The immigration battle continues

One of the most consequential battles NDN and its family took on in 2006 was the intense battle over immigration. I am very proud of the role we played, fighting hard and hanging tough for a bi-partisan bill that would go a long way to solving this vexing national problem. For more on our advocacy for comprehensive immigration reform, visit www.ndn.org/immigration.

The battle, of course, isn't over. The perception that the Republican effort to use immigration as a blunt instrument to beat up on Democrats in tough races backfired has created additional momentum for what was called the McCain-Kennedy approach. We are working with their offices, and the organized coalition, and plan to make this a major priority in 2007. I am optimistic that significant reform will pass both chambers and be signed by the President this year, but it is not assured. Thus we must continue to push, and push hard.

A few articles in recent days capture some of the early thinking on the icoming mmigration battle. The Hill has a piece today about Latino mobilization for 2007 passage of a bill. The Boston Phoenix had a very interesting piece about the 2006 elections, that included this quote from me:

Which is why this year’s immigration debate was about much more than race and nationality, suggests Simon Rosenberg, president of the New Democrat Network in Washington. It was, he thinks, part of an even more fundamental decision to accept or reject the modern world — a world filled with people of different nationalities, languages, tastes, and sexual preferences.

By calling for the mass deportation of Latinos and the building of a wall to keep them out, “The Republicans may have made a decision not to be a political party of the 21st century,” Rosenberg says.

And from this piece from Cox News:

Rosenberg said his party can build on the momentum it gained among Hispanic voters in the past election. "If Democrats want to take advantage of the opportunity that we now have with Hispanics, we have to pass immigration reform this year," he said.

There are many good reasons why immigration reform should pass.  The most important, and the reason we will be fighting again, so hard, this year, is that it is simply the right thing to do. 

More soon.