Just a couple of months ago there was new optimism about the prospects for reforming the US immigration system, reform critically necessary to the future of the economy. That optimism was due in large part to Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan’s principled support for reform in the face of opposition from more conservative members of his party. Ryan genuinely seems to understand the importance of immigration on both economic and moral grounds. Which make his most recent comments on reform so frustrating.
Ryan said this weekend that legislation to overhaul immigration is now unlikely this year because of deep distrust of President Obama within the Republican caucus. Look, we could argue all day over who’s responsible for the loss of trust in and within our government in general and we’d get nowhere. It’s just as likely Ryan’s position is his party’s idea of “punishing” the President for his growing penchant for using executive orders to get around an obstructionist Congress. It’s still a lousy way to govern and it’s going to hurt a lot of good people and slow economic growth. Once again we say we can do better than this.