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Why I think major immigration reform will happen this year

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Congress Speaker John Boehner, surrounded by other Republicans, who might find a week in 2013 to talk about immigration reform.
Congress Speaker John Boehner, surrounded by other Republicans, who might find a week in
2013 to talk about immigration reform.


Washington: Don’t count out immigration reform just yet in this most troubled of political seasons.

Republican insiders here believe that there may be an opportunity between Thanksgiving and Christmas to devote a week to political debate on the House floor to discussion on a House version of the Senate immigration bill.

At stake for Ireland is the fate of 50,000 or so undocumented and a future flow of legal Irish immigrants to America under the E-3 visa bill.

While the media here is widely dismissive of any move from the politically torn GOP, there is private evidence that such is not the case.

There are well meaning and moderate Republicans that realize they need to get to grip with immigration reform if they are ever to win back a decent share of the Hispanic vote.

This week a delegation of Irish parliamentarians met with top figures on the GOP side and emerged hopeful that a bill could pass.

It is clear that the House leadership, led by Speaker John Boehner, accept the necessity of reform. The Chamber of Commerce, the giants of Silicon Valley, the Republican establishment, Wall Street Journal, and the churches, both Catholic and evangelical, are all pushing hard.

The most negative Republican chorus parrots the line that Hispanics will automatically vote for Democrats anyway so why legalize them.

But George W. Bush, not to long ago, won close to 40 percent of the Hispanic vote because of his outreach to them.

While politically liberal they are socially conservative and would have lots in common with a moderate GOP agenda.

The GOP need only to look at California where they have been essentially wiped out in large part because of their anti Hispanic rhetoric going all the way back to Governor Pete Wilson and the odious Proposition 187 that sought to bar education to children of illegal immigrants.

Since then the California political landscape has been a disaster for the GOP.

Smart folks in the GOP today recognize that fact on a national scale. While the press is nay-saying immigration reform for this year I retain confidence that a major effort will still ensue.

I believe it will happen.

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