Did Schumer call Boehner’s bluff on immigration?
February 9th, 2014
02:49 PM ET
9 years ago

Did Schumer call Boehner’s bluff on immigration?

Update 2/10/2014: A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner responded to Schumer's idea.

"The suggestion is entirely impractical, since it would totally eliminate the President's incentive to enforce immigration law for the remainder of his term," said Michael Steel, Boehner's spokesman.

Washington (CNN) – When House Speaker John Boehner abruptly announced Thursday that he didn’t see a way forward on immigration reform this year, he said President Obama was part of the reason.

“There’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws,” Boehner said. “And it’s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes.”

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In a bit of a jab at Boehner – and perhaps as a way to force the issue during an election year in which Republicans might like to avoid fighting among themselves over immigration - Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-New York, proposed a workaround.

“They want to do immigration reform, but they don't trust the president to enforce the law, particularly the enforcement parts. So there's a simple solution,” Schumer told NBC’s David Gregory. “Let's enact the 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,” Schumer continued.

However, several other prominent Republicans echoed Boehner’s misgivings about Obama’s commitment to enforcement.

“There is a big trust deficit right now,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-New Hampshire, on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “When you do big things poorly like this administration has done with Obamacare, you can understand with a complex issue like immigration reform that there’s a lot of lack of trust among House Republicans.”

"I was at the conference where this was discussed, and I will tell you there is a great deal of skepticism and concern," said Rep. Tom Cole, R-Oklahoma, on ABC’s “This Week.”

Cole said people read too deeply into Boehner’s comments and that, while the political reality is that Republicans disagree among themselves, certain elements of immigration reform could pass the House.

“We've begun a dialogue and conversation inside the Republican conference on this,” Cole said. “I think step-by-step progress is still out there. Whether or not Democrats want work that way I think is unclear. But you could clearly get a border security bill through. I think you can get H1B visas through. I think you could get seasonal labor. So I think there's still a path there.”

Rep. Keith Ellison, a Democrat from Minnesota, said Republicans are the ones failing on the immigration front.

"There's no doubt the President was told if he works on the border, the Republican caucus will work with him on passing the bill. He's done his part. They have failed to do their part. And It's obvious the speaker got a lot of pushback from somebody in his caucus who he has to listen to, and so he changed course,“ Ellison said on “This Week.” “I don't think it’s political courage, and I was really disappointed."

Filed under: Charles Schumer • Immigration • John Boehner
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Tony

    Can Republicans explain which immigration laws Obama is not enforcing? Obama deported more illegal immigrants than any other president. If not enforcing the immigration laws leads to more deportations, perhaps we should scrap the immigration laws altogether?

    February 9, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. don in albuquerque

    It is time for his own party to call Boehner on what he says. His "trust" statement sounds like something out of the mouth of a third grader. But then again, we are dealing with the GOTP. This is nothing more then another example of running away from an issue during an election year.

    February 9, 2014 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. rs

    “There’s widespread doubt about whether this administration can be trusted to enforce our laws,” Boehner said. “And it’s going to be difficult to move any immigration legislation until that changes.”
    Naturally no one from the GOP can cite a case where immigration law is not being enforced- in fact hard to do at all given Mr. Obama has overseen the greatest number of deportations than any other President. No, rather they go straight to fantasyland with the build the wall crap. Who do they think will pay for that (at well more than $5 million per mile)- just more GOP fiscal conservatism in action I am guessing.
    Truth is, like every "agreement" before, Boehner never intended to do anything- hey, thats the GOP's way.

    February 9, 2014 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  4. will never vote Republician again

    Republicans: Let's do NOTHING for yet another year! VOTE the GOP OUT!

    February 9, 2014 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  5. Hector Slagg

    Let's simplify it Schumer. You get rid of Obama Care we give all illegals Amnesty. How's that? Better yet, go out there and sell Amnesty to the people. Good luck.

    February 9, 2014 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  6. barryinlasvegas

    That is the Democrats new answer to everything – pass a law and then don't make it take effect until after elections. That is what they did with Obamacare. Obama and the democrats love to say Obamacare is the law of the land, but Obama keeps changing it without Congress amending the law. Why pass a law unless it goes into effect immediately? Just more dumbocrat t BS.

    February 9, 2014 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  7. Harold Read

    So if I sneak into Senator's house and take over his living room, I'll get rewarded with free food and a free college education? The best part he has to pay for everything?
    "Undocumented houseguest" here I come!

    February 9, 2014 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  8. Thomas

    Did anybody read about Switzerland's immigration vote .

    Two many people and not enough resources , unsustainable .

    February 9, 2014 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. Tampa Tim

    Do people really trust the republicans after they shut down government to the tune of $24billion?

    February 9, 2014 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  10. Tampa Tim

    Republicans are truly a sorry excuse for a political party.

    February 9, 2014 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  11. Carol

    We must have immigration reform. It is clear the current system doesn't work and is mean spirited. The truth is the GOP want nothing more then to say Obama this, Obama that, but do nothing–NOTHING for the middle class in this country. I'm tired of hearing Obama is the problem when they do nothing but complain about the president. Their job is to pass legislation "...for the people.." so shut up and do it.

    February 9, 2014 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. steve

    The sad fact is the Republicans will win the house in 2014 and propbly the Senate too. If they run Hillary in 2016 chances are good they will lose the WH. Why... because there base doesn't consistently get out to vote!!

    February 9, 2014 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  13. Alan S.

