Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) is a major hot button issue right now thanks to Senator Russell Pearce (R-Ariz.) creating and Governor Jan Brewer (R-Ariz.) signing Arizona’s new immigration enforcement law. Arizona SB1070 has done more to raise immigration awareness in the general public than any other single event since the amnesty battle of 2007. And now on the national scene, it looks like open-border advocates are going to divide their efforts and piece together a hopeful CIR down payment with the DREAM Act and Ag Jobs bill.
Nonetheless, Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) continues to desperately look for GOP support on his 26-page Reid/Schumer/Menendez amnesty proposal. Last week President Barack Obama urged Republicans to work with him. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement that he "noted" that several Republicans have supported immigration before, and urged them to do so again.
"Obviously, there were continued differences on some of these issues. But, the President believes that direct dialogue is better than posturing, and he was pleased to have the opportunity to share views with the conference," Gibbs said.
The DREAM Act has bipartisan support from Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Senator Dick Lugar (R-Ind.). It would allow illegal aliens who came to this country as children to become permanent residents if they attend college or enroll in the military. That’s an amnesty.
The Ag Jobs bill would allow illegal farm workers and agricultural guest workers to become permanent residents. That’s another amnesty.
Here’s where it gets tricky. Reid obviously wants his full immigration reform package to find GOP support and move it to a bill. Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) is riding shotgun on the CIR trail. Enter in Durbin with the DREAM Act, which some feel would pass more easily in conjunction with Ag Jobs support from conservative farm states, and you have a top heavy Democratic Leadership pushing immigration reform into the midterm election cycle.
Anything could happen over the next 4 weeks!
There is limited time on the Senate calendar but high stakes for Reid facing a difficult reelection in Nevada, which has a large Hispanic population. If they go after the low-hanging fruit it could have devastating long term effects on the CIR movement. But keep in mind, that as Majority Leader, Reid has the capacity to divide and piecemeal, and to bring whatever he wants to the floor. Get ready for another amnesty push from the White House.
CHAD MACDONALD is the Director of Social Media Marketing for NumbersUSA
Updated: Wed, Jun 23rd 2010 @ 11:09am EDT