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Welcome to Daily Kos Elections: Policy. This group was start to create an environment for the discussion of the electoral ramifications of policy and to do so in detail. As new policies will be pursued in the first year of the new presidential term, this group will be useful for those looking to discuss those policies from different angles as it relates to election. In short, topics should be about political impact of policy. And now, to the topic. This the first post, so I will keep it short.
Immigration reform is going to be on the front burner during the President's second term and we know that the President supports a pathway to citizenship. On Tuesday, the President will unveil his plans for comprehensive reform. We also know that a group of Senators has come up with an outline for reform. The winning coalition of the 2012 election was heavily fueled by Hispanic voters and a balanced approach to immigration reform helped mobilize those voters. The DREAM Act is one component to reform, but there has to be a solution for those immigrants that do not fall under it. The gist of the President's idea is for undocumented immigrants that are in good standing to pay a fine, learn English and go to the back of the line.
That seems reasonable and that might even be able to pass the House of Representatives if (a gigantic if) the right mix of support from both parties can be put together. But, any Republican who votes for it potentially faces a primary for supporting such a plan, which the extreme right-wing calls “amnesty”. On the flip side, a lot of Republicans want to build better bridges with Hispanics for future elections and might support reform based on that, because after all, some Republicans are opportunists. As for Democrats, the House caucus is a lot more cohesive now, so I would expect the caucus to hold together on an immigration reform vote, but the Senate Democratic could prove to be much more divided.
The questions are, if reform is passed before the midterm elections, how much of an impact, if any, would it have on the results of those elections? And among Democratic members of Congress, who do you see being THE most cautious about supporting reform, due to worries about their own electoral security?