From The Seattle Times:
So why don’t Democrats want comprehensive-immigration reform? For the same five reasons that Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid teamed up in 2006 and 2007 with the nativist wing of the Republican Party to kill bipartisan bills and, in 2010, helped scuttle the DREAM Act — a mini-legalization program for college students and military.
• Democrats would rather not be known, in subsequent elections, as the “party of amnesty” and solidify their reputation for being dovish on border security. This would not help their chances with white and black voters who feel threatened and want stronger enforcement of immigration laws.
• They want to continue to have a club with which to bludgeon Republicans, and convince Latinos that the GOP is hostile to them and their concerns. This makes campaigning easier and delivers them votes in crucial states that they haven’t earned.
• They want to please organized labor, which opposes any stab at immigration reform that includes mention of guest workers. That is, any proposal that stands a chance of winning the Republican votes necessary for passage because Democrats are so splintered on the issue.
• They want to avoid a contentious debate that would surely divide the Democratic base by pitting Latinos and immigration reformers against labor unions, African Americans who feel displaced in the racial pecking order, and those who want to restrict immigration to protect U.S. workers.
• They want to preserve the current system, which works great for Democrats. They don’t do anything to fix the problem, so they don’t get saddled with any of the negative pushback they might get if they took action and Republicans used it against them. The GOP gets the blame for being “obstructionist.” Labor is happy. Latinos are duped. All is good.
Don’t kid yourself. Regardless of the election returns and the turmoil now engulfing the Republican Party, Democrats in Congress have no appetite for comprehensive-immigration reform. Now that Latino voters have let out a roar, Democrats simply have to be craftier in fooling these voters into thinking they’re doing their bidding while they continue to do what they want to do.
And don’t fret too much for being played like a bunch of suckers (which you dutifully proved you are). You’re in good company along with women, blacks, low income people and college students.
h/t Talk Straight