... It's still possible to force the Republican leaders in the GOP-controlled Congress to take up an overhaul of the nation's ineffective immigration laws this year. But it will take a push from President Bush and other Republicans to put a bipartisan need ahead of an election-year political agenda.
Bush made sweeping immigration reforms a key part of his presidential agenda early in his first administration. He continues to support immigration reform that includes some method to match foreign workers with American employers whose businesses depend on foreign workers.
The Bush plan is opposed by a group of House Republican leaders who prefer punishment for the 12 million or so illegal immigrants now living in the United States, rather than solutions that allow needed foreign workers to work legally and eventually earn citizenship.
The House and Senate have both passed immigration bills. The Senate's version, which enjoys strong bipartisan support, is in line with Bush's long-standing effort to provide a legal mechanism enabling U.S. employers to hire foreign workers if they demonstrate that they could not fill those jobs with U.S. citizens.
Recently, a large group of influential Texas business leaders representing agriculture, food processing, hospitality, construction, banking and other businesses joined to urge passage of immigration legislation that recognizes how vital immigrant labor is to the economy.
The people in those countries where we are trying to establish democracies might need a little extra convincing when they notice how elected leaders in the United States act as if they do not have to pay attention to the will of the people who elected them.
Immigration is federal responsibility.
Congress should pass immigration reform this year.
Full editorial available here.