Comprehensive immigration reform isn't going to happen this year, a Democratic senator said over the weekend.
Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) said he didn't expect a comprehensive bill to make its way through Congress, which returns in September for several weeks of work before breaking again for midterm elections.
The freshman senator said he was working with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on a bill, but didn't expect it to come up during 2010.
"Sen. Schumer and I are working to bring a package to Congress," Merkley told constituents at a town hall meeting, according to the Salem Statesman Journal. "But reform isn't going to happen this year."
Merkley's acknowledgment reflects a growing pessimism among congressional Democrats that they would be able to tackle immigration reform in any meaningful way this year.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had said back in April, fresh off Democrats' healthcare victory, that the issue must be handled this year, but has since backed off a pledge to take it up. But by the time the August recess rolled around, Reid had backed off plans to pursue a robust bill, and signaled instead that he might seek a scaled-back bill, like the Dream Act.
Read the rest here.
Comment: I didn't find it so surprising that the senate wouldn't act because it requires a deep understanding of the issue and statesmanship to take on a real problem such as this. If you notice much of the major legislation that has passed in recent years has been crafted in some way or other by special interest, so the senate never really has to do their elected job. But in this case their is no one out there to write new policy.
I watched the video below from John Stossel's show on FOX Business the other day and I thought it provided the best and most concise analysis of the immigration policy problem. After watching it you'll see too just what a mess Congress has created concerning the immigration policy and law enforcement and how the "war on drugs" is massively fueling the problem.
I came away with a number facts that changed my opinion on the matter, namely while illegal immigration has increased, violent crime across the country, and even in the border states, has decreased. Additionally, what violent crime there is on the border states and is being fueled by illegal drugs, and has been extremely violent in nature, thus gaining more media attention.
In a nut shell the road to a viable solution that benefits all Americans and those coming here from Central America would be: 1. Establish a guest worker program right away based upon a the same standards used in Canada, which allows for either serious refugees cases or private sector needs; 2. Repeal the 14th Amendment; 3. De-criminalize or legalize the use of marijuana.
Just adopting these three solutions would help the whole matter. These are just my thoughts, but on the whole it seems like a much better solution than what Congress is doing by putting their collective heads in sand and doing nothing.