Suddenly, the issue of illegal immigration is back on the national political radar, as Democrats say they are serious about ripping off a political scab from a few years ago and bringing comprehensive reform legislation to the Senate floor.
The issue got a jolt last Friday, when President Obama took a forceful jab at an immigration plan in Arizona, labeling it "misguided" and saying that he would have federal officials review the law and whether it was constitutional.
A few hours later, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) signed the bill into law. It requires police in the Grand Canyon State to question people about their immigration status if there is evidence suggesting they might be illegally in the country.
Democrats say the Arizona law is just one obvious reason to get comprehensive immigration reform through the Congress - while many Republicans say that should wait until more concrete efforts are made to seal the southern border with Mexico.
It was obvious last week that Immigration Reform has moved up on the list of hot topics in Democratic circles and at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.
"I would note that 11 current Republican Senators voted to pass immigration reform four years ago," President Obama said in a Friday citizenship ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, as Mr. Obama already seemed to have a mantra for what the bill would be about.
"So responsibility. Accountability. Common-sense, comprehensive immigration reform," said the President, as he noted past Republican support for such plans in the Senate.
"I'm hopeful that they will join with Democrats in doing so again so we can make the progress the American people deserve."
Right now, that seems a longshot on the GOP side.
If there is going to be an immigration reform bill in the Congress, then the Senate will act first, so that House Democrats don't have to go out on a limb only to see a plan filibustered to death.
"If the Senate is ready with an immigration bill, we don't want anybody holding it up for any reason," said Speaker Nancy Pelosi last Thursday.
Hold onto your hats on this one. Something tells me we are going to hear about immigration for much of this election year.
Who does it benefit? Democrats hope it rallies Hispanic voters to their side. But it also might rally a lot of voters to the GOP side in swing districts and areas outside of major cities.
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