Update - November 20, 8:16 am:

One of Politico's top immigration reporters, Seung Min Kim, writes in her November 19 article House Democrats to join immigration fast that Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Illinois) will fast for one day in sympathy with a group of immigration activists who have been fasting on the National Mall since November 12 to protest the refusal of House Republicans to allow a vote on comprehensive immigration reform.

Kim quotes from a letter that Schakowsky, who was arrested in October while participating in a pro-reform rally on the Mall, wrote to her colleagues as follows:

"Some 500 feet from our offices, these fasters are putting their health on the line to emphasize that comprehensive immigration reform cannot wait, and that the House must act...I join them in calling on the House leadership to stop delaying and call a vote on comprehensive immigration reform, and I ask you to join me in fasting for one day in solidarity with these courageous leaders."


Shouldn't we be seeing more stories in the media about the brave actions of the protesters who are willing to fast and face arrest to show their support for immigration reform, and fewer hysterical articles about the failed ACA website and how the computer glitch will allegedly "bring about the end" of the Obama presidency?

My original post follows:

Outrage over House Speaker John Boehner's refusal to allow a vote, or even a House-Senate conference, on the Senate's CIR bill (S. 744), or to take any other action toward legalization for 11 million people is growing. The Huffington Post reports that a group of immigration advocates who have been fasting for a week in protest against Boehner's decision to bury immigration reform tried to meet with him in his office but were rebuffed.

See: Immigration Advocates Go Without Food, Plea For House To "Do Its Job", November 19.

The group left a letter for Boehner which states the following, among other things:

"Mr. Speaker, every day that goes by more people will die and more families will be torn apart. As a nation we, and you as Speaker, cannot allow this to continue. Surely our hearts and our faith require us to act to end this suffering."


Meanwhile, the Washington Post published an editorial the same day strongly condemning Boehner for blocking reform.

In its editorial, John Boehner must act on immigration now, (November 19), the Post says:

"But there are 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States. The country needs to deal with them in some way."

Then, referring to Boehner's insistence on approaching reform "piecemeal", the Post continues:

"But the House can't dictate that only border security and deportation are on the table. Mr. Boehner should let House Republicans vote on the parts of immigration reform they consider priorities and take that "sensible step-by-step" approach into negotiations with the Senate. It is unserious, and unconstructive, to tell the Senate what it can and cannot bring to the table in negotiations with the House."


On the same day, the Huffington Post also ran an article called House Republicans' Many Excuses For Inaction On Immigration Reform


The article lists seven of the old, tired, fake excuses (leaving out only Benghazi and the Boston Marathon), that the House Republicans have been using for killing reform in order to try to divert attention away from the most obvious reason. This is the decision of their leadership to put kowtowing to their white supremacist masters in the Tea Party ahead of the human rights of 11 million minority immigrants and their families.

Yet another recent Huffington Post article, by Ryan Campbell in its Latino Voices section, (see Immigration and a Weak-Willed John Boehner, November 15) says the following about Boehner:

"Whether or not we will be able to escape this era of a small [anti-immigrant] constituency within the House doing everything they can to undermine effective governance soon is up to Boehner. He seems neither to care about the plight of our immigrant population, the smooth operation of government, or his own legacy as possibly the worst Speaker of the House this country has ever suffered."


In actuality, all of the above articles, along with the media in general, are too kind to Boehner. By focusing on his callousness and lack of concern for immigrants, his pursuit of legislative tactics which will lead nowhere, and his "weak will" they make him look merely insensitive and incompetent.

This is very far from the reality, which is that Boehner is indeed sensitive - to his perceived need not to offend people like Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) and other immigrant-hating bigots within the Tea Party wing of the GOP. And from that perspective, he is a master strategist with a strong determination and fixed goal - to kill any proposal to legalize or grant eventual US citizenship to 11 million mainly brown, Spanish-speaking unauthorized immigrants.

John Boehner and his cohorts in the House GOP leadership are doing everything they can to ensure their place in history alongside those who continued to defend racial segregation before and during the civil rights era, those who were responsible for the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War 2, those who tried to bar Jewish, Italian, Polish and most other "non-Nordic" immigrants from our shores from the mid-1920's to the mid-1960's, and those who wrote the Chinese and other Asian exclusion laws in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Above all, John Boehner and his fellow House Republican leaders are doing everything in their power to disgrace America and everything America stands for.