“Kos: Republicans appear to be heeding Buchanan’s advice, more concerned about placating their shrinking regional white male base than in expanding their tent. Some Republicans are even concerned about that.” With Senator Schumer set to drop immigration reform legislation by Labor Day, as he says, the GOP will have the biggest opportunity in the forseeable future to repair — or further damn– their brand with Latino voters, who overwhelmingly consider immigration reform to be an issue of both great political and personal importance.
Watch Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) give a a one-minute floor speech today on the urgent need to reform our immigrant detention policies and our nation’s currently unjust immigration system. Rep. Polis is quickly becoming a strong and passionate champion for real, humane, and sensible immigration reform. Watch it:
The segment highlights the impressive report released last week by an indpendent Council on Foreign Relations Task Force, co-chaired by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (R) and former White House chief of staff (under Clinton) Thomas F. “Mack” McLarty III, which stated the urgent need for a comprehensive overhaul of our nation’s immigration laws succinctly: “The stakes are too high to fail.”
Yesterday we wondered aloud about whether certain Republican Senators would cease and desist from their racial attacks on Judge Sotomayor so that, among other things, the GOP might have a chance to stop bleeding Latino voters. Looks like GOP leadership intends to do no such thing. As the Huffington Post’s Sam Stein reports: “The confirmation hearings for Sonia Sotomayor have become, in a small but significant way, a referendum on the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.”
Lots of immigration sideshows last week, but here’s the big picture: Senator Schumer (D-NY) announced plans to introduce a comprehensive immigration reform bill by Labor Day. According to the Associated Press: “I think we’ll have a good bill by Labor Day,” said Schumer, D-N.Y. “I think the fundamental building blocks are in place to do comprehensive immigration reform.”
Three videos to watch from today’s hearing and a bonus (action) video from our friends at Presente.org. First, a clip of Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), who speaks during the opening day of Judge Sonia Sotomayor’s confirmation hearing. Before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he challenges the popular Republican theme that a 2001 speech that Sotomayor gave on handling issues of race and gender make her a ‘reverse racist’– Watch the video.
On the macro-scale, these votes do not amount to much, with the major news this week that Senator Schumer is pushing for a comprehensive immigration bill by Labor Day. Notable, however, is that the GOP will not be stopped from serving up its distinct, if empty, brand of anti-immigrant rhetoric on the Senate floor. Not to mention one which Democrats like Senator Boxer (D-CA) and Senator Klobuchar (D-MN) should know better than to endorse. On the upside, kudos to newly-minted Senator Franken (D-MN) for taking some solid first votes this week.
Right now Senator Grassley and other Republicans are submitting what amount to rhetorical amendments to the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2010. These amendments would do little to nothing to enact the real reform that we need, but they would blow a lot of hot air on the immigration issue while wasting taxpayer dollars. Say no to these nasty amendments now!
In terms of immigration amendments getting tacked onto seemingly unrelated matters, it’s business as usual for Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Republican Senator from Alabama who introduced the E-Verify measure today, which won by a voice vote on the Senate floor. Sessions has been a strong advocate against immigration reform, appallingly calling immigrants “terrorists” and “child molesters.” Sessions was recently exposed as incendiary on immigration for his ties to White supremacist, John Tanton. Just today, the Center for New Community (CNC) released a new chart identifying Tanton as the czar of the anti-immigrant network.
Today the Department of Homeland Security released a statement saying that it will scrap the highly inefficient and wasteful No-Match program. This marks a huge victory for workers’ rights advocates and those who exposed the program’s deep flaws. Unfortunately the Department of Homeland Security also decided it would focus on expanding the highly inaccurate E-Verify program without addressing what to do with the 12 million undocumented immigrants living, working, and contributing to our nation and without charting a path to fix our nation’s broken immigration system in a true, comprehensive manner.