McCain Plans to Campaign for Amnesty

“U.S. Senator John McCain, a Republican from Arizona, said he plans to spend time over Congress’s recess, scheduled to start Aug. 2, visiting House Republicans’ districts in Arizona to make the case for a comprehensive immigration bill,” says Bloomberg Government news.

“McCain, one of the authors of the Senate’s bipartisan immigration plan, said he is “guardedly optimistic” a measure can be enacted this year. The Arizona Republican spoke at a lunch sponsored by Bloomberg Government.”

GOP House Members Not Eager to Support Amnesty

“When Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Pastor tries to persuade Republican colleagues to back comprehensive immigration reform, he says the responses are predictable. Many confide they’d like to support it, but given that a majority of GOP House members represent white districts, they lack a large Hispanic constituency clamoring for change. If they were to support reform, they fear, a primary challenger would use it as a club,” USA Today writes.

“Across Capitol Hill, U.S. senators serve entire states, many of which have large Hispanic populations. And with Latinos one of the fastest growing demographics in the country, senators foresee an increasing number of potential voters in their ranks. In the House, by contrast, Republicans represent only one-third of the country’s 33 million voting-age Hispanics, according to an Arizona Republic analysis of census data. And more than 70% of Republicans, or 169 out of 234 GOP members, represent districts where voting-age Hispanics make up less than 10% of the population.”

Unusual Coalitions Mark Immigration Debate

“The current opposition by House Republicans to the bipartisan immigration bill that passed the Senate might give the image of immigration as a left-right issue. It is not. As University of Oregon professor Daniel Tichenor put it in his acclaimed book, Dividing Line: The Politics of Immigration Control, immigration has been one of those vexing matters since the founding of the Republic that brings together ‘strange bedfellows,'” NPR says.

“On one side, the humanitarian left is united with the libertarian right and business groups in favoring the admission of more immigrants than come in legally today. On the other, many left-leaning labor unions and the populist right favor restricting the flow to levels lower than today’s.”