New HBO movie captures Ted Kennedy's battle for immigration reform


A new HBO movie shows the late Senator Ted Kennedy fighting for one of the key political causes of his life; immigration reform.

The documentary airs just days after the House voted in favor of health care reform.

Widow Vicki Kennedy says Kennedy would have been thrilled at Congress passing health care.

"I think he would've been exhilarated. You know he was always a person about moving forward. You know, he would be thrilled and move forward," she said.

And she said Kennedy might have spent quite a bit of time celebrating this victory.

"I think on this one, he would take a little more time and celebrate it, I would have to say, because this one was a long time coming," she told ABC News.

Another victory that Kennedy did not live to see is immigration reform, another unpopular cause that he championed.

The HBO movie, "The Senators Bargain," will air March 24 on HBO 2 and March 26 on HBO Latino.

It tells the story of Kennedy's push for immigration reform in 2007 when he came tanatalizingly close with a deal with conservative Senator John Kyl of Arizona.

"The Senators’ Bargain" focuses on the inside rooms in the Beltway where deals are struck or un-struck.

Early reviews say that Kennedy carries both the film and the so-called grand bargain.

Kennedy shows his age in private and in his office, but in the Senate he roars like the Lion he was.

In speech after speech, including two powerful addresses to the Irish Lobby for Immigration Reform rallies, he rouses the troops.

Every time he speaks on immigration he points out how his own grandparents would have been illegal immigrants in the America of today.

He talks of their trips on the "coffin ships" and recalls his brother John F Kennedy's emotional return to Ireland.

They were inspiring words and he inspired many of us to keep believing in the legislative process.

Who knows. Maybe Kennedy can inspire Congress still.


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