Immigration Compromises Won't Appease the Base

Burdened by nagging doubts about the war in Iraq and under siege from liberals and moderates, George W. Bush's political base remained doggedly loyal despite all attempts to shake it. But now the president's stand on the immigration bill has shattered its unity and deflected its support. As a result, Bush has descended from his lofty perch — an approval rating of 35 percent — down to 29 percent as the base deserts him, disappointed and shocked by his support for what it sees as amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Bush is paying the price for failing to move swiftly to build the wall authorized by Congress last year. Each brick would have bought him more and more support for today's compromise. Allocating extra money now for border enforcement won't impress anybody. Where's the wall that we already paid for?
That said, this bill will probably pass because both parties are afraid of antagonizing the Hispanic voter base by seeming to kill this bill. Knowing that, legal immigration or not, the Latino voter base will account for 20 percent of the vote by 2020, both parties are determined to pass a bill neither of them favor, Democrats out of fear of losing Hispanics, Republicans out of hope of winning them.

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