Fair. Balanced. American.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Here's an argument for doing immigration reform this year

Counterintuitive to me, but very interesting:
Let's move beyond health care for a moment. Today, the White House welcomed faith-based groups who are demanding a vote on immigration reform. Congressional leaders don't know whether one will be in the offing by November, but the debate is certain to flare up. And the business lobby, which had united against health care reform, will suddenly find itself split: the same would be the case if the president were to try and use his political capital to push through climate change legislation. Doubtful he would, but he if he did, there would be many megaphones at work.

Democrats assume that the immigration debate will open the curtain on the Tea Party movement; health care will be child's play compared to the tantrums over the prospect of earned legalization and other measures. The overlap between the Tea Partiers and ethnocentric immigration restrictionists is huge, and even many Republicans worry that the embedded nativism in the movement, whether or not it is also racialized (as a proxy for being against Obama and his ilk) will come to the fore in a way that once again diminishes the fervor of right-leaning independents and energizes Hispanics.

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