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The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Backers of Comprehensive Immigration Reform Suddenly Quite Nervous



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From the Thursday edition of the Morning Jolt:

Comprehensive Immigration Reform Backers Suddenly Quite Nervous

Hey, remember when passage of immigration reform was a certainty, and lawmakers skeptical of the whole legislative contraption could either get on the fast-moving train or get run over by it? Apparently not anymore:

The White House and its immigration reform allies are banking on the August recess as their next — and possibly last — major opportunity to compel House Republicans to act.

With the issue stalled in the House, the monthlong congressional break is the linchpin of a campaign that President Barack Obama, Senate immigration leaders and a broad coalition of groups now expect they’ll have to wage through the end of the year. They realize they must make progress in the next month to stand any chance of keeping the issue alive into the fall.

“We’re not winning this fight,” Sen. John McCain, a Gang of Eight leader, told POLITICO Wednesday. “They are mounting a better campaign than we are — the opposition is.”

The problem with launching a public pressure campaign on lawmakers during the August recess is that the country as a whole is generally off on vacation.

The Washington Post offers a new poll on the topic this morning, and while there’s majority support for a path to citizenship . . . 

2013-07-17 Immig graphic

 . . . when you consider how the issue is covered — how a path to citizenship is usually treated as humane and natural and just and with few or no drawbacks, and opponents are usually described as xenophobic or racist, and how even the term “illegal immigrant” has been declared too controversial for the AP — doesn’t a 55–41 split actually seem a bit low?

On those last two questions . . . did 11 percent think that 20,000 border agents and 700 miles of fence along the border with Mexico would be cheap?


Tags: Illegal Immigration , Immigration Reform , John McCain


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