It’s a fair bet that not every senator given the task of deciding on the bill had read every page. But they sure had opinions on particular aspects of it. So much so that a rapid fire stream of amendments threatened to render in unrecognizable.
There is an argument now that perhaps the senators should cut and splice the bill into various parts and deal with each in timely fashion. But then there’s the matter of trust. What’s to stop some senators supporting one part and, when it is passed, step back from another. No, the way to deal with comprehensive immigration reform is in a comprehensive and single act. The Senate can handle a big bill, even one as divisive as this one, S.1384.
On Tuesday, fresh from his trip to Europe, President Bush huddled with Republican lawmakers on Capitol Hill. He told them that the status quo on immigration was unacceptable. Now was the time, Bush said, to get it done with regard to comprehensive reform. We agree.
Reform will come sooner or later and the longer the delay quite simply the bigger the problem, or indeed problems. Immigration reform is, for sure, a complex and highly emotive issue. At its very core it involves allowing people into our country, and keeping others out.
Just how that happens, what the law is and how it is applied, is up to our legislators in Washington to decide.
Know-nothingism is a problem familiar to all who care about, or deal with immigration law. There are ways of facing it down.
It is, however, another matter to have to deal with do-nothingism. We are certain that sufficient senators understand this, and are now ready to do something.