Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Steve Breen's political cartoon says it all. A heavily bandaged elephant lies in a bombed crater. A barely standing donkey, with a broken arm, tells an immigration advocate, "Could we at least wait for the craters to stop smoldering?"
The Observer ran the cartoon on Sunday. Click here to see more of Breen's work.
Washington is reeling from the battles over health care and is not likely to take up another thrashing fight with mid-term elections on the horizon.
The same day the House passed its health care reform bill, tens of thousands of activists and supporters took to the Washington Mall demanding the administration take up immigration reform.
Some advocates said they almost cried listening to a videotaped message from President Obama pledging to “do everything in my power to forge a bipartisan consensus this year on this important issue.”
Advocates for immigration reform say there will never bean easy time to do immigration reform. Columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr. said the time to act is now. The legislative puzzle will only get more complicated.
“Some liberals want the immigration reform movement to be patient,” he writes. "There is nothing new there. Some of the left said the same thing during the civil rights movement.”
Many political watchers, however, feel immigration reform is pretty much dead this year. As Spanish-language journalist and pundit Rafael Prieto told me last year, few legislators will risk their political career for illegal immigrants in this political climate.
My colleague William Douglas at McClatchy Newspapers pointed out that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, in a recent Wall Street Journal interview, didn’t even mention immigration reform when listing Obama’s post-health care agenda.
Even South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said as much stating that the recently passed health care legislation had “poisoned the well” for any bipartisanship on future legislation this session. He said this after joining Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, to release a bipartisan framework for comprehensive reform that would give millions of illegal immigrants a path to legalization yet also provide tougher enforcement.