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June 30, 2007

The Grand Collapse

New York Times Editorial, published 6/30/07;

"The defeat of immigration reform in the Senate this week was appalling, not so much because an ambitious bill died, but because of how stubbornly, to the bitter end, the process remained disconnected from reality. The bill crumpled on the Senate floor on Thursday in a procedural vote, with two-thirds of Republicans swarming to kill it. They shrouded their act with the same rhetorical distortions and ritual incantations — death to amnesty! — that have polluted the debate all along.

Two Republicans, Jeff Sessions and Jim DeMint, hailed the demise of an attempt at immigration reform as a victory for the American people. Victory, maybe, if you favor semiporous borders, rotting crops and millions of people growing old overseas as they wait to enter legally. If you want federal officials to keep thimble-dipping the immigrant ocean with raids and detentions that shatter families and cripple businesses, and state and local governments to go on erecting a ramshackle grid of disjointed immigration policies, then this debacle was for you.

The bill’s defeat also thwarted the possibility of progress on border security, stricter employment laws and an orderly future flow of workers. To top it off, by foreclosing legitimacy for millions of illegal immigrants, Republicans brusquely told Hispanic-Americans what they can do with their votes and hopes.

There was pretending on the other side, too. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, defending the teetering bill, likened it to the great acts of civil rights days. With respect to Mr. Kennedy and his allies, the bill was not even close. Its good provisions were anchored to bedrock delusions: that fixing immigration is simply a job of building fences and punishing illegal workers. The fishy “grand bargain” began to rot as soon as it was unwrapped, as advocates for immigrants kept accepting one bad amendment after another in the hope that this bill — or any bill, please — was better than nothing, and that bad things would somehow be removed later.

Their desperation showed, and when talk radio got a frenzy going — Capitol phones crashed as the crucial vote loomed — nothing good could withstand the hot wind blowing across the Hill...".


Posted by VisaLawyer at June 30, 2007 06:21 AM


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