Immigration on tap



Dallas Morning News: Iraq, Katrina, justices and deficits so swamped Washington's priority list this fall that immigration reform got shoved off. But, fortunately, it's making a comeback, and here are four reasons to get excited that Washington may actually solve this problem:
(1) President Bush is expected to travel to the U.S./Mexico border after Thanksgiving to highlight the crisis that exists from Brownsville to San Diego. Capitol Hill conservatives believe the president should pay closer attention to lawlessness in places like Nuevo Laredo, so this trip could be his response to them. We hope he also emphasizes his long-standing belief that the nation needs a new visa program for foreign workers.
(2) The House will try to pass a border security bill before Christmas. We would much prefer that GOP Speaker Dennis Hastert push for legislation that also deals with the 11 million illegal immigrants working here -- and the future flow of immigrants. Simply putting more guns and eyeballs along the border will ignore the fact that many of our neighbors will do anything to work in the United States.
Robust debate
(3) Majority Leader Bill Frist wants immigration to become one of the Senate's top two issues after Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito's January confirmation vote. The path is clearing for a robust debate in February.
(4) Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter is working on his own immigration bill. It would cherry-pick the best ideas contained in proposals offered separately by Republican Sens. John McCain, John Cornyn and Chuck Hagel. Specter's voice counts because immigration changes must go through his committee.
The federal government already has invested heavily in more cops along the border. Lawmakers need to equally deal with the many foreign workers who are determined to come bus tables, build houses and care for kids.

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