Another Obama ‘poison pill’ to kill immigration reform (or is he helping Rubio)?

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
Font Size:

With the White House’s leaked immigration plan prompting Sen. Marco Rubio to label it “dead on arrival,” Rubio’s chief of staff took to Twitter, noting that this wouldn’t be the first time an Obama “poison pill” killed immigration reform.

Tuesday morning, Rubio Chief of Staff Cesar Conda Tweeted: “History repeating itself? Sen. Obama voted for poison pill that gutted essential guest-worker program and sank 07 CIR.” He then linked to a June 2007 Bob Novak op-ed, which explained how Obama helped sink immigration reform in the senate.

According to Novak’s column, North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan “was able to insert a poison pill into the immigration reform bill that aimed at emasculating the essential guest-worker program.”

“Dorgan pushed his killer amendment by voicing the Great Plains populism of his home state of North Dakota, but the measure was the product of organized labor,” Novak wrote.

“Obama’s vote [for the Dorgan amendment] was even more surprising,” Novak continued, “considering his participation in the closed-door bipartisan drafting of the immigration compromise that had secured a major change.”

Could, as Conda implied, history be repeating itself?

One could argue that it is actually Obama’s best interest for the immigration problem to remain just out of reach. If one accepts that theory, the notion that Obama could once again stymie reform isn’t a stretch.

On the other hand, there is another theory which says Rubio would also be better off politically by allowing Obama to poison the process.

This would allow Rubio to a). Portray himself as having tried to fix the immigration problem, b). blame Obama and avoid backlash from conservatives who oppose immigration reform, and c).run for president while arguing that if Nixon can go to China, then only Rubio can actually fix our broken immigration system and secure our borders.

Finally, there is an even more conspiratorial theory which argues that Obama’s leak was an intentional attempt to help Rubio by providing him cover with conservatives.

It’s unclear exactly what Obama’s up to here, but one thing’s for sure: Nobody trusts anybody.

Matt K. Lewis