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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

GOP'S EFFORTS TO COURT HISPANIC VOTERS DEALT BLOW BY MARTINEZ EARLY DEPARTURE

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The country's best known Hispanic GOP politician, Florida Senator Mel Martinez, announced this morning that he would not be returning to the Senate after the August recess ends. Martinez had already announced he was retiring in 2010 and it is not clear why he accelerated his departure.

Martinez has been a consistently pro-immigration voice and he has criticized his party numerous times for alienating Hispanic voters. Many say that this criticism led to his being replaced as the chair of the Republican National Committee a couple of years ago.

Florida Governor Charlie Crist and state legislator Marco Rubio have already been campaigning for Martinez's seat. Both are considered to be pro-immigration which is good news. The interesting question for now is who will fill the seat. Crist could appoint himself. That would give him the advantage of running for 18 months as an incumbent Senator, though it could also come with a backlash from people who think this is just a political move. Of course, Crist is already claiming to be the best qualified since he's been running for the position presumably on that basis.

Crist could also appoint a caretaker Senator and that's more of a wildcard. Presumably, it would be someone whose views are similar to Crist since Crist will have to defend the appointment. Florida Republicans include a sizeable Cuban population and the last thing Crist will want to do is have to defend an anti-CIR vote by his appointee to one of the group's that Marco Rubio, whose family is Cuban, will already be heavily courting.

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Comments

  1. anonymous's Avatar
    DEMOCRATS BLOCKING LEGAL IMMIGRATION

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124957962686211693.html

    READ LAST PARA
  2. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    If Repubs are so much for legal immigration (and it is questionable if "guest worker program" should be characterized as legal immigration, as immigration assumes permanent residence) - why in the world they have done NOTHING over 8 years in the office, 6 of which they lead both legislative and executive branch? Try to answer that question.
  3. salaam's Avatar
    Yay! One less pawn to sabotage skilled immigration bills...

    "A new Gallup poll this week showed Americans less favorable to immigration than they were a year ago, which could make the climate for legislation even tougher."

    Hmm..wonder how this CIR business will really go. Yeah, sure! Let's wait and hope!
  4. Legal_Alien_from_Roswell's Avatar
    Obama saying CIR in 2010
    http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSTRE5765Y420090807

    So CIR2009 would be CIR2010

    Just prolonging another expected failure. I wish they'd have the CIR asap, and then have some realistic piecemeal bills that would actually clear.
  5. George Chell's Avatar
    Probably going to appoint Jeb Bush!
  6. Another Voice's Avatar
    Maybe Martinez was finally feed up with his party after the Sotomayor vote, that he did not want his name associated with the republican party and their views and actions towards hispanics.
  7. REPUBLICAN VOTER.'s Avatar
    Gov.Crist is doing whatever he can to make sure that Marco Rubio dosent come close in this senate race! The republican base hates Gov.Crist! Crist has become too liberal! Crist has become an Obama lover as well! Marco Rubio is wining every straw poll in BIG #'s in every rec around florida! I will never vote for Crist again! Marco Rubio is my guy! Go to www.marcorubio.com and donate liberal Crist out!
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