May 27, 2006


House Republican Pessimistic on Immigration Deal (RACHEL L. SWARNS, May 26, 2006, NY Times)

If the Senate bill's provisions were to make it into law, they would be the most substantial overhaul of immigration law in two decades. The key architects of the bill, Senators John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, hailed the bipartisan coalition for withstanding a large number of amendments intended to sink the legislation.

The bill was also praised by some immigrant advocacy groups, the Roman Catholic Church and business leaders, who worked to ensure its passage. And Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee, the majority leader, described the vote as "a success for the American people" as well as for the immigrants "who hope to participate someday in that American dream."

Mr. Bush issued a statement praising the Senate for its vote and the House for passing an earlier immigration bill that he said "began a national dialogue." He urged both chambers to work together to pass a bill that he could sign into law.

But with Republicans deeply divided over immigration, the bill's future remains in doubt, reflecting the fluid politics of the issue in a Congressional election year. House conservatives, who passed a border security bill in December, vowed to thwart any deal that includes a central provision of the Senate bill: its call to give most illegal immigrants a chance to become citizens if they meet certain conditions.

All they House opponents have to do is stand up to 65% of the American people, the President, half their own party in Congress, the Church...

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 27, 2006 8:06 AM

I thought the 1986 law was supposed to fix the illegal immigration problem.

Posted by: sam at May 27, 2006 9:08 AM

It wasn't. It was meant to decriminalize the illegals who were here then. Senator's Simpson's father was governor of Wyoming during the Internment and he saw the shameful way we treated "others" close up. He dedicated himself to helping more recent immigrants.

Posted by: oj at May 27, 2006 9:12 AM

Precisely in that regard (the 1986 law), it's been amusing to see all the latter day Reaganites knocking Bush for abandoning The Gipper's tough immigration policies. Limbaugh and Hannity have been especially, er, misinformed on this.

Posted by: ghostcat at May 27, 2006 6:44 PM

Actually, if the House holds tough the perfect immigration bill is still a possibility. Promise a wall sometime in the future and do nothing else.

Posted by: David Cohen at May 29, 2006 12:26 AM