Today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer (D-NY) reiterated their commitment to passing comprehensive immigration reform. After the President’s low-fidelity mention of immigration reform in the State of the Union address last night, the Senators’ clearly articulated commitment and bipartisan framework to get reform done was a welcome message.
It will be their job, after all, to bring immigration reform to a vote in the Senate, as Representative Gutierrez outlined today.
But during the Q & A at today’s press conference, Senator Schumer said that he also met with Lou Dobbs yesterday to talk immigration. Say what?
Seems a bit hasty to be bringing Dobbs into the backroom. After all, Dobbs’ expertise in immigrant leprosy prevention or Presidential birth certificate verification has been called into question more than once.
Hopefully, this was a PR ploy gone awry and not a serious strategy.
As Andrea Nill points out at Think Progress:
Schumer most likely met with “Mr. Independent” in an effort to use Dobbs’ appeal to attract more supporters from the center and center-right of politics. However, that strategy could backfire. To begin with, the majority of independents already support comprehensive immigration reform. Also, many of Dobbs’ most loyal supporters are right wingers who abandoned him as soon as he turned away from the hardline approach to immigration he advocated on CNN. And while a self-described “wiser Lou Dobbs” who favors an earned path to legalization for undocumented immigrants has emerged since he left CNN, the Latino and immigrant community is still largely skeptical about his change of heart. Many Latinos and immigrants are already disappointed by President Obama’s passing mention of immigration reform in last night’s State of the Union address.
If you need evidence about that “skeptical” part, click here.
Few think that Lou Dobbs is the credible spokesperson we need on immigration right now. I, for one, think President Obama might be a tad better at convincing the American people why immigration reform lifts wages and increases tax revenue. And yes, that could require more than 38 words.