Here’s a prediction you don’t often hear from inside the beltway: Immigration reform that strengthens border security, grows the economy, and gives 11 million undocumented immigrants an eventual shot at citizenship will be signed into law within the next few months. That is most definitely not the prevailing view of political reporters who seem hell-bent on writing the obituary for immigration reform. Naming the next reason Congress won’t pass commonsense immigration legislation has become a D.C. parlor game. But the game is getting old because it should be obvious to all that if immigration reform crashes, there will be one and only one reason: a failure of leadership by House Republicans.
Read Related: Immigration Reform Proposal Meets Support & Resistance
The naysayers – pundits and press – first asserted that President Obama only wanted to use immigration as a political cudgel; but the administration gave the Senate space to maneuver legislatively while supporting the process and keeping the urgency high. Then the narrative shifted to why cost concerns would kill the legislative effort; but the Congressional Budget Office concluded that reform would lower the deficit by $820 billion over the next 20 years. Cynics then maintained that a divided Senate could not reach 60 votes on anything controversial; but the bill passed with 68 Ayes. More recently the rationale portending defeat was that a nativist grassroots uprising over summer recess would scare Congress to inaction; but pro-reform forces out-hustled, out-muscled, and out-classed restrictionist opponents in August – it wasn’t even close.