Now senior Republicans have come forward to declare that 11 million people deserve a chance at full membership in American society. For a party whose presidential candidate less than three months ago was in full denial, wedded to a fantasy-based strategy of deporting a population equal to that of Ohio, this marks a welcome reacquaintance with reality. It puts the Republican Party closer to alignment with the moderate, pragmatic approach to immigration that most Americans accept. [...] There is the real possibility that this road to reform will be illusory, stacked with obstacles, detours, dead ends and quick exits. While the senators’ memo envisions faster citizenship paths for immigrants with advanced degrees, farm workers and the young students known as Dreamers, it is vague about the rest of the 11 million. The requirements for green cards and citizenship could be made so extreme, disqualification so easy, and delays so long, that too few would have any real hope of qualifying.The Washington Post:
President Obama plans to speak on immigration on Tuesday. We hope he stands firm on a realistic hope for citizenship, and acknowledges the unnecessary toll that overbroad enforcement — including his own — has taken on those whose legalization he has lately been championing. There is a moral, not just practical, case to make for bringing the failed immigration system in line with American ideals. Millions of immigrants, unshackled from fear, could be fully participating in the life and prosperity of the United States. Mr. Obama should make the case for them and see their path through to the end.
It’s an important starting point, but only a starting point, for what should become serious negotiations between the White House and lawmakers. [...] If the fledgling bipartisan plan provides a jolt of momentum toward bona fide negotiations, it will have been a success.Former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson:
[T]he Supreme Court ruled emphatically that immigration is the responsibility of the federal government, not the states. While I am certainly sympathetic as a former governor with the issues that states must deal with as a result of illegal immigration, the onus is on Congress to pass an immigration plan.More reaction below the fold...
Unless we come to grips with all aspects of the immigration issue, we are going to end up with the same impractical, expensive and ineffective solutions we have had for years.
Laurie Roberts at The Arizona Republic:
The broad tenants of this plan make sense. The question is, are there enough pragmatic Republicans to get the job done?EJ Montini chimes in at the same publication:
Before the screaming begins, I would ask those who already oppose this proposal to answer two questions:
If not now, when?
If not this, what?
On one of the Sunday morning shows, McCain said, “What’s changed, honestly, is that there is a new, I think, appreciation on both sides of the aisle — including maybe more importantly on the Republican side of the aisle — that we have to enact a comprehensive immigration reform bill.”Switching topics, Susan Milligan at US News & World Report looks at the GOP's "attempted electoral sabotage":
What he means, essentially, is that unless Republicans want to continue losing elections they are going to have to appeal to more than angry middle-aged white guys.
This is a good thing.
A handful of states—unsurprisingly, battleground states controlled by the GOP at the state level but captured by President Obama in the presidential races—are considering changing the way they allocate electoral votes, basing the outcome not on the popular vote across the state, but those within each congressional district. The winner-take-all system almost all states now have is surely not entirely fair, since someone who got 49.9 percent of the vote could walk away with no electoral votes. But assigning electors by congressional district is even less fair, since it would typically diminish the power of voters in big cities (which tend to go Democratic). In Pennsylvania, for example—a commonwealth Obama won by five points—the new scheme would have assigned Republican Mitt Romney 18 electoral votes, and Obama only five.Frank Smyth at MSNBC previews the upcoming testimony of NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre and highights how far (or low) the NRA has gone:
Back in 1934 Prohibition had just ended and many Americans felt that the era of gangsters firing fully-automatic, drum-fed Tommy Guns, killing rivals and innocent bystanders alike, also needed to end. Sounding nothing LaPierre today, then-NRA chief executive officer Karl T. Frederick told Congress:
“I have never believed in the general practice of carrying weapons. I do not believe in the general promiscuous toting of guns. I think it should be sharply restricted and only under licenses.”
The New Jersey Star-Ledger calls Chris Christie out on his tea party antics:
In a move that took no one by surprise, Gov. Chris Christie yesterday again disregarded the pressing needs of the working poor, this time by vetoing a bill to increase in the minimum wage.
That fits a pattern. His first budget effectively raised income taxes on low-wage families by scaling back the earned-income tax credit. He has also ended health care coverage for thousands of low-wage families, closed down Planned Parenthood clinics that served them, and tried his best to raid huge sums of money from a trust fund set aside for affordable housing. In each case, the target is the working poor.
It is revealing that even as he knocked down these supports, he was arguing that New Jersey could afford an income-tax cut that would skew heavily toward the wealthy. Make no mistake, this is tea party economics.