Carrie Burdoff Brown at Politico:
Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have rekindled their alliance on immigration reform, taking some early steps to test the political will for addressing the contentious issue this year.
Their call list hasn’t focused so much on House and Senate members who’ve been reliable pro-immigration votes in the past. Instead, they’re looking to a strange-bedfellows mix of conservative and liberal constituencies that can provide a “safety net” of support, as Graham put it, once the issue heats up.
It’s in the infant stage,” Graham told POLITICO. “I don’t know what the political appetite is to do something.”
Mark Krikorian at The Corner:
Only one month into the new Congress, and Lindsey Graham has already started scheming with Chuck Schumer on how to pass an illegal-alien amnesty. I’m surprised he waited that long. McCain won’t be far behind.
Time for Lindsey to be shown the door by South Carolina voters.
Strange bedfellows? No, not really:
Now, conservative evangelicals, the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, business organizations and immigrant advocacy groups say they have gotten word from Schumer’s office that a renewed effort is under way. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce confirmed that it is back in the mix, after a hasty exit last year when Schumer proposed a legislative framework with a temporary worker program that favored labor unions.
Unions and big business partnering on amnesty? Say it ain’t so! Why, that’s as shocking as the opposition of both to ICE raids and e-Verify. There’s nothing strange at all at this partnership; it’s business as usual.
Congress and the last two administrations could easily have had immigration “reform” had they performed their duties to (a) secure the borders, and (b) fix the visa program that has nearly no follow-up on expirations. The 9/11 Commission demanded both from Congress in the summer of 2004. To date, not only has Congress mostly ignored those recommendations, they defunded the one project that addressed the commission’s concerns — the border fence.
Secure the border, and fix the visa system. Those should be the prerequisites to any discussion on “reform.” When Congress proves that they’re serious about securing this nation, then we can debate what to do with those who are in the country illegally now, but not before.
Any such legislation would be DOA in the House, which means that this is just a scam to hustle campaign cash from open-borders advocates, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Yeah, too bad Mike Castle lost that GOP primary in Delaware. Also too bad Charlie Crist and Arlen Specter aren’t in the Senate, so they could cash in on this RINO fundraising windfall.
Please: Explain to me again why it’s so damned important to elect Republicans to the Senate.
Comprehensive immigration reform is long overdue, and the basic framework of a worthwhile package is already in place — Bush, congressional Democrats, and some reform-minded Republicans agreed on a path several years ago, and the Obama White House would very likely endorse a very similar, if not identical, policy.
With this in mind, I’m glad Graham and Schumer at least have their hearts in the right place. They’re reaching out to newly-sensible GOP senators like Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and have apparently brought John McCain back into the discussions (though he promised voters last year he would refuse to negotiate on the issue).
But putting aside questions of whether it’s even possible to craft an immigration bill that could get 60 votes and overcome Republican obstructionism, I haven’t the foggiest idea why anyone would think the GOP-led House would even consider such a measure.