In today’s Washington Post, E.J. Dionne, Jr. wrote a terrific opinion piece on the Obama administrations consensus building process on immigration reform. He talks about how Rahm Emmanuel shifted positions on immigration reform, and the problems that the Obama administration has to navigate to get to at least a majority opinion on immigration reform.
Frankly, I have not seen a better, briefer synopsis than this of where we are now, why we are here, and where we are going on immigration reform:
“Hispanic Democrats have sent a strong signal to the business lobbies. They are saying that until comprehensive reform passes, they will withhold their votes for temporary fixes to raise immigration ceilings for groups of workers sought by particular industries. They hope to pressure business to pressure Republicans to toss more votes toward immigration reform.
The success of immigration reformers will ultimately depend on winning over those in the ambivalent middle and not treating them as xenophobes or racists.
The core argument for reform must be that the presence of so many illegal migrants without any enforceable rights undermines the rights of everyone else. The real message that a path to citizenship will send is that all long-term residents of our country should be able to assume their responsibilities as Americans.
Moving us in that direction is not about doing favors for illegal immigrants. It’s about strengthening the American community. Obama needs to use the time he is buying himself to make that case. “
Heck, did Marshall Fitz write this article? The reality is that it will take more than marches, it will take more than lobbying, it will take more political pressure, it will take more than economic reality to make reform happen. But I believe it will happen. The political stars are beginning to align, and seeing them align with support from a cautious, yet aggressive Obama administration is one more reason to have a Hope for immigration reform this year.