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:


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.


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.


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.


Right runs from Rubio

Easy fellas. It has only been a week since National Review blasted immigration reform legislation being promoted — with enormous difficulty — by the Gang of Eight. Now a cover story titled "Rubio's Folly" is the latest attack by the conservative publication, this time aimed personally at Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), the man who both parties agree is reform's best hope.

Insisting the key provisions Rubio promised are not in the 844-page bill, the editors wrote that Rubio has lashed himself to the bill, making "convoluted justifications" and "laughable arguments," to promote the legislation.


Rubio immigration plan seeks improvement, momentum

Perhaps no one in American politics has more invested in a single public policy issue than Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) does with immigration.

Rubio, perhaps following the White House move to use an executive order on the DREAM Act for children of illegal immigrants last year, made the conscious decision to shape events, not react to them.


Immigration: Marco Rubio's moment

Never before in my memory has a potential presidential candidate been tested in the manner that Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) will now be tested, through a single dramatic legislative action, with the immigration bill that may ultimately be the most important bill of the current Congress.

This is good for America. We need an immigration bill, and we need presidential prospects who are tested through the crucible of real life events. While I have never been a big fan of "Groups of 8" (or any groups or gangs), I applaud the immigration group of Democrats and Republicans working in good faith who are producing a credible and important benchmark for debate and hopefully action on immigration.


Rubio wimps out at CPAC

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) demonstrated in his speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference meeting that he lacks the toughness and political courage to be elected president in 2016. By running like a frightened rabbit from his own immigration proposals and refusing to champion them in his speech, Rubio suggests he has nothing to fear except his base itself. If Rubio could not handle this speech, he's gonna have a tough time in roughhouse Republican presidential primaries, and he will look like shredded wheat if he ever faces the inside fastball of the formidable Hillary Clinton if this mismatch ever comes to pass.


Immigration offers Republicans an opportunity

For too long, the only Republican plan to deal with immigration reform was to tighten border security. This tack was a helpful dodge, not requiring a politician to detail what we would do with the 11-12 million illegal immigrants already here.
But in winning about 30 percent of Hispanic votes in 2012, the Republican Party has been forced to move to the middle with a more sensible, forward-looking plan that addresses the many complicated factors involved in immigration reform.