Comprehensive immigration reform has been dead for a while, buried in the floors of congress following a long legislative consensus-building process in 2013. Last month, Speaker of the House John Boehner announced last month that he would be stepping down (inspired by his brush with Pope Francis, we suspect.) Some optimistic Congress-watchers thought that Mr. Boehner might raise immigration reform from the dead around Halloween. Last week, Mr. Boehner passed the gavel, and the power to bring laws to a vote, to Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan.

This halloween, Congressman Ryan reportedly trick-or-treated dressed up as Mitt Romney. Apparently, there’s nothing as scary to a Republican politician as a Romney/Ryan 2012 flub (including only 27 percent of the Latino vote). 

On Sunday, Paul Ryan took to MSNBC to carve Comprehensive Immigration Reform into a tombstone. There will be no necromancing of immigration reform for at least another Halloween.

"I don't think we can trust the president on this issue," Ryan told NBC's Chuck Todd on Meet The Press. "The president has proven himself untrustworthy on this issue because he tried to unilaterally rewrite the law himself. Presidents don't write laws. Congress does."

Liberal pundits disagree, saying it is Republicans, not Democrats who have been untrustworthy in the immigration legislation process. MSNBC’s Steve Benen recently catalogued the Republican demands for immigration reform, saying that they change when Democrats accommodate them.

“[Every] time Republicans come up with a new demand, Democrats agree to GOP terms, only to see Republicans move the goalposts a little further away. The obvious question is why,” Benen asks, in a column on the Rachel Maddow blog.

“And the obvious answer is, most House Republicans don’t actually want to pass immigration reform, so they’re constantly looking for an excuse to kill popular legislation.”

Even Barack Obama’s “unilateral rewritings” -- his executive actions on immigration -- have been killed. A lawsuit to block Obama’s move to protect up to 5 million immigrants from deportation and give them work permits (DACA and DAPA) has largely been successful.

A district court put the nail DACA and DAPA’s coffins by issuing an injunction. The 5th Circuit Court buried those coffins by delaying their judgement; an appeal to the Supreme Court is unlikely to happen before the 2016 election. Only in 2017 will we know if immigration reform might be brought back from the dead, and if Ryan's next Halloween mask will have a Republican's face on it again.