Democrats have finally decided that immigration reform will be introduced this year.

President Obama has begun making the calls to the five or so centrist Republicans in the hope of getting one who will join Senator Lindsay Graham as a fellow Republican to sponsor legislation.

It is an uphill task and one complicated by a sense of deep ambivalence on the Democratic side.

Some believe Senate Majority leader Harry Reid is completely genuine in his effort to pull off a major victory on a very complicated issue.

They point to the large Hispanic electorate in his home state of Nevada as he battles for re-election as his motivating drive. The pressure from that lobby has been intense.

But there are others who believe there are more cynical forces at play. That Democrats have decided to push for it knowing they cannot win it but it makes them look good with the Hispanic lobby.

Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos says : "Reid should push for a vote whether he has the 60 [votes] or not. While the ultimate goal is reform, even a losing vote would show Latinos where the opposition is coming from and help motivate them for the November elections."

A Democratic Senate was even more cynical to Roll Call last week: "An all-Democratic bill works better . . . because the tea party and right-wing will react strongly and permanently alienate Latinos."

If that is the Democrats plan then it is risky bordering on foolish. Pro-immigration reform advocates are not stupid at the end of the day and they will recognize a card game where the Democrats hand is a busted flush for what it is.
In addition, it plays with the hopes and dreams of millions of those, including 50,000 Irish who are desperate to see some reform legislation happen.

Democrats are playing with fire if they think a phony bill with no hope of passage will fool anyone.