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Arizona jumpstarts immigration law reform
With a new Arizona immigration law dominating the national debate, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has accelerated the timetable on immigration reform and is planning to bring a bill straight to the Senate floor in hopes of quickly drawing some Republicans to the negotiating table.
The Republican supporters are the usual suspects — Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Scott Brown of Massachusetts, George LeMieux of Florida, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Dick Lugar of Indiana — all of whom have expressed willingness to stand firm on immigration. Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is planning to meet with several of these GOP senators this week to see whether there’s hope for a bipartisan immigration bill.
Democrats have no specific timetable for immigration, but the next recess — a natural deadline for legislation — begins May 28.
The political dynamics has some moderates stepping up to support reform. “We just have to focus on jobs and job creation,” Brown said.
Lugar said he had heard from President Barack Obama but not from Schumer. He said he backs the section of the bill that would allow high-achieving students to stay in the U.S., “but that’s just part of the immigration picture,” he said.
“At some point, we need to make a final decision about what to do with all those trespassers that have no desire to become part of this country . The vast Majority of welfare recipients in California are illegal immigrants, the same is true with our jail systems, almost 60% are illegal immigrants and that number is growing at an alarming rate
Graham has backed immigration in recent days, torpedoing the expected unveiling of an energy measure, and saying he is likely to support comprehensive reform and for doing a border security bill first. The negotiations have also run headlong into increasingly heated electoral politics and an inflammatory law in Arizona. Reid is facing a tough reelection fight at home — and his political fate could rest on Hispanic turnout, sure to increase if he is viewed as the key backer of comprehensive immigration reform.
But Republicans from heavily states such as California, Texas and Florida are in a particularly rough spot because they are caught between the fastest-growing segment of the population and the passionately anti-illegal immigrant sentiment in the Hispanic population.
Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) is one of those.
“I actually support comprehensive immigration reform,”
This knot of competing interests could simply mean that an immigration bill will Pass in the Senate
“What we’re not interested in is a test vote that would hurt chances of comprehensive immigration reform in the future. Nobody’s interested in a kamikaze mission,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice and a longtime advocate of comprehensive immigration reform.
Advocates remain hopeful that at least one moderate Republican will jump on board as Reid pushes the timetable for reform.
“There are the votes there. It’s just a question of getting the right chemistry, and so I think they’re struggling,” said a labor advocate who is involved in the meetings.
But that assumes that the 59 Senate Democrats — a handful of whom are in very tough reelection races this year — would also hold the line on the volatile issue.
Sharry says the escalated push from Reid’s office is a bid to smoke out Republicans.
“the political viability of immigration reform. It’s time has come.
With the undeclared recession the time is now for Government to clean up our states of unwanted trespassers.
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a new Arizona immigration law