With most observers expecting health care reform to finally pass once
and for all this weekend, what will be Democrats' next big issue? Many
signs point to financial regulatory reform: Senator Chris Dodd has put
forward an ambitious plan
and President Obama has made "reining in Wall
Street" a recent goal. The campaign-friendly issue, conducive to a populist tone, would coincide nicely with the November 2010 elections. But Obama
and Democrats long hinted that, with health care the top issue of 2009,
immigration reform would reign in 2010. Is that still true? Here's what
people think of the prospects.
- Seems Unlikely, But Senate
Making Moves NBC News' Chuck Todd is as skeptical
as anyone, but he points out that Senators Graham and Schumer are
pushing immigration reform anyway. "Lots of skepticism in DC that immigration reform
will be truly taken up this year; nonetheless, key moves yesterday."
Our plan has four pillars: requiring
biometric Social Security cards to ensure that illegal workers cannot
get jobs; fulfilling and strengthening our commitments on border
security and interior enforcement; creating a process for admitting
temporary workers; and implementing a tough but fair path to
legalization for those already here.
- Immigration's Tough
Timeline The Washington Post's Spencer Hsu scopes out the
proposal's reception, including generalized support from Obama.
"Advocates set an April deadline, but that would require additional
Republican support," he writes. "Congressional supporters, whose ideas
track those proposals, have labored under a self-imposed deadline,
hoping to advance a bill to the Senate floor before Memorial Day.
Lawmakers do not want to hold a contentious debate over immigration
policies close to fall elections at a time of high unemployment."
- Securing Real Reform Lambasting the Schumer-Graham plan, The American Prospect's Gabriel Arana gives the reform requirements likely to become sacrosanct on the left: Update the "grossly unfair" by-country quota system, allow more green cards for unskilled labor, build "family unification" policies, and increase funding to key immigration agencies.
Should Champion Immigration The Nation's Kai Wright makes the case.
"The long-term politics are plain: Latino communities nationwide are
young, growing and increasingly ready to show up at the polls. And the
certain-to-be xenophobic reaction of the GOP's loudest voices today will
not only motive Latinos this November, it will alienate independent
voters as well." After alienating the liberal base on national security
and other issues, "Obama and the Dems could surely use at least one
motivated voting bloc this fall."
- Is There 'Centrist'
Immigration Reform? The Crossed Pond says that because of "Democrats trying
to prove to the center that they understand 'tough on illegal' concerns,
it will likely have to be done in a very 'centrist' way. Which means
that a lot of bones have to be thrown to anti-immigration fervents." The
challenge for Dems will be making centrist concessions while courting
the often-skeptical Latino voting blocks in the midwest and southwest.
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