General

Supreme Court’s loosening of campaign finance laws may help Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Supreme Court’s loosening of campaign finance laws may help Comprehensive Immigration Reform

LatinaLista — Columnist Paul Bedard of U.S. News & World Report lists, in his Washington Whispers column, the 10 Keys for Democrats to Avoid Election Disaster.

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#4 is immigration reform:

Push through immigration reform that will tell Hispanics the party likes them by including elements like amnesty for illegal immigrants. Little chance of passage, however.

Since Brown's win in Massachusetts and the Supreme Court's decision today loosening campaign finance laws that now allow corporations and labor unions to spend freely on behalf of political candidates, immigration advocates and critics have wondered aloud just how these two situations will impact immigration reform.

Though the mood around the country, among immigrants and advocates, is upbeat and hopeful that immigration reform will be addressed and passed this year in Congress, there's enough doubt being vocalized, as illustrated by Bedard, that's cause enough to warrant a cautionary approach -- if it weren't for one thing.

The number one goal of immigrant advocacy groups in Washington has been to keep all elements of the immigration reform measure together. The reasoning was that if the measure was separated into its various components, it would give Congress the excuse of not passing the harder parts of the bill because they could always fall back and say that nobody could accuse them of not supporting immigration reform since they supported other elements of the bill.

That all-or-nothing strategy makes sense, especially when it's realized that the bulk of the attention would be focused on the harder parts of the bill leaving the way somewhat clear for the other parts to get passed.

Yet, because of Brown's win, the strong Republican opposition to illegal immigration and the GOP's resolve to oppose anything supported by the Obama administration, the odds shouldn't look very good, if it weren't for today's Supreme Court ruling on campaign finance laws.

Though the Supreme Court probably didn't rule favorably with the intention of helping to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform, the possibility exists that is just what might happen.

Throughout the immigration reform debate, businesses have formed coalitions in favor of reforming immigration. One organization, ImmigrationWorks USA, describes itself as:

ImmigrationWorks USA is a national organization advancing immigration reform that works for all Americans - employers, workers and citizens. Its twin goals: to educate the public about the benefits of immigration and build a mainstream grassroots constituency in favor of better law - business owners and others from across America willing to speak out and demand an overhaul.
The organization links 25 state-based business coalitions: employers and trade associations from Florida to Oregon and from every sector of the economy that relies on immigrant workers. Made up primarily of small business owners known and trusted in their communities, these coalitions are ideally positioned to make the case for immigration reform...

These businesses can now contribute money on behalf of those candidates that support immigration reform.

The same is true for labor unions.

Already,

the A.F.L.-C.I.O and Change to Win, two vital segments of the American labor movement, forged a compromise to support the immigration reform effort, including a disciplined path to citizenship for the undocumented.

And the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and Service Employees International Union, both of which have thousands of immigrant members have been routinely supportive of reform measures. Now, they are all free under the new campaign law to support candidates who support immigration reform.

The bad thing about the change in the campaign finance law is that the public will be so inundated with all the conflicting messages that they will eventually tune everything and everyone out or off.

So it will be those first messages that must be memorable, relevant and on-target, otherwise immigration reform will become just one of those issues that's always talked about but never resolved.

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