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"Jewish leaders fear immigration bill, a top communal priority, now longshot."
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April 01, 2007, 04:12 AM
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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 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.