Last week, President Barack Obama blamed House Republicans for "seemingly preferring the status quo of a broken immigration system over meaningful reform." House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., then blamed the president for showing "no sincere desire to work together" toward a solution to the long-festering problem of illegal immigration.

But as too many elected officials in Washington keep pointing fingers of fault at the opposition on this issue, it's reasonable to suspect that this informal bipartisan immigration agreement has already been in effect for years:

Leaders in both parties prefer using this hot topic as a spark to fire up their ideological bases rather than summoning the political courage necessary to advance a comprehensive immigration overhaul.

The Democratic Senate did pass a sweeping immigration reform bill last summer, with 14 Republicans (including South Carolina's Lindsey Graham) voting with the 68-32 majority.

But the Senate bill lacks strong enough measures for border security and tough enough stipulations on a pathway to citizenship to pass the Republican House.

That shouldn't, however, negate all opportunity to find middle ground for passable immigration bills in both chambers on a piece-by-piece approach.

Yet The Washington Post reported that on Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner mocked some fellow Republicans' hard line against an immigration deal, telling the Middletown (Ohio) Rotary Club: "Here's the attitude: 'Ohhhh, don't make me do this. Ohhhh, this is too hard.' "

Last week, though, The Wall Street Journal, citing two people in attendance, reported that Rep. Boehner had told GOP business donors in Las Vegas last month that he was "hellbent on getting" immigration reform passed this year.

Though Rep. Boehner's spokesman did not dispute that account, he repeated that no such bill can pass the House until the president proves himself trustworthy to Republicans.

That sounds like another convenient dodge for punting the issue past this year.

Yes, President Obama's many executive orders delaying mandates in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act undermine his credibility on following legislative intent.

And yes, those GOP immigration hawks will make it difficult to get a reform bill - or bills - through the House.

So write those bills in a manner that clearly requires effective enforcement by the administration - then hold this and future presidents to the letter of the law.

And stop playing stale, self-serving blame games that further postpone long-overdue immigration reform.