There is no doubt the Democrats should be fearful of losing seats in Congress in the midterm elections; however, their blasé attitude about the Great Tsunami of November 2, 2010 suggests they have a plan.
There are an estimated 15 to 20 million illegal aliens living in the U.S. On December 15, 2009, Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) introduced the Comprehensive Immigration Reform for America's Security and Prosperity Act of 2009, to the U.S. House of Representatives. A brief summary of the bill From the Miami Herald:
Applicants would pay a $500 fine -- lower than the thousands of dollars sought in prior bills -- and must have clean criminal records. If approved, applicants would receive a six-year visa, which eventually could be replaced by a green card -- the path to possible citizenship.
The bill also incorporates provisions of the DREAM Act, separate legislation filed earlier that would provide green cards to children of undocumented parents who are in high school or college and were brought to the United States as minors.
...mothers separated from their children, workers exploited and undermined security at the border- all caused at the hands of a broken immigration system. This bill says 'enough,' and presents a solution to our broken system that we as a nation of immigrants can be proud of.
The Chicago Democrat's words sound as if they're right out of David Axelrod's playbook. He pulls on our heart strings to distract us from the truth of the matter-This bill will give illegal aliens the right to become U.S. citizens without substantial punishment for their crimes.
According to the USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Office), applying for and receiving citizenship status takes an average of five months thanks to a sped up process instituted during the Bush administration; yet, USCIS does not restrict the processing of citizenship applications to a specific time frame. Add amnesty to the Universal Voter Registration proposals explained yesterday in AT by James Simpson, and the Democrats can add millions of voters to the rolls, replacing disillusioned supporters, and ensure itself a permanent majority. This is unlikely to be accomplished the November elections (although, never underestimate the Chicago way), but most assuredly for 2012.
Gutierrez signals the urgency of accomplishing the goal while the Democrats have absolute control of both Houses of Congress:
We have waited patiently for a workable solution to our immigration crisis to be taken up by this Congress and our President. The time for waiting is over.
On the face of it, the New Year is here, and the present health care bill includes coverage for illegal aliens; yet, for Gutierrez and his cosponsors, simple health care does not suffice. They want the U.S. government to waive appropriate penalties for undocumented workers, and they demand citizenship for these people, which will send them straight into the electorate.
Six months ago, Rahm Emanuel conceded that there weren't enough votes to pass immigration reform then, but the House of Representatives this year has at least 80 congressmen on board with the immigration bill.
As soon as Mr. Obama signs off on health care reform before the State of the Union address, Congress can tackle immigration reform, and set into motion another of the President's promised fundamental change.