ROBINSON: This decoy could deliver a winner
Published: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 9:47 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 9:47 a.m.
Republicans spent the weekend trumpeting shock and
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said the White House proposal
So a bipartisan group of eight senators, led by Rubio, has been working to develop a comprehensive reform package that would provide some kind of legal status for the 11 million migrants who are here without papers.
The outlines of a solution are obvious. There would be a clear path to citizenship for those who were brought here as children. There would be provisional legal status, and a route to permanent legal status, for those who came as adults. There would be measures to tighten security along the border with Mexico. There would probably be some kind of guest-worker program for those who seek only to come for seasonal employment. And there would be changes to streamline the legal immigration system, especially for high-tech workers and potential entrepreneurs.
The problem is that Republicans have spent years demonizing undocumented immigrants as a way of appealing to xenophobic, jingoistic sentiment. So how can members of Congress switch from
It’s really not much different from what Rubio’s group is talking about. But Republicans can slam Obama’s plan as some sort of Kenyan-socialist-inspired abdication of sovereignty. They can blast the provisions on border security as laughable. They can describe the absence of a real plan for reforming the legal immigration process as slapdash, or unserious, or whatever they want to call it.
Republicans in the Senate can line up instead behind a bill that Rubio’s Group of Eight eventually produces; even Paul, a tea party favorite, has indicated he could vote for reform as long as he had more than
In other words, this isn’t so much about what is being proposed. The bigger factor is who’s proposing it
But he added that a bill originating in the Senate
So if the president really wants immigration reform to pass, one of the most helpful things he could do is put out his own plan as a decoy, to draw Republican fire, while the Senate works toward bipartisan consensus. Which looks suspiciously like what just happened.
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