Melting pot politics

If President Barack Obama delivers on his promise to sign meaningful immigration legislation in his second term

Published: May 21, 2013 12:23 am

If President Barack Obama delivers on his promise to sign meaningful immigration legislation in his second term,it could be because he wisely stayed out of the way while Senator Marco Rubio,a Florida Republican with his eye on the White House,did the heavy lifting. Rubio,the GOP’s most visible Latino and a Tea Party favourite,is laying his conservative cred on the line to advance a bill drafted by the Senate’s bipartisan “Gang of Eight.” The measure is now being worked over in the Judiciary Committee. More than 300 amendments have been proposed. The measure aims to revamp the allocation of visas,increase security at the border and in the workplace and address the legal status of 11 million immigrants currently living here without permission. The last provision has long been a deal-breaker for conservatives who believe it rewards people for breaking the law. The last president,George W. Bush,declared immigration reform a priority in his second term too. But Bush,a Republican,couldn’t get his own party to go along. Today,though,Latinos make up 10 per cent of the electorate… and 70 per cent of them voted for Obama in November. The sooner the GOP can put this divisive issue behind it,the better.

From a leader in ‘The Chicago Tribune’

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