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The piece-meal approach to passing immigration reform doesn’t seem so bad

LatinaLista — News reports circulating say that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is now ready to adopt a “piece-meal” approach to moving immigration reform.

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Although the Nevada Democrat remains committed to a comprehensive bill, political realities in the Senate have forced his hand, Reid spokesman Jim Manley said. Manley explained that Reid may try to pursue an agricultural jobs measure and the DREAM Act, which provides students who are illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. — Roll Call

The conventional wisdom to passing comprehensive immigration reform (CIR) — as was discussed in a prior posting — was to keep all the elements that touch on undocumented immigrants together. From the standstill reception CIR has received so far, that wisdom is obsolete.

So, issue by issue will be dissected out of the bigger CIR package and that’s a good thing. It’s good because it allows supporters of CIR to hone the arguments for why each individual issue of CIR must be passed on their own merits.

The problem before is that, again, that conventional wisdom told everybody that the only way to get CIR passed was to put it all together and those issues where opponents didn’t object to as strongly as other issues would have a greater chance of passing.

Yet, when that happens, not much thought is put into the final version, and sometimes the final version isn’t even close to what the people wanted.

Going piece-by-piece will be a long process but it will ensure the kind of reform that is practical, humane and addresses the need of that issue, and isn’t something created as a bribe thus considered an acceptable loss.

When it comes to the lives of 12 million men, women and children there are no acceptable losses.

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