November 23, 2012
BOWING TO THE UNIONS:
Why immigration reform didn't happen in 2007 (Sean Higgins, November 20, 2012, The Examiner)
Posted by Orrin Judd at November 23, 2012 5:17 AMNow that immigration reform is back in the news, it is worth looking back at what exactly happened in that last failed effort.Kennedy and McCain had tried to get a bill going in 2005 and 2006 without much success. Most Republicans were automatically opposed to anything that smacked of amnesty -- like the bill's pathway to legalization for existing immigrants. But in 2007, the Democrats regained control of the House. That meant -- in theory, anyway -- the main obstacle was a GOP Senate filibuster. But a deal arose with the support of several moderate and even conservative Republicans, such as Arizona's Jon Kyl.It was at this point that many on the Left began to step away. Frank Sharry, who was then executive director of the National Immigration Forum, told The Washington Examiner that although conservative opposition was the biggest stumbling block, there were also "divisions on the Left.""There was little mobilization in support of the bill," Sharry said. Organized labor was split. The Service Employees International Union favored a deal. But the larger AFL-CIO opposed guest-worker programs, which were expanded in the bill to win Big Business and GOP support.