    The Republicans are suffering from mass psychosis, this is the only possible explanation for their political stance on immigration, womens rights, LGBT issues, unemployement, guns, gangs, drugs, and violent crime, education, and our roads and bridges that are now some of the worst in the entire world, and the Grid that is so vulnerable that just about anyone with a grudge could cause serious disruption of not just electrical service but a major delay in goods and services. Banks refusing to protect against hackers. All of this is the failure of the Republicans to protect the American public in favor of special interest which provides each of them "Cash funds" for their PACS so that they have been buying expensive cars, second, third homes, vacations and exotic trips to far off places. Why doesn't CNN disclose this?

    February 9, 2014 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    We all know the GOP morons can't get ANYTHING done, so don't vote for the GOP in November . Oh ya, they lost 24 BILLION DOLLARS in 16 DAYS. Thanks GOP fisical conservatives!!!!! VOTE DEM!!!!!!

    February 9, 2014 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  15. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    There's only one place there is wide spread doubt about PRESIDENT OBAMAS word is in your incompetent GOP teaparty caucus , and they don't count with their 9% approval with the American voters. I guess you will have to wait till November when you LOSE the HOUSE AND SENATE!!!!!!

    February 9, 2014 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  16. Really?

    Residuals proposal from a very small man. Chuck doesn't care about anything but Chuck. Obama cannot be trusted with anything because he is simply a community organizer who doesn't have the compitance to do this job. Worthless 5 years and a country that has been damaged beyond repair, that's his legacy.

    February 9, 2014 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  17. Rick McDaniel

    That's the usual Dem deception........knowing that once ANY law is enacted, whether it is scheduled to take effect or not, the illegals will be declared legal voters, by executive order........and the Dems will never lose again.

    February 9, 2014 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  18. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ lee&rubio 24billion dallar LOSS of your tax money conservatives,the garbage of America.

    PLEASSSSEEEE GOP , we know your incompetent and can't accomplish ANYTHING!!!!!! So DONT expect to keep the house and pick up ANY seats in the senate. Even republicans won't vote for a do nothing congress when' it's clear it's ALL the GOPs fault with their teaparty disfunctionals!!!!!

    February 9, 2014 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  19. sonnie3

    The law obama is not enforcing is the original aca law. He changes it on a whim when ever it suits him. It used to be a law was a law and Congress had to act for changes. So that answers what law obama is not enforcing. That again is the original law of democrat, liberal, origin. They passed in the dark of the night with some sort of nuclear action and now see what a mess we have. peelosi said pass it and then read what is in it. And some idiots did just that. SAD!

    February 9, 2014 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  20. sonnie3

    Dear Chuck
    I think we have passed enough laws that go into affect in later times. If it is good we should do it now and if that don't work it may be time to forget the whole idea of comprehensive reform. Lets do it one step at a time in order not to come up with another 2000 + page obama care fiasco.

    February 9, 2014 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  21. Gurgyl

    Chuck, listen, GOP is bent upon the decision not to pass any reforms this nation direly needs, because only reason for those idiots is president is black. Period. It is truth. Let me also tell you this president is a "LEGEND" already proved his legacy. He is darn smart in 2010 he could push ACA Law, which this nation ignored for one hundred years. True, chuck, true. God bless. I am working relentlessly for democrats to come to both senate/congress to national progress. I am not even born here, but I am a USA proud citizen.

    February 9, 2014 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  22. wendel

    the republicans will pay the price in the long run as a party they will not be around . Vote these clowns out Schumer is right and they won't use his ideas. Just a lot of hot air and noise. .When do they think they mat actually start working in congress?????

    February 9, 2014 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  23. Randy L

    Do you even know the history of Reagan's amnesty? Millions were given citizenship; the Democrats AND Republicans reneged on their promise of enforcement and look what happened. We, now, have 11 – 20 million people, as opposed to 3 million in 1986, here without permission.

    E-Verify, WITH TEETH, will force these businesses to obey the law or they lose their business. It will eliminate the incentives for people to come here illegally, jobs. It will force the ones here to go back to where they came from, be it Canada or south of us.

    Consider how many people are out of work, or under employed, in our country. Consider that millions of people, here illegally, have jobs outside of agriculture; construction, fast food, hotels/motels and, numerous other fields that Americans used to do until business realized that no one would punish them for hiring illegal aliens. Unless you’re a spoiled rich kid, where your parents cover all your costs for everything, the youth of today have to fight for these jobs, if they’re available to the public.

    Look at the latest reports on how well Americans are doing, the screams for jobs in our country. Look at the CBO reports on how our country will fare in lower wages and higher unemployment if millions gain legal status for, at least, the next decade.

    People like Zuckerberg/Facebook and Microsoft. These businesses are colluding with politicians to allow even more H1B visas for the higher wage jobs, impacting the plight of middle class Americans.

    Politicians and business….read the news reports of who wants immigration reform and look at what they are asking for, then, look at who will benefit from it and who it will be a detriment to.

    Open your eyes; don’t follow blindly because someone says it’s the right thing to do. Think for yourself, Watch/read the bias from both sides and make an informed choice, and, not just for immigration, for everything. Quit being pawns.

    February 9, 2014 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  24. Smitty

    Face it no one can trust Obammy, BIGGEST LIAR OF THE YEAR, are things better under obammy, definitely NOT.
    Just what we need more unskilled leeches.

    February 9, 2014 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  25. Jim Howard

    Just this week Obama issued an executive order to allow more immigration from persons associated with terrorist organizations. REALLY!

    If Democrats really want to flood the country with new low skilled immigrates, thus hurting current working Americans, then you need to run on that issue and win all both sides of Congress and the White House.

    February 9, 2014 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
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