Immigration

Bloomberg Run Would Hurt Democrats

That's what you think. The Quick Poll! question we posed last week asked which party would be harmed more if Hizzoner Michael Bloomberg ran for president. Among our respondents, 58% said he would do more damage to Democrats, while 42% said Republicans.

Here's another question: Is the defeat of the immigration bill good news or bad news? Scroll down to the Quick Poll! and cast your vote.
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No Bill's Better Than a Bad Bill

Proving once again that no bill, no matter how bad, ever really dies in Congress, immigration reform legislation is back for consideration before the Senate.

Why? There’s no constituency for this bill. Other than George Bush, Ted Kennedy, John McCain, and Lindsey Graham — who wants it?

And it’s a bad bill. It does nothing to secure the border, except authorize construction of a useless fence. It breaks up families, sending fathers back to Mexico for up to 10 years while their wives and kids stay here. And it leaves employers who hire undocumented workers off the hook.

Sure, illegal immigration’s a serious problem, but I’d rather see no immigration bill than a bad immigration bill. 
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A Parody of Incompetence and Malfeasance

Yesterday, I taped a video blog about an intriguing political scandal taking shape in California that made its way to page A3 of the Washington Post.

For more than a year, illegal immigration has been front and center of a heated debate between Republicans and Democrats, Republicans and the Bush administration, Democrats and organized labor unions, small “c” conservatives vs. big “b” Business, and so on.

While this policy drama plays out on Capitol Hill, there’s a bizarre drama playing out west in the world’s sixth-largest economy, California — home to an estimated 2 million illegal immigrants. 
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There's No Reason To Believe GOP Can Win Hispanic Votes with Immigration "Reform"

Pardon me if this blog seems a little messy. I’ve been digging through the muddy pudding of immigration and voter data looking for some proof that passing a “comprehensive” immigration bill would in fact help the GOP win votes among the Hispanic electorate.

Proponents of the current immigration bill — from the Wall Street Journal to former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush — insist that if the GOP doesn’t get onboard the legalization bus, the party will lose the Hispanic vote.
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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?
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A Masterful Maneuver on Immigration

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) is one of the legislative giants of a generation, and in this case, he produces a compromise that would improve immigration enforcement while providing social equity.

In response, the faction of the Republican Party that one prominent Republican refers to as bigots may well sabotage the legislation.

The most likely outcome today is:

1. President Bush achieves formal lame-duck status.

2. Hispanics, the fastest-growing demographic in American politics, continue their long-term march towards the Democratic Party.

3. The Republicans are split in half, victims of the rightist rage they have fomented for some time, now turned Republican against Republican.
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Has the GOP Lost the Gutierrez Family Forever?

Roger Gutierrez is a third-generation Hispanic living in the United States. His grandparents on his mother’s side came here illegally. Roger, now in his 30s, is married to Kate Simmons-Gutierrez, who is a fourth-generation European mutt living in the United States. Roger and Kate have two children, Tabitha and Tony, who attend private school in the suburbs. Tabitha advanced to her orange belt in karate last weekend, and Tony has a soccer game tonight at 5 p.m.

According to Dick Morris, if Republicans don’t pass immigration reform, Tabitha and Tony will never, ever vote Republican as long as they live. Nor will their children.

Oh.
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Foolish Assumption, Pathetic System

I’m sitting here stewing over the fact that Bush is going to try to ram an immigration bill down our throats, and stewing over the fact that the Wall Street Journal thinks the GOP has gone “nativist” for not supporting the bill, and then it hits me what’s really going on here.

A bunch of mostly white men in Washington, D.C. with advanced degrees are in a political struggle to force 12 million to 20 million illegal immigrants to take a standardized test with a No. 2 pencil. But did anyone ask these immigrants if they want to be legalized? How do we know they all want to become U.S. citizens? We just assume they want to be quizzed on obscure facts from American history and learn a new language.
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Demise of the ‘Grand Bargain’

Just days after shelving the high-stakes immigration reform bill, today the Senate takes up a no-confidence vote on Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez. Democrats are fine with it failing; they just need to get the Republicans on the record defending Gonzalez for future use in campaign commercials. We’re not getting anywhere on substance but you can sure take the political temperature of Congress these days and it’s clearly so hot they can’t do their jobs. What’s on for tomorrow? President Bush will attend the GOP Senate lunch and implore his fellow Republicans to forge ahead with the immigration package they rejected. They will listen, hot under the collar, but the reception could be chilly.

With the death of the “grand bargain” on immigration, Washington observers are mourning the death of bipartisanship. But bipartisanship is alive and well — both parties, working in concert to torpedo the bill, hated it equally. The grassroots, not the lobbyists, spoke loud and clear and the voice of the opposition was much noisier than those advocating reform.

Yes, the atmosphere is still partisan on Capitol Hill, and too politically volatile for compromise. Democrats who just won Republican seats last fall are scrambling to keep them. Republicans who just lost them are scrambling to get them back. Until there is a new president, and a new season of true bipartisan goodwill, both sides have too much to lose. In his first months in office President Bush enjoyed the cooperation of Democrats on education reform, and even some on tax cuts, and it is possible the next president will convince the Congress to pass an immigration compromise that looks much the same as the one both parties now love to hate.
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The Sopranos and the Senate

Watching the final episode of “The Sopranos” last night was kind of like watching the downfall of the immigration bill in the Senate. It is as if David Chase was studying Harry Reid’s every move.

Great anticipation followed by a dull end.  When is the movie coming out?

Ted Kennedy is like Tony Soprano. Lots of charisma but a little on the heavy side. He is barking orders but he can’t finish the job of winning his battle without the help of the feds (George Bush, in this case).

Talk of a sequel is already starting when it comes to immigration. Democrats say that they will bring it back if there is an agreement on the number of amendments that Republicans bring up. Kind of like the agreement reached by the New Jersey and New York crews, to the ultimate downfall of Phil Leotardo.

Tom Tancredo is kind of like Phil. All this attention is getting to his head. He loves to bash immigrants so much he has decided to run for president.
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