House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) once again blamed President Barack Obama for the potential failure of immigration reform, saying Monday that changing deportation policies would make legislation very unlikely.
"That will make it almost impossible to ever do immigration reform, because he will spoil the well to the point where no one will trust him by giving him a new law that he will implement it the way the Congress intended," Boehner said on Fox News' "The Kelly File," flagged by Politico.
The Senate passed a comprehensive immigration reform bill last June, and Boehner has been saying for more than a year that he believes the House should deal with the issue as well. He rejected the Senate bill and put out House Republicans' own principles for reform in January, but so far there have been no votes on immigration reform bills or movement on legislation. A Democrat-led effort to force a vote on their own bill looks unlikely to succeed.
In the meantime, the administration is reviewing its deportation policies to determine whether changes could be made to make the system more humane. That could lead to measures that reduce removals for certain segments of the undocumented population.
Boehner said in February that it would be "difficult to move any immigration legislation" until Obama proved he could be trusted to enforce the laws.
He reiterated Monday that he believes the House should address immigration reform, but said distrust of the president could derail that effort.
"The American people want us to deal with immigration reform,” Boehner said on Fox News. "I've tried to get the House to move on this now for the last 15 or 16 months. But every time the president ignores the law, like the 38 times he has on Obamacare, our members look up and go, 'Wait a minute: You can't have immigration reform without strong border security and internal enforcement, how can we trust the president to actually obey the law and enforce the law that we would write?'"