Note: Cross-posted on Huffington Post
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.”
Senator Schumer’s statements may seem like a bombshell to those who’ve been ignoring how the politics of immigration have come together over the past few months. To those following the issue, however, it’s right on track.
In June, President Obama convened a bipartisan subset of Congress to get the conversation rolling, laying the groundwork for real reform. That same week, Senator Schumer outlined his principles for legislation. Schumer’s newly-revealed timeline reinforces President Obama’s pledge to move immigration legislation in the first year of his presidency and repeated statements by leaders in both the House and Senate that reform would be a top priority this year. It is also in line with the desires of a majority of American voters, including Independents and Republicans, who want the immigration system addressed through real, comprehensive reform, not empty rhetoric.
Momentum is here, but there are only a few nagging questions. For instance, why are Democrats letting Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and others set the agenda with empty, irrelevant, “build the fence bigger” immigration amendments.