July 13, 2006
Feeling good about their first round of political theater, House Republican leaders have announced a second flurry of immigration hearings based upon their belief (contrary to national opinion polls) that the hearings are moving public opinion to their enforcement-only position. Despite their rhetoric to the contary, the hearings–scheduled for the remainder of July and into August–almost certainly mean that no immigration bill will be passed before the November elections and quite possibly even before the end of the year. Lawmakers are taking the entire month of October off to campaign for the elections on November 7. There are only ten working days between the elections and Thanksgiving and then about three weeks before the Christmas break. Republicans in the House are betting that their voters will be more motivated to go to the polls by continuing hearings attacking immigration rather than actually passing an immigration bill that addresses the issue. It’s a shame that such an important and legitimate issue as the future of immigration policy in this country has become nothing more than a political shield for House Republicans (and some Senators, see Santorum, Rick). Voters should recognize such shenanigans and show our congressmen that politics over policy is a losing bet.