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 there’s the presidential election.
”You already have one [presidential] campaign based mostly on opposition to illegal immigration,” said an official with one group, referring to Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.). ”And the right-wing press continuing to call this a dire emergency. It’s 2008’s gay marriage issue.”
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.
”Once you get past the Israel issue, it’s near the top of the list of priorities for a lot of groups,” said Haddar Susskind, Washington representative for the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA).
”It’s one issue where there’s mostly agreement between progressive grass-roots groups and the big national organizations,” said Mik Moore, director of policy for the Jewish Funds for Justice. ”There is a real sense of common cause.”