In short, Specter's action will have NO effect on CIR whatsoever, even if amnesty is a done deal.
The reason? For starters, Sen. Specter votes the Democratic Party line on all immigration issues. He is globalist who is pro amnesty, pro H-1B, pro guest worker visas, and pro open borders. Switching parties will not affect how he votes.
Assuming all Democrats vote for amnesty, Specter's change won't change anything, because he almost always votes for higher immigration. Take a look at his miserable report card.
Specter is as bad as it gets on immigration. To give one of the most hideous examples: In 2006 Specter became the primary sponsor of the McCain/Kennedy amnesty bill. The new Specter bill became known as Comprehensive Immigration reform or S. 2611. Specter's S2611 inherited the SKIL bill — a frightening escalation in the H-1B program and other guest worker visas. Specter struck down all attempts to get rid of the SKIL portion of 2611.
In reality, Obama already has a super majority in Congress because without question at least a few Republicans like McCain will support new amnesties. Specter doesn't change the equation at all.
For now, the only question about CIR is when the next attempt will be made to pass it, and whether the Democrats in the House will follow the Senate in support of it. There is nothing the Republicans can do to stop CIR if the Democrats continue their monolithic enthusiasm for CIR.
There are rumblings on the amnesty front. The Senate Judiciary Committee, will be conducting a hearing today, Thursday, April 30, 2009 at 2:00 PM EST. The topic for the hearing is: "Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2009, Can We Do It and How?" Link to the notice about this hearing with this link. They have a webcast of this hearing online.
So, now allow me to speculate on why Specter had to change parties. He knows that the Tea Party in his state represents the grass roots movement to unseat him — and he wants to run away from these angry voters as fast as his arthritic joints can move![What's Next For Tea Party Movement?] What's Next For Tea Party Movement?/a> By Lowman S. Henry, The Bulletin, April 23, 2009] He acknowledges that he can't even win his own Republican primary. One thing that he will never admit, and the mass media will never publicize, is that Specter is in trouble because of his support of increasing taxes and amnesty. Immigration, or the "3rd Rail", is at the heart of Specter's problems. It's really that simple!