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    Will the Democrats’ victory assist US immigration reform?

    By admin | November 9, 2006

    The chances for US immigration reform appear to have improved, following the electoral success of the Democrats in many Senate and House races, according to many stories in the US news media. The LA Times offers this analysis:

    Many House Republicans based their reelection campaigns partly on opposition to immigration policies that Bush and many Democrats strongly support, including a guest worker program and a path to citizenship for most illegal immigrants.

    That hard-line stance failed to rally voters or to turn tight races, even in border states where immigration is a major issue. Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.), Rep. John Hostettler (R-Ind.) and Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) all lost, as did Arizona congressional candidate Randy Graf, a Republican who co-founded the Minuteman border patrol group.

    Those failures could help Bush within his party.

    “The myth that members of Congress need to be afraid of immigration might have been put to rest, because no member of Congress was punished in this election for supporting pro-immigrant legislation,” said Josh Bernstein, federal policy director of the National Immigration Law Center, another advocacy group.

    The report also notes, however, that Democrats themselves do not speak with a unanimous voice on the immigration issue, and bipartisan agreement will therefore continue to be difficult.

    Closer to home, John Bruton, the EU’s ambassador to the US, told RTE’s News at One that the Democrat’s landslide victory in the House of Representatives would lead to a greater chance for change on immigration, as President Bush’s views on the undocumented were closer to those held by many Democrats.

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