The political fact is clear for all to see. IF there is going to be a bill to reform the immigration concerns of America it needs to be done now. While there is a real possibility to pass a comprehensive bill in the summer of 2007, there will be no ability to do so as we get closer to the 2008 presidential election. And the President will sign this bill! It is a sad state of affairs to know that the legislative branch is only capable of heavy lifting on the big issues when far enough away from an election. Many in Congress are not the epitome of bravery or leadership. I tend to think that most voters want their member of Congress to do what is right, not politically expedient. But elected officials often reverse that ethical equation which brings me back to my first sentence.
No one can deny the need for a sweeping answer to our immigration concerns. In order to get a bill on such an onerous issue all sides will need to compromise. I find myself at odds with portions of the new proposal such as making temporary workers leave the country only to reapply for entry down the road. The fact that our nation needs some 400,000-600,000 temporary workers proves the importance of these people to our economy and our communities. On the other hand I applaud the nonimmigrant visa process that will bring out of the shadows those individuals who are friends and taxpayers and wish to be a full member of our society. The ability for all sides in Congress to show leadership and perfect the art of compromise will be instructive.
To see Mitt Romney who is running for president placing ads with a racist fear factor shows America the problematic side to reaching a consensus bill. If the right wing can spin and demonize the bill loud enough, and long enough, the hope for legislative action will be gone. And the status quo will remain.
After watching Romney spin I am left with one question for him and for other conservatives who foam at the mouth on this issue. Why would they be willing to spend tens of billions of taxpayer dollars on a fence that has no chance of working, and undermine family values that the right-wing supposedly champions, when a more comprehensive approach could be negotiated. Could it be that the heat and rhetoric they hope to generate is calculated to undermine the work that Congress is paid to do, just to insure their own poll numbers might get a bump in their respective races?
This whole process is all very instructive by showing America who the leaders are, as opposed to those with the desire to just live in Washington and blow hot air.
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