Speaker John A. Boehner told reporters Monday that border security will come before legalization.From a substantive point of view, that's obviously a pile of nonsense. There's no policy reason why security and reform can't be done at the same time. Moreover, doing both at the same time is essential if you want to build a broad coalition to get anything done at all. That's why the vote in favor of the Senate immigration reform bill was so overwhelming. In fact, it was so bipartisan that RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said Republicans deserved the credit for passing it.
"The American people expect that we'll have strong border security in place before we begin the process of legalizing and fixing our legal immigration system," the Ohio Republican said.
When you start talking about doing one piece before the other, what you're really saying is that you want to kill the whole thing. In the past, Boehner has said he wants to see reform, so maybe yesterday was a slip of the tongue, but if it wasn't, then it's fair to say that with those words John Boehner took ownership of killing immigration reform.