We’re still two months away from the inauguration of the newly-elected Congress (the one that maintains the same partisan leadership as the old one), yet already we’re starting to get talk about what could happen with the issue of immigration policy.
|SCHUMER: Making his mark on immigration?|
Specifically, Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said Sunday they intend to become the new bipartisan combo that will lead our Congress into creating an immigration policy free of the bureaucratic flaws that bog down the existing policy.
THEY DON’T QUITE resemble Teddy Kennedy and John McCain to me. But I’d like to believe that Graham and Schumer will work seriously toward giving our nation a sane policy concerning the arrival of newcomers to this country.
Which means I’m not convinced it’s going to happen. Because I realize that there are still the ideologues out there – and the rhetoric we’ve been getting from them in coming days is one of anger.
If anything, they’re plotting ways to punish all these “foreigners” for depriving them of a president who would rubber-stamp their views on all issues.
If Congress, particularly people like Graham, is willing to stand up to those ideologues, then perhaps something will happen. Otherwise, we’re going to get a whole lot of rhetoric that proves the truth of the old saying, “Talk is cheap!”
SCHUMER AND GRAHAM made their pitch on Sunday while appearing on the weekend talk shows that emanate out of Washington. I do find it encouraging that the two realize the need to at least appear to be doing something.
There hasn’t been any serious action on the issue during the past two years. Republicans used their “filibuster” power to prevent the issue from ever being voted on back then.
And all the election rhetoric kept the issue from being considered at all during the past year.
|GRAHAM: Leading his GOP colleagues?|
Part of the problem is that the ideologues want to view immigration reform as a matter of increased deportations. It has been in an attempt to appease those individuals that Barack Obama’s presidency has seen some of the highest deportation rates in our nation’s history.
YET ALL THAT did was ticked off the Latino majorities that twice have been a significant part of Obama’s presidential election coalition, and showed that the ideologues are an uncompromising batch.
Hopefully, Obama has learned.
And hopefully the ideologues will get a little bit of “give” put into their step. Graham went so far as to say Sunday that the current Republican policies and viewpoints are not only the equivalent of shooting themselves in the foot, they also keep reloading the pistol.
Yet I want to see specifics, and I want to see action, before I believe it will happen. Our Congress is filled with some very pigheaded individuals. Nothing should be taken for granted.
THE OVERVIEW BEING offered now says that the ideologues will get something along the lines of their e-Verify plan (which doesn’t work well, but that doesn’t bother the nativists) and some increased enforcement measures.
In return, it would also create a plan for temporary workers who aren’t looking to move to this country permanently, along with figuring out how to make legitimate the nearly 11 million people now living in this country without a valid visa.
That latter measure is important – even though the ideologues want to keep screeching “Amnesty!” until their throats go hoarse. Because the truth is that there is no legitimate reason most of those people should be denied a visa.
And their labor is making a worthwhile contribution to our society. Anything that gets those people out of the shadows and living openly in this country is a good thing on so many levels.
WILL OUR CONGRESS have the sense and the ability to put something together that can go to Obama for final approval? Or will the ideologues view Obama support on this issue as being the grounds upon which they try to seek his impeachment!
I wouldn’t put it past Congress to try such a thing. Because when it comes to serious immigration reform, it seems to have become one of those issues that makes too much common sense for our Congress to actually do it.