Immigration reform prospects are up

An article in the Congressional Quarterly explains why immigration reform has a better chance of passage today than in recent past. Tomorrow, June 8, Obama meets with a bipartisan group of congressman and senators to set the stage for legislative action. In the Senate, Democrats and Republicans are in close agreement on most issues.
Republican John Cronyn of Texas opposed reforms in 2006 and 2007 and appears now in favor of a compromise. McCain has been silent and Kennedy is not longer involved in immigration.
The 2008 election results shifted Congress mor towards reforms. Hispanic voters went from 5.4% of the electorate in 2000 to 7.4% in 2008. They may have provided the margin in states where Republicans lost seats, such as New Mexico, Colorado, and Virginia. Also, moderate or more reform republican senators were not punished in their re-election fights.
The 2008 strengthened the Democratic majority in the House. The key house member on immigration now is Democrat Lois Gutierrez from Illinois, who has been working his colleagues to pass a bill this year.
Organized labor is shifted somewhat more towards reform. The AFL-CIO, which stayed of the reform fights in 2006 and 2007, has signed on with the SEIU to support the idea of an official commission which would monitor the labor market and determine changes in visa policy. The cosmetics of this shift by the AFL-CIO is more important than the actual content.
Religious groups, such as evangelicals, are showing more support for reform.

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