Sunday, August 06, 2006

Bush versus the R.N.C.?

Last week, President Bush spoke at the Texas border with Mexico about immigration reform. With only 15 legislative days left this Congressioanl session, Bush is still pushing, hoping against hope that Congress will work out some reform for him to sign into law.

Bush is still trying hard to get Congress to act: "I expect the United States Congress to do its duty and pass comprehensive immigration reform" he said in his speech. He also said "I don't like a system that's not working, and a system that forces people who want to work in the back of 18-wheelers. I don't like a system that encourages smuggling. I don't like a system that encourages people to walk across the desert to risk their life. I think we need to have a system that is orderly and fair and transparent."

Meanwhile, CNN reported that the Republican National Committee met in Minneapolis on the same day and drafted a resolution calling for border enforcement first. CNN quoted an excerpt of the resolution: "Resolved that the Republican National Committee calls for the immediate securing of our borders with all means available as well as the enforcement of existing immigration laws in the workplace." The authors of the resolution favor going beyond the president's temporary deployment of the National Guard to the border. The resolution passed by an 8-1 vote, with the only dissenting vote favoring an even stronger statement.

But with all this grandstanding and the recent round of delay-tactic hearings around the country, it is lookling unlikely that Congress will reconcile the Senate and House bills before the end of the legislative session.

As Suzanne Malveaux of CNN commented "The bottom line, Republicans may not even get their immigration bill, but President Bush wants to make sure that his party does not pay for this issue come midterm elections."

ACTION STEP: Contact your Senators and/or Representatives in the House and tell them to get back to work on truly comprehensive immigration reform.