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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

Republican and Democrat Tell Parties to Cut the Partisan Games on Immigration Reform

Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.
Elise Foley at Huffington Post reports that Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) and Joe Heck (R-NV) each are criticizing members of their own party for thwarting progress on immigration legislation in order to inflict political damage on the opposing party. From Huffington Post:

Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) said this week that some Democrats are trying to undermine his and others' work with Republicans on immigration, just so they can keep the issue for a political edge.

"When someone does reach across the aisle to say, 'Hey, let's work on this issue together,' what do we get? 'Hey, why are you helping them?'" he said on the House floor Wednesday, explaining what he hears from other Democrats. "I've heard it. When I stood with [Reps.] David Valadao [R-Calif.] or Paul Ryan [R-Wis.] to say immigration reform is an objective we can reach in a bipartisan manner, I heard from the Democrats, 'Stop working with them, we're trying to defeat them.'"

*****

There are internal tensions on the Republican side as well from members pushing for reform. Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.), who has been targeted by immigration advocates because of a high Latino population in his district, issued a statement on Friday expressing disappointment that the "House Republican leadership may punt the issue until 2014 for political reasons."

"Its extremely frustrating and very disappointing to hear reports that the House does not plan on voting on immigration reform legislation this year," Heck said. "This is yet another example of the leadership vacuum in Washington that rightly has so many people frustrated with this dysfunctional Congress."

Both are going out on a limb criticizing their colleagues and revealing what is actually going on. Immigration is a convenient wedge issue for members of both parties even though in private most would agree that we need an immigration bill. The irony is that passing a bill would generate political benefits for both parties at a time when each is held in relatively low esteem by the public.

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