The new effort was spurred in large part by the growing influence of Latino voters who strongly backed President Obama and other Democrats in November.Interesting how that energizes both parties to act. A fascinating political game, which includes not only the reform itself but also — whether the reform occurs or not — the way various political actors look as they relate to the proposal for reform. It's sure to be a garish spectacle. In this political theater, who's most likely to take pratfalls on the public stage?
The senators are expected to call for normalizing the status of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants, including allowing those with otherwise clean criminal records to obtain legal work permits, officials said. The group is also likely to endorse stricter border controls and a better system for employers to verify the immigration status of workers.Here's a chance for Republicans to stop being "the stupid party" — as Bobby Jindal advised recently — and to become the truly smart party. Don't appeal to fears. Don't resort to ideology. Actually figure out the right answer on the basis of sharp economic thinking, and be prepared to explain it clearly. It seems to me, we have 11 million undocumented immigrants working in this country because they are serving our needs. My hypothesis is: We don't kick them out because we want them here, whether we admit it to ourselves or not. That's why we don't get tough. We still talk about getting tough and kicking them out — and walling out additional migration — because that appeals to emotion and tracks habitual thinking. But what's really happening? What have we really been doing all these years? How can we align the official policy with reality? That's how I'd like to see Republican politicians sharpen up, become the smart party, and show leadership.
It was not clear, however, whether the final agreement will offer guidance on perhaps the thorniest issue in the immigration debate: what mechanism illegal immigrants could use to pursue full citizenship.