Even before the final vote on the historic health-care overhaul took place on Sunday, tens of thousands of demonstrators in Washington pushed to make expansive immigration reform the next big project on Washington's political agenda. Sens. Charles Shumer (D-N.Y.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) have introduced legislation to increase border security, verify immigration status with a national I.D. card, and offer a path to citizenship for those already here illegally. Can Democrats follow up their health care victory with immigration reform? (Watch a report the immigration reform rally)
Immigration reform is dead in the water: The war over health reform poisoned the atmosphere on Capitol Hill, says Mike McClellan in The Arizona Republic. There's no way Democrats are going to "stick their necks out" again — especially since legislation that "includes a path to legal residency" for illegal immigrants could prove even more emotionally charged than health reform.
"No, se puede: Immigration reform is DOA"
The timing's bad, but it's the right thing to do: It's "politically inconvenient" to push immigration reform right now, says the Rev. Jon Pedigo in the San Jose Mercury News, but that's no excuse for inaction. Comprehensive reform can help the U.S. discourage illegal immigration in the future while ensuring that immigrant families already here aren't separated in deportation raids. "We can protect our borders and uphold human dignity."
"Time for immigration reform is now"
Illegal aliens demanding amnesty is a hard sell: "This Sunday's illegal-alien march in Washington will make it even harder" to pass immigration reform, says Mark Krikorian in National Review. Just wait until members of Congress start hearing what their constituents think about the idea of granting illegal workers amnesty "when there's 10 percent unemployment." There's going to be so much anger it will make voting for the bill political suicide.
"After health care, immigration?"