Immigration Reform, despite promises made by the President and congressional leaders was not among the issues to be introduced before the mid-term elections. Then came the controversial, arguably unconstitutional, racially divisive Arizona legislation that was signed into law yesterday. Senator Reid has now indicated that he is prepared to move forward with immigration reform and make it the top legislative priority, ahead of energy legislation. However, according to an article on cnn.com: “The push for immigration reform may be on the front burner for congressional Democrats, but sources say that ultimately, they believe the issue is unlikely to have enough votes to pass.”
Whether Immigration Reform is likely to pass or not, many believe that it may be a brilliant strategic move for Democrats to bring the issue to the forefront: The logic is that the inevitable demonizing of the undocumented by the far right could cause a backlash that would allow Democrats to win more congressional seats or at least spare some that they would have otherwise lost given the large bloc of Latino voters.
On the other hand, some have argued that a solely political motive that is rushed and leads to failure could doom prospects for reform for a long time to come. Moreover, Senator Lindsey Graham is backing away from supporting the measure even though he has been a co-sponsor of proposed legislation. Politics will undoubtedly come into play and this administration and congress will have to use every tool at their disposal if they want to pass CIR before the mid-term elections. It will undoubtedly be an uphill battle but, then again, so was health care reform.