Photo: Sens Graham and Schumer
Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have begun conversations between their two camps as well as civic and religious organizations to see if the will is alive to tackle immigration reform this year.
“It’s in the infant stage,” Graham told POLITICO. “I don’t know what the political appetite is to do something.”
Immigration Reform Advocates point out that there is much to be optimistic about:
-President Obama made a pitch for comprehensive immigration reform in his Sate of the Union address
-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has ranked immigration reform as his third priority (after cutting government spending and taxes)
-House Republicans did not support the very vocal anti immigration Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) from becoming the new committee cahier of the immigration subcommittee of the Judiciary Committee.
-Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) is not actively, pursuing the most divisive immigration proposal, that of revoking birthright citizenship.
And in a much talked about comment, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Was.) has said that Sen. John McCain (R-Airs.) “seems to think that there’s a shot at this.” Could it mean that the McCain of old, the senator who ushered a comprehensive bill through the chamber in 2006, might be ready to come back?
Schumer said his staff has been meeting with Graham’s staff to “try to come up with something that he and I and many of the outside groups can agree on, and then we will try to sell it to our colleagues.”
Republicans hoping to take the White House in 2012, are keenly aware that the Latino vote will be critical- at least some of it.