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Wall Street Journal Whacks Boehner For Caving To 'Talk-Radio' On Immigration

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AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite

Sure, the editorial writers are sympathetic to Boehner's contention that President Obama simply can't be trusted on an effort to overhaul the nation's immigration system — but they aren't letting the House speaker off the hook.

After Boehner's immigration pitch earlier this week was met with derision from conservatives, the Journal on Thursday highlighted the real reason for the punt.

So great is the House GOP fear of a talk-radio backlash that it won't even pass smaller bills that 75% of Republicans agree on. There will be nothing to codify the legal status of children of illegal immigrants who have lived here for decades. And no expanded green cards for foreign graduates of U.S. colleges, a policy Mitt Romney endorsed. And no cleaning up the work-visa morass that has obliged U.S. farmers to hire illegals to harvest their crops.

And the Journal doesn't buy the logic that Republicans should steer clear of the issue before this year's midterms.

Some Republicans who do want to vote for immigration reform say they don't want to divide the party over such a contentious issue in an election year. Better to take this up in 2015, they say. But the opponents will raise the same furor whenever it comes up, and Democrats will be less likely to compromise figuring they can use the issue to drive minority voter turnout in 2016.