piecemeal process, the same approach endorsed by Cornyn and House Republican leaders
.
“What I do think is possible is to make progress on it in a sequential way that builds on each bill that we pass,” he said.
But Rubio said he doesn’t see himself supporting a bill that tries to overhaul the entire immigration system in one swoop.
“I don’t think a comprehensive bill can pass. I don’t want to us to waste another two years on an approach that has no chance of passing,” he said. “This idea that immigration reform means you have to all do it in one bill is ridiculous. It’s the reason why they haven’t succeeded doing anything on it.”

So it’s “they,” now, eh, Marco? That’s the sort of attitude that would prevent any action on immigration reform, unless it’s strictly punitive, after this November, when the presidential nominating process (which would likely include Rubio as a candidate) reaches full force, and all anyone can remember is how Rick Perry went from ferocious world-beater to chump almost overnight last time around after his heart started bleeding for immigrants.

I don’t know why Republicans bother to pretend on this subject any more, other than the sheer habit of it. But their chance at immigration reform legislation is in this Congress, and it is rapidly passing.

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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