The Campaign Spot

Now or Never on a Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill?

As if the stakes in the immigration fight couldn’t get any higher… Ezra Klein reports that his sources – presumably Democrats – think that either a comprehensive bill passes this year, or it never will.

One last thing: The folks I talked to believe this is the year. Two years from now isn’t an option. The particular political circumstances we’re in are nearly unique: Bush has nothing left to lose but his involvement still provides cover for Republicans, Democrats can get an immigration bill without full ownership over it, the space is open for the subject because the President won’t allow action on other liberal priorities and the Congress won’t countenance any conservative agenda items, and so on. You have the RNC defending a bill that, were it offered under a Democratic president, they’d be tearing apart. Meanwhile, this just won’t be a priority for the next president: President Democrat will want to do health care, not amnesty, and President Republican will want to get reelected someday. So this is the shot…

Whoever leads the opposition and wins — presuming they win, of course — will be able to say they’ve driven a stake through the heart of “amnesty.” If you think this bill is amnesty, of course. I largely concur with Andy McCarthy’s take.

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