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November 24, 2006

Signs of Hope on Immigration

Editorial in New York Times, published: November 20, 2006

“The political earthquake in Washington has knocked loose some of the big obstacles to fixing the immigration system. A decent solution is now there for the taking, if President Bush and the newly Democratic Congress are willing to grab it.

It won’t be easy. Some of the debate’s loudest shouters, liars and dead-horse beaters were ushered by voters from the room — people like J. D. Hayworth and Randy Graf in Arizona, John Hostettler in Indiana and Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania. But the public is still in a prickly mood. All those shrill Republican ads about Mexicans stealing your Social Security failed as an electoral strategy, but that doesn’t mean politicians always lose by being immigration hawks. Voters approved tough ballot measures. In Arizona, they made English the official language and restricted illegal immigrants’ ability to sue, receive bail and qualify for benefits.

And except for the losers on the border-fixated fringe, not many in the restrictionist camp seem particularly chastened by the election. Senator Jon Kyl of Arizona, an opponent of the comprehensive reform bill that passed the Senate this year, won his race, as did several new Democrats who ran as immigration hard-liners. Local lawmakers in Texas and other states are still going after illegal immigrants with fervor.

The roots of a divisive, grinding immigration debate have not gone away. But it is crucial that the Democrats find their voice. The effort to revive immigration reform should start in the Senate. There is a decent bill under the barnacled hulk of legislation that passed the Senate last May. It used to be called McCain-Kennedy, before other senators tacked on tough-posing amendments that made it fundamentally unworkable and unjust. The Senate should strip those away, like the ones that divide immigrants into three arbitrary tiers of worthiness and needlessly force those seeking legal status to trek to a border state to apply for it…”.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/20/opinion/20mon1.html?_r=1&th&emc=th&oref=slogin

Posted by VisaLawyer at November 24, 2006 06:37 AM

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