People and Politics by Patrick Roberts
Obama to (mis) lead again on immigration reform?
Posted on Wednesday, June 30, 2010 at 02:37 PM
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President Obama has a major speech on immigration reform planned for tomorrow.
I won't be tuning in.
The script is already set in stone -- if only those pesky Republicans would get on side on a comprehensive bill then we could all get along.
There's a better likelihood of a man landing on Mars by the end of the year.
Obama knows it and so does everyone who has trooped through the White House in the past few days, including the Hispanic Caucus who have remained remarkably civil despite broken promises to them.
But they too, need to face facts folks.
Comprehensive reform does not have a snowball's chance in hell.
The political temperature is too high, the advocates too angry. Any effort will end in failure.
What does have a chance is passage of individual aspects of an immigration bill.
A massive comprehensive effort has too many pitfalls.
Taking issues such as the Dream Act, which would allow children brought to the U.S, at an early age to legalize their status, is a piece of legislation that even the most cold-hearted Republican should be loathe to deny.
Working with business and agricultural groups to create a proper method of bringing needed labor in at fair prices could also be agreed by both sides.
A system of allowing top level brains from other countries to come and work here would benefit all Americans.
All those kinds of provisions are eminently passable.
Sometimes I fear that advocates are as firmly rooted in the quagmire of comprehensive reform as enemies of reform are.
Everyone needs to take a step back.
Obama should tell the American people that.
Each step towards reform can be matched by one on enforcement.
Then gradually the issue of illegals can be dealt with.
But there will be no big bang, no bill that can be whisked through the legislatures.
We tried that in much more favorable times with Kennedy/McCain
It is time we all came clean including the president and followed a path of gradual change rather than a big bang which has become a big fizzle.
Does anyone have the courage to tell all the interest groups that?
I hope Obama does but I'm not holding my breath.
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