Monday, September 23, 2013

More Immigration Tea Leaves

With immigration reform it's all about the tea leaves. You can usually find two stories on the same day arguing opposite points about whether it will happen this year. It can simply depend on who you interview or focus on.

So you have the positive:

House Republicans intensified their outreach to Latino groups last week, offering renewed pledges that the House will deal with immigration reform this year. The effort has revived hope among advocates that a bipartisan deal can be reached to address the fate of the nation’s 11 million undocumented workers and students.

And the negative:

Two House Republicans who had been trying to craft a comprehensive immigration package said Friday they were dropping out of bipartisan negotiations.  
Their exit is a major blow to immigration reform efforts in the House but the so-called Gang of Seven have long struggled to release legislation. 

The default is pessimism. This really boils down to electoral calculations about the response of Latino voters. In particular, Republicans who are opposed to reform must be convinced that doing something they dislike in the short term in order to obtain long-term benefits for the party. In addition, those long-term benefits may not accrue to them individually at all if they live in districts without a growing Latino population.


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