Just when you think there is nothing more Republicans can do to alienate themselves from Latino voters, when you would think that they would sit back and relish how many Latinos are turning on President Barack Obama for his record-breaking deportations, House Republicans come up with legislation that reclaims the championship of immigrant-bashing.
No, senor! If Obama thinks he can be tough by deporting more immigrants than his predecessors, Republicans are not going to be outdone. In a year of midterm elections, when they need to appeal to their base in conservative-gerrymandered districts, they are not about to let Obama steal the wrath of Latinos.
Not after they have done so much to earn it!
And so, as if to upstage Obama's deportations, the House Republicans passed a bill last week that would kill the only positive progress that has been made on immigration in recent history.
Amazingly, after claiming they would have compassion at least for the young undocumented immigrants who were brought here by their parents, Republicans are going after the Dreamers!
In fact, they are going after Obama's authority to make policy decisions on how the laws are enforced on issues like health care, marriage, drugs, education and immigration.
Using what little wiggle room he has, Obama has tried to circumvent the government paralysis often created by House Republicans with administrative changes that have not required congressional approval — including the policy that has allowed Dreamers to stay here legally and could be reversed by this latest GOP draconian legislation.
Passed 233 to 181, including by five Democrats, the "Enforce the Law" Act would allow Congress to sue the president whenever his opponents feel the executive branch is not enforcing the law — clearly making the president's leniency toward Dreamers subject to legal challenge.
Another GOP bill scheduled to go up for a vote this week would require the attorney general to report to Congress whenever the administration changes its enforcement of laws. It's all part of the GOP's hyperbolic campaign to combat "the imperial presidency."
"From Obamacare to welfare and education reform, to our nation's drug enforcement and immigration laws, President Obama has been picking and choosing which laws to enforce," charged House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. "In place of the checks and balances established by the Constitution, President Obama has proclaimed that 'I refuse to take "no" for an answer' and that 'where (Congress) won't act, I will.'"
It's a bogus argument, a sham. The president won't let them paralyze the country, and so now they are trying to paralyze the president by denying him the authority to exercise prosecutorial discretion.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., already predicted these bills would be declared DOA in the Senate, and the White House has indicated the president would veto them.
So why do they bother with such dead-end legislation if not to feed their conservative base with a lot of hallow rhetoric? Now they can go out on their respective campaign stumps in their respective gerrymandered conservative districts and rail about how they are stopping Obama from abusing his authority to make changes in a variety of issues, including immigration.
While immigrant-rights advocates are calling on Obama keep sidestepping Congress and extend his "deferred action" policy to stop the deportation of all undocumented immigrants who have no criminal record, Republicans are trying to take away the president's authority to shelter even the Dreamers.
It makes a mockery of the alleged Republican efforts to reach out to Latinos.
We've all heard GOP leaders saying that they need to address immigration, that they recognize they are alienating Latino voters by being so intransigent on this issue, and yet when they finally pass a bill related to immigration, they are still trying to turn the clock back.
Their message to Latino voters: If you think Obama's record-breaking deportations are bad, don't forget Republicans can be much worse.
To find out more about Miguel Perez and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.