Good news for immigration patriots: The current (3/30 issue) of The Jewish Week
reports that the Bush-Kennedy-McCain amnesty drive is stalling ("Presidential Politics Could Scuttle Border Reform: Jewish leaders fear immigration bill, a top communal priority, now longshot"
, by James D. Besser). Reason: fierce opposition from patriots in the GOP presidential primary states.
This time around, the biggest hurdles are in the Senate because of rules that allow a single lawmaker to hold up legislation. On the hot-button issue of legal immigration, it will be hard for immigration advocates to win the 60-vote majority needed to overcome filibusters.And thereâ€™s the presidential election.â€?You already have one [presidential] campaign based mostly on opposition to illegal immigration,â€? said an official with one group, referring to Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.). â€?And the right-wing press continuing to call this a dire emergency. Itâ€™s 2008â€™s gay marriage issue.â€?
In lib-speak, that`s serious. The gay marriage issue was on the ballot in several states in 2004 and is widely credited with turning out the troops who then put W back in the White House.
The bad news for immigration patriots: what appears to be the continued knee-jerk committment of Jewish organizations to facilitating the immivasion:
A Jewish community divided on a range of other issues is mostly united behind the need for comprehensive immigration reform and regards the House bill as a good first step.â€?Once you get past the Israel issue, itâ€™s near the top of the list of priorities for a lot of groups,â€? said Haddar Susskind, Washington representative for the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA).â€?Itâ€™s one issue where thereâ€™s mostly agreement between progressive grass-roots groups and the big national organizations,â€? said Mik Moore, director of policy for the Jewish Funds for Justice. â€?There is a real sense of common cause.â€?