President Obama and congressional Democrats may seek to use the national backlash against
Arizona's sweeping anti-immigration law to pass immigration reform. A
Republican senator recently said Obama plans to tackle the issue
within a month.
Democrats had earlier planned to push
reform after the health-care battle, but the still-troubled economy and
the looming November elections have raised fears that now might be the wrong
. Should Democrats go for it? Pundits are warning against it.
Would Be Better NBC News' Mark Murray writes, "Believe it or not, but neither
political party really wanted to deal with immigration this year. The
White House had been signaling early 2011, and that was a timetable that
Republican leaders seemed to have preferred. And there are PLENTY of
swing district and swing state Democrats that didn't want to take that
same tough vote on immigration in a midterm year as well. ... It's a
mixed bag -- at best -- for both parties in a midterm."
Wins' in Immigration Fight Politico's Jonathan Martin warns that neither
Democrats nor Republicans really want to deal with "the contentious,
no-win issue of immigration reform in the midst of an election year. ...
the polarizing issue is fraught with peril for both parties."
Democratic "party leaders would have to force members from
conservative-leaning districts to cast yet another tough vote that could
raise the ire of swing voters. But Republicans face longer-term peril —
if they continue to push aggressive legislation cracking down on
illegal immigrants, Hispanic voters are likely to continue their exodus
to the Democratic Party."
- For Dems, Immigration Carries Risk
The Hill's Ian Swanson says the issue can
"can cut both ways" for Democrats. "Dozens of House and Senate Democrats
representing more conservative districts or states will want to avoid
voting on one of the most divisive debates in the country’s politics.
House Democratic leaders have insisted they will not move on immigration
reform before the Senate for precisely this reason."
- Comes at
Cost of Climate Bill Roll Call's John Stanton reports that Senate Majority Leader
Harry Reid has "sought to quell growing anger from environmentalists and
liberal Democrats frustrated by his decision to focus on comprehensive
immigration reform at the likely expense of climate legislation." By
putting immigration first, the climate bill may have to wait until after
the November elections, which could kill the bill's chances.
Climate Bill Should Come First The Washington Post's Ezra Klein makes the case.
"Climate change is much likelier to pass than immigration reform. For
one thing, it's already passed the House," he writes. "Indeed,
when I talk to people about the two issues, the difference is this: When
people talk about climate change, they talk about passing a bill. When
they talk about immigration reform, they talk about the electoral
usefulness of bringing up the issue. ... Moving a climate change bill
this year is more important than moving an immigration bill. There's a
point-of-no-return on climate change: If you don't start getting carbon
emissions down in the near future, it'll be too late. Immigration,
conversely, is bad, but it's not getting dramatically worse or harder to
fix with each passing month."
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