When comprehensive immigration reform legislation failed to make
it out of the Senate in June, it marked a low point in Congress's
ability to deal with major issues. Despite the issue's
controversial nature, President Bush demonstrated leadership by
calling on Congress to find solutions to the U.S.'s estimated 12
million illegal immigrants and its work force and border security
needs. But instead, Congress opted to "kick the can down the road."
Ironically, similar legislation made it out of the Senate in the
previous Congress with Republicans in charge but did not get that
far under Democrats.
To be sure, a number of Republican senators worked to stop the
legislation in this Congress, and their visibility and the House
Republicans' opposition garnered much attention.
Several Democrats also worked to scuttle the bill through
"poison pill" amendments and other means. House Speaker Nancy
Pelosi (D-Calif.) will not take up immigration legislation, and
The Washington Times reports Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), the
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's immediate past
chairman, says Congress will not take up the issue until the
beginning of the second term of the next Democrat to win the White
House, which presumably means 2013. In the meantime, states and
localities are moving to fill the void left by congressional
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