NDN in the Politico today on immigration reform

I'm quoted today in a Politico story on how the collapse of immigration reform may end up hurting the GOP in 2008.   Other examples of this story can be found by clicking on the immigration tag above and reading through previous entries in the section.   There should be little doubt that Hispanics already had blamed the GOP for the tone of the immigration debate before this year; that the Senate bill collapsed largely through the work of a handful of Republican Senators; that the already damaged GOP brand has been and will be further degraded in the Latino community, the fastest growing in the nation; and as in CA in the 1990s, the rejection of the GOP by Latinos could spell electoral doom for them nationally for a generation to come. 

You can find our statement on the collapse of the immigration bill here.

However, I'm not sure that my quotes in the final graph as are clear as I would have hoped.  What I was trying to say is that if Democrats want to take advantage of the GOP stumble it would be wise for them to do more than blame the GOP for the collapse of the immigration bill. Democrats will have to make it clear over the next two years that they will work to do more than play politics with the issue - they need to show that they can deliver on the promise to reform the immigration system.  This means spelling out, in detail, a plan, and doing everything they can to pass it, or at least make significant progress on it, now.  

What is the Democratic vision here? Do Democratic leaders want to return to the framework of McCain-Kennedy, rejecting the point sytem, the nutty guest worker plan and "touchback?" What about H1Bs and other programs for highly educated workers? Is there a set of principles that can bring together the Democrats in both chambers?

My argument in the Politico piece was that for Democrats to take full advantage of the great Republican stumble they will need to make clear what kind of immigration reform they are for, and commit to doing more than just talking about it in the months to come.  Just saying that Democrats are less bad than the Republicans is not a strong message to take to any community.