REFORM IS NOT DEAD
Many people are already getting ready for a funeral to bury immigration reform. I have always said the real fight will be in the House, and it would be tough and certainly has proven to be. BUT reform is not dead. Far from it. This is what we need to do. Find out who your local congressman is. Google it. Determine whether they support reform. If they do, don’t waste your time with people who are already supportive.
If they don’t, then anyone who lives in their district that votes, that knows someone that votes, or wants to vote in the future should contact these House members every day to demand comprehensive immigration reform.
Below is an excellent piece describing 3 key reasons why reform is still alive! Do not give up. Now is the time to double your efforts, not lessen them! Hard things are hard. But worth every damn minute of it and passing comprehensive immigration reform is still a reality.
Immigration reform isn’t dead
By: Sean West
July 11, 2013 03:01 PM EDT
White House press secretary Jay Carney accurately summed up the state of play on comprehensive immigration reform earlier this week: “hard things are hard.” But just because House Republicans are struggling to design their reform strategy as congressional Democrats draw red lines around them doesn’t mean the effort is dead.
The truth is, passage — in one form or another — remains more likely than not, if only slightly so, for three main reasons.
First, the premise that there is a unified desire to kill immigration in the House is simply wrong. No doubt, safe members in predominantly white districts face little voter demand for a change in policy. But there are moneyed interests in every district for whom immigration reform is top priority, and there is no single cohesive opposition force.
Second, any member eyeing statewide or national office in the future — or hoping that the Republican Party will one day win the unified government necessary to pass their top fiscal priorities — sees benefits in passing reform. There are some, like former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, who even actually like the idea of passing reform for economic and moral reasons. And there are others who are indifferent about “amnesty” but have strong political reasons to go on record voting in support of stronger border security or a business visa overhaul.
Third, the new conventional wisdom that House Republicans will slow-walk reform to death misses the fact that they can’t simply run, hide, and hope immigration goes away. Immigration supporters will continue to direct media attention to the issue, which will crowd out House attempts to highlight a host of recent Obama administration scandals and position for upcoming fiscal battles. At the end of the day, Republicans know that if they refuse to move a credible attempt at reform, they will bear all the blame for failure.
This means that even if Republicans are ultimately going to kill reform, they need to get Democratic fingerprints on the murder weapon. The easiest way to do this would be to pass a series of tough, piecemeal reforms on issues like border control — and include a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants, as the hawkish chair of the House Judiciary committee recently floated, rather than a path to full citizenship. Under this scenario, GOP leaders would go to conference committee with serious leverage and political inoculation against the charge that they torpedoed all hopes for reform. Democrats and the president, meanwhile, would risk destroying immigration reform if they follow through on threats to walk away from any bill that doesn’t provide full citizenship.
But Democrats probably wouldn’t walk away. The president and many of his congressional colleagues are more interested in overhauling the immigration system than in just chalking up a political victory, though they will surely seek out the latter if it is all that is available. They have raised expectations among a diverse set of stakeholders, from Hispanic advocacy groups to the technology lobby, for delivering reform. It would be politically untenable for Democrats to justify turning down a reform package that delivers everything they want but the ability of newly documented immigrants to vote. And they will be able to argue that Congress can always come back later under Democratic control and upgrade legal status to citizenship.
Immigration reform is no slam dunk: There is a significant chance that a Congress that has only enacted 15 laws this year fails to tackle such a difficult set of reforms. But we are not there yet, nor are we witnessing signs that failure is a foregone conclusion. Try to filter out the noise on Capitol Hill: The key signal will neither be bluster from Republicans as they struggle through their own political strategizing nor red-line threats from Democrats about a “path to citizenship or bust.” It will be a change of tack from the White House.
The president wants reform badly enough that he has stayed on the sidelines for much of the debate, hoping not to spoil congressional efforts — even at risk of accusations that he did not try hard enough to sell the public case, should it fail. Hoping to lure Republicans with honey, he released a report touting immigration’s economic benefits earlier this week.
We’ll know immigration reform is truly unlikely when Obama breaks out the vinegar, for much as he wants the policy win, he’ll take the political victory of Republicans blocking reform if it looks like that’s all he’ll get. A cross-country roadshow filled with bully-pulpit, partisan grenade-throwing would indicate that the president has moved on and cause the House to recoil. Obama has floated the idea as a reminder that he can play hardball; that he isn’t doing so yet is an important sign.
Let’s not forget: Many of the same voices that are skeptical about immigration endgame previously made the case that Sen. Marco Rubio wouldn’t be able to back a Senate proposal; that Senate Democrats wouldn’t give enough on border security to secure the necessary Republican support; and that, when the votes were ultimately tallied, the Senate bill would only limp over the finish line. None of that proved true.
Immigration reform is hard. But it’s not dead.