This week, the Senior Senator from Vermont filed an amendment to the forthcoming Senate “Gang” immigration bill that would allow homosexual United States citizens to petition the government so that their foreign spouses can be admitted as citizens. The thought is that the federal government will treat homosexual couples as married, in violation of federal law. It is a provision that has no chance of passing the House of Representatives and gives Republicans cover to oppose the entire immigration reform bill. Patrick Leahy is trying to bury immigration reform.
Many democrats don’t want immigration reform for two reasons. First, Florida Republican Senator, Marco Rubio is the face of immigration reform and while Obama would likely get most of the electoral benefit of such a deal, Obama isn’t running for office again. However, Mr. Rubio has a strong chance of being the GOP Presidential candidate against Hillary Clinton in 2016. Killing Rubio’s immigration plan now, hobbles Rubio with the Republican base and does nothing to help him with future Latino support.
Second, democrats see immigration reform as an issue that they can continue to go back to the well on, year after year. Ds believe that as long as they have something to tell Latinos they will fight for; they will get the votes that they need to continue their rule.
However, if immigration reform were to pass, both parties would subsequently begin the healing process of bringing Hispanic voters back into the fold. The political structure of the Democratic Party rests on keeping Americans in sustained poverty so that they will continue to vote Democrat. As soon as people become successful and want to keep the money they make or start a business from the ground up, they begin thinking in more conservative terms. This would cripple the Democratic Party. Whoever wins Hispanics in America, wins the future.
Killing immigration reform suits Patrick Leahy’s agenda. There may be those that argue that this is just grandstanding by Leahy. Maybe this is simply another negotiating tactic that Democrats are inserting into the legislation to use as a chip that they can later discard. It could further be argued that Leahy simply doesn’t care much for immigration reform because it isn’t an issue effecting Vermont. But Leahy has a track record of voting with the national Democrat party over individual Vermont interests.
All in all, Leahy knows how vulnerable the “Gang’s” talks are to breaking down and yet he still forces something on the citizenry that most Americans have opposed. Leahy would be as happy to see immigration reform go down in flames and blamed on Republicans as he would to see it pass with President Obama as the beneficiary. If this bill doesn’t pass both houses of Congress, Mr. Leahy’s friend, the former Junior Senator from New York has a sentinel campaign issue to run on. Republicans should be on notice that this amendment is not about “gay rights”, it’s about winning the upcoming blame game messaging battle.