House Democrats, led by Luis Gutierrez of Illinois, have launched an effort to make good on a campaign promise to Hispanic voters to pass “immigration reform,” a euphemism for granting amnesty to approximately 12 million illegal immigrants.
Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. Congress on Tuesday introduced a bill to overhaul immigration laws, the first step in what analysts say will be an uphill slog to get the controversial issue to a vote before midterm elections next year. Rep Luis V. Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat, introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America’s Security and Prosperity Act of 2009, that seeks to give millions of illegal immigrants a shot at legal status. It was backed by more than 20 other Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives.
You have to wonder if this is a serious effort, or a token gesture to placate their pro-amnesty constituency. With Congress’ approval ratings at a record low level, and falling further as the health care debate drags on, sucking the life out of other critical issues like the economy and climate change legislation, nothing would make the American people angrier than an amnesty bill getting priority over these other issues. And the Democrats know it:
Democratic officials in Washington, however, said last month they were skeptical there will be enough time or political will to tackle the issue next year, although it could be on the agenda in 2011 or 2012 depending on the outcome of congressional elections next November — a position shared by political analysts on Tuesday.
Better for them to get it out there now, when it is sure to be pushed aside by much more pressing issues. At least they can then tell their pro-amnesty bloc, “at least we tried.”
Still, the irony of debating a measure designed to import more labor, more carbon emitters and more oil consumers while, at the same time, debating how to mitigate the problems of unemployment, global warming and dependency on foreign oil would be wonderful political theater. Anti-immigration forces would likely pounce on the opportunity to link these issues, waking people up to the consequences of our continued self-destructive lax immigration policy. The pro-amnesty bloc woud be well-advised to simply let this legislation die.