Thursday, June 28, 2012

Comprehensive and Fair Immigration Policy

Thanks to Angela Maria Kelley's presentation at GA, I learned some background information about the state of policy development about Immigration in the last decade.  Angela Maria Kelley is the VP for Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress.

Everyone says that we need comprehensive and fair Immigration Reform.  Even Mitt Romney, who tries to avoid saying anything concrete about immigration says that we need a "long term solution" by which he means a "comprehensive and fair immigration reform."  Romney adds the stunning qualifier that it also be "long term."  Quick, someone specify that it be "bi-partisan" to round out the list of glittering generalities.

The thing forgotten though is that such a bill has already received majorities of both houses of Congress and had the support of the President of the United States.  It was not perfect, of course, but the Immigration Reform Bill supported by Kennedy, McCain and George W Bush was approved by the House of Representatives and received 53 favorable procedural votes in the United States Senate.  While overwhelmingly supported by Democrats, it received Republican votes in both Houses.  One would think that it would be the law of the land, but no.

Unfortunately, the United States Senate operates under Minority Rule.  41 Senators can block any legislation.  And so, 53 votes out of a possible 100 is a defeat. (This innovation is one of the methods of the ongoing slow coup that a radicalized Republican Party is engaging in.) 

The bill became a cause for the proto-Tea Party grassroots rebellion in the GOP.  Support for it marked a Senator or Representative a RINO; even John McCain walked away from his own bill as part of his pursuit of the Presidency. 

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