Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Immigration: Why Not?

I don't seem to be linked into those networks of support, but I'm one who thinks that the Administration should put forward legislation to put the country on the road toward legalization of the undocumented immigrants. Yes, in this election year.

This may not guarantee any gains in this year's Congressional races, but that's not the proper perspective. The Democratic Party must look at its long-term interest, both due to the guaranteed growth in the Hispanic vote--a fact which really is more about motivation, turnout, and relative domestic fertility rates than it is about immigration legislation itself--and in terms of showing itself to be delivering on its promises, and therefore worthy of the people's trust.

Tactically, the Republicans will have to treat this a bit as they would the next Supreme Court nominee--if it's replacing Stevens or one of the other three liberals this year--gingerly. Their carefully constructed house of cards of accommodation with libertarian TeaPeople could easily tumble if a moderate proposal could be brought forward.

More than likely, the proposal would fall, but again, it's a battle--like the public option--which must be put forward by the Administration, or by its agents in Congress. Voters will require the transparency of allowing democracy to be exercised in formal, publicized votes.

If immigration, like the health care insurance reform in some form, or like public financing of Federal and judiciary campaigns (forward from 2011), are to be defeated by the filibuster, they must be done in public votes with full debate. This will help lead to the key outcome--forward movement, in the form of electing supporters of fairer exercise of democracy and expelling its opponents.

No comments: