As one liberal think tank advocate exclaimed: “Nine months ago, people would have thought you were nuts to say that four Republicans and four Democrats were working on a way to legalize 11 million people,” said Angela Kelley of the Center for American Progress.
There is still a long way to go, even for the so-called Gang of Eight, to put a proposal on the table. But when the RNC joins four Democrats, including party warhorses like Charles Schumer and Dick Durbin, and four Republicans, including 2008 nominee John McCain and a 2016 prospective candidate Marco Rubio, to endorse compromise immigration reform, things have changed.
Immigration reform is a difficult issue, and none of the stakeholders are taking it for granted. President Bush wanted to accomplish it and had no success. It did not have President Obama’s attention when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress. Plus, in 2009 and 2010 many Democrats feared a backlash. But fortunately for proponents, public opinion and political positioning are today in a sufficient state of alignment to move the proposal forward.
The surprising correlation of forces reflects the significant increase in the political clout of Latinos and the public’s growing frustration with the lack of progress. It has given both parties sufficient incentive to keep their demands within reason and accept some of the necessary trade-offs to get the issue resolved.
Los Angeles Times: Senators agree on path to legal status for illegal immigrants
The Buzz: Immigration reform has a chance