LatinaLista — Ever since I posted the news that there is a massive march planned for March 21 in Washington by supporters of comprehensive immigration reform, response has been mixed.
Some have supported it and others not — not too surprising. But what was surprising was that people, who normally support such actions wholeheartedly on behalf of pushing Congress to reform immigration, weren’t in total agreement with the idea.
Their thinking is that with healthcare still unresolved that Congress can’t even begin to properly address the immigration issue. Some have even gone as far as saying that maybe it should wait till next year.
CQ Politics 2010 Congressional Race Ratings Map: Red-GOP; Blue-Democrats; Yellow-toss-up; pink-leaning towards GOP; light blue-leaning towards Democrats.
Yet, some congressional members are showing us that there is little choice but to collectively push for action now — before it’s too late.
Twelve senators have announced their retirements. According to the Christian Science Monitor, that’s the second-highest number of Senate retirees in 75 years.
Comprised of both Democrats and Republicans, the departing Senators were ones who could have helped move forward the immigration legislation just by virtue of them remembering what it was like to collaborate across the aisle to reach a bipartisan piece of legislation.
Now, the most common complaint among the departing Senators is that the Senate has lost the political will to engage one another a la Ted Kennedy style of bipartisanship.
The loss of these Senators is big.
CQ Politics noted,
“With the retirement of Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.), every Democratic presidential hopeful from 2008 will have exited the Senate by the time the 112th Congress convenes in January…
Bayh joins a group of veteran Democratic and Republican senators, many longtime elected officials, who are set to end their careers at the end of the term. All told, those departures — as well as the death last year of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) — will leave the chamber with a deficit of 232 years of legislative know-how and Washington gravitas that has characterized Capitol Hill for a generation.
Given the political volatility of the election cycle, the Senate makeover could be even more extreme come Nov. 2.
At that time, new politicians will be elected who may not share in the vision of immigration reform or don’t know what it means to craft legislation in a bipartisan way.
As the now infamous “You lie” shout still reverberating in this country indicated, there is a lack of civility surrounding certain issues where people have no tolerance for even the mention of undocumented immigrants and equate any compromise associated with the immigration issue as a defeat.
In fact, compromise has been given a bad rap by some congressional members who are proving to be the worst role models when it comes to young people seeing how compromise, tolerance, civility and respect for difference of opinions are traits still to be strived for but are almost non-existent in Washington these days.
So, while the time isn’t perfect, there’s no better time to push the Congress we have to sincerely address comprehensive immigration reform because come next year, a new crop of politicians may present a far worse situation than what we have now.