PRESIDENT OBAMA has gotten more notice for what he’s failed to do on immigration policy than for what he’s done right. The fact remains that his administration is taking steps to rationalize what has become a deeply dysfunctional system. Meanwhile Republicans, increasingly nervous that they have antagonized Hispanics with their hostility to illegal immigrants, are seeking a way back into the good graces of the country’s fastest-growing minority voting bloc.
Taken together, this picture presents a stark contrast between one party trying to get something done and another that can think only of limiting the political fallout caused by obstructionism.
Mr. Obama did renege on his campaign promise to make immigration reform a first-year priority. But that almost surely would have been a losing battle, since virtually every Republican — including some who supported reform in 2007 — opposed by 2009 any real overhaul, meaning one that would put undocumented immigrants on a path to citizenship.