Politics in the Spotlight
President Obama has just announced that the CIR bill, which is long-desired by immigration reformists, will be pushed off until 2010. The President remains committed to the cause but he is concerned that his efforts on health care, global warming, and the financial crisis will be hampered by another major issue such as immigration. This strikes a blow against the healthcare immigration community, who was hoping that a CIR bill could be the force behind liberalized healthcare visa reform.
The other political issue in the spotlight is the resignation of Sen. Sen. Martinez (R-FL) and Sen. Bailey-Hutchinson (R-TX). On one hand these two Senators have been general supporters of immigration reform and so their resignations are unwelcome. Sen. Bailey-Hutchison particularly has been a leader on healthcare visa reform.
On the other hand, since both are Republicans, their influence in Senatorial matters is negligible at this point. Also, since they both are from states with increasing immigration populations, it is expected that any replacements will be unlikely to hinder any CIR legislation. To do so would alienate their constituency.