Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Piecemeal Amnesty Watch


From today's Politico, more evidence that amnesty advocates are mulling a change of strategy from a "comprehensive" bill (one that would amnesty all illegal immigrants) to smaller, more targeted measures:

Last Thursday, at a closed-door meeting between senior Democratic senators and immigration reform advocates, the parties concluded that passing a comprehensive bill would be an extremely tall order this year because of stiff GOP opposition and uneasiness among some Democratic moderates. A number of advocates felt that bringing up a billthis year, only to see it fail, could set back reform efforts for years, according to several people familiar with the meeting.

So Reid and his allies are considering abandoning a comprehensive bill until after November, for possible action in a post-election session or in the 112th Congress, which begins in January 2011.

Where does that leave Reid with the Latinos he’s wooing back home? Looking for smaller victories.

Reform advocates are beginning to lobby fence-sitting Republicans to see if they’d go along with supporting narrower immigration issuesthis year — strictly dealing with undocumented agricultural workers and children of illegal immigrants.

That refers to the AgJobs bill (an amnesty for current illegal-alien farmworkers and an indentured labor program for future ones) and the Dream Act (an amnesty for illegal aliens brought here as children).

And there's this:

Immigration reform doesn’t exactly top most senators' election-year wish lists.

"The tax cuts expire, so they gotta come up this year," said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.). "Immigration? There is no expiration date on immigration."

"There's no expiration date on immigration" — exactly, and that's why even the pro-amnesty people should be for enforcement-first. If we finally get real enforcement, not all the illegals will deport themselves or be deported; there's no expiration date on their illegal status, meaning amnesty advocates could then, several years from now, plead their case to what would be a more sympathetic public. But that would mean some significant number of illegals would have to leave first, and that's apparently unacceptable.