I’m eager to see what impact, if any, Jose Vargas’ brave article about his immigration status will have on the debate. Will he be deported? Will someone explain what the rationale for the Vargas Exception is? Will the New York Times be prosecuted for publishing work by someone they knew wasn’t eligible to work legally in the country?
Meanwhile, Elise Foley lets us know about the handful of senators who are carrying the torch for comprehensive reform:
“Right now going down, figuratively, this long corridor of doors of the offices of Republican senators, and I’m trying every door to see if one door will open, and one senator will step forward and join us,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).
Although Durbin, along with bill author Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and co-sponsor Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), acknowledged the tough odds of getting immigration reform through the Senate — much less a Republican-controlled House — they said it was important to offer a vehicle.
“We will never move forward if we do not have something to lay a foundation to have a debate,” Menendez said. “The administration has highlighted the importance of this, but it needs a vehicle at the end of the day … to galvanize around and have a debate on.”
That seems about right to me. The cause is probably hopeless. But it’s definitely hopeless unless someone keeps doing the work. Meanwhile, in 2000 and 2004 and 2008, the Republican Party nominated two different immigration reform advocates for President, so it’s a bit hard to understand the sudden dominance of the view that anti-immigrant cranks should have a stranglehold on the political process.