Immigration

One step forward, and that's probably it

Before concluding that comprehensive immigration reform passed by the Senate is unlikely to pass the House and become law, the 68-32 vote Thursday on the bill must be applauded, not on substance (that can be argued and will), but on process. 

It's heartening, in our new normal of permanent gridlock, to see both parties working so earnestly to legislate together.

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Immigration: Schumer wins, Rubio wins, Obama wins, liberals win, Boehner loses, and the right (Ted Cruz, Rand Paul) loses big

The jury in the Senate has rendered its verdict, and the immigration bill has passed.

This is a great leadership victory for Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), whose influence and stature rise from his exceptional performance. It is a great leadership and presidential-caliber victory for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who conducted himself with political courage and legislative skill. It is a major victory for President Obama and liberals. 

And it is a crushing defeat for the right, including Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), who is marginalized on the far right; Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who gave an eloquent speech about Republicans reaching out and then melted into insignificance like butter on a hot summer day when the going got tough; and the Heritage Foundation, whose desperate immigration paper was thoroughly discredited.

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Boehner on the high wire

It's the longest day of the year — especially for House Speaker John Boehner.

Once again a big bill goes down, and his conservative conference has left him holding the bag. The crash of the farm bill Thursday, with more than 60 Republicans voting against it, is frightening immigration reform proponents who feel momentum in the Senate and hope for House passage later this summer. 

Boehner (R-Ohio), along with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), can urge their rank and file all they want to pass immigration reform for the sake and future of the GOP, but these guys do not feel the need to listen.

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Kamikaze right attacks Rubio over immigration

As the front page story in The Hill today correctly reports, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is now facing intense backlash from many on the right for his attempt to pass a responsible immigration bill. 

The heat is on. The test for Rubio has arrived. The future of immigration and Republican politics hangs in the balance.

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House GOP could commit political suicide by defeating immigration reform

As a recent story in The Hill suggested, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has some pretty big decisions to make.

No decision is more important for the Speaker and the Republican Party than whether to make immigration reform the law of the land or whether the GOP House destroys the prospects for immigration reform in the current Congress.

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Immigration deal in peril

It's hard not to be consumed by the avalanche of news about the government spying on all of us, everywhere. But you don't have to be a cynic or an intelligence expert to ask, seriously, why wouldn't they?

But something less dramatic yet just as significant has developed this week while few noticed: Immigration reform is going down the tubes. That's right, the only hope of the two parties doing anything together before the next election is almost gone.

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Immigration reform still alive

The posturing in the Senate and the House has supporters of immigration reform disheartened and discouraged. Latinos, in particular, feel that the moment has come and gone. The blame game has started.

But not so fast. Don’t confuse political maneuver on this highly complex issue with ultimate outcomes. Here’s how I see the state of play:

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Rubio's Rubik's Cube

Perhaps no politician in Washington, D.C. has more at stake in the immigration bill debate than Florida Senator and prospective presidential candidate Marco Rubio (R).

Rubio was recruited into the Gang of Eight senators to serve as the unassailable conservative Republican pitch man. His job was to reassure the Republican base that the legislation was going to meet their fundamental concerns about amnesty for illegal aliens and that the legislation would not significantly increase the size and scope of government by dramatically expanding the dependency class.

And he would have succeeded except for the diligent efforts of Sens. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) and later Ted Cruz (R-Texas) to bring to light the actual content of the legislation before it was voted on.

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The time has come for immigration reform

Comprehensive immigration reform will get 75 votes in the Senate, making it harder for conservatives to kill it in the House.

The Senate Judiciary Committee easily brushed aside efforts from Republicans and Democrats to amend the base bill with potential poison pills, a sure sign that it has real momentum. While the markup is scheduled to go on for three more weeks, the committee should agree to just bring the whole bill, un-amended, to the Senate floor and dispense with the needless drama.

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Rubio's moment of truth

I noticed a great headline in The Washington Examiner announcing the invasion of Washington by sex-starved cicadas and immediately thought of Republicans in 2013. 

Of course, this Examiner story was not about politics, it was about the harmless bugs who hibernate for a decade or two and emerge with deafening noise to mate, a thought that comes to mind as the Senate gets serious about immigration.

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