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Immigration: Gillibrand Versus the Minutemen

Moderate Dems are ready to tackle common sense reform, while hardliners continue to demagogue on immigration.

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So here's where things stand, as immigration reform heats up again:

Moderate Democrats are beginning to get that the public wants leaders who lean into tough problems and forge pragmatic solutions. At the same time, the Republican Party is debating whether to move away from extreme candidates like Rosanna Pulido and Chris Simcox. Let's face it: the GOP's viability as a major party depends in no small part on distancing itself from Minuteman-style politics.

It will be instructive to see how both parties behave during next week's Senate Judiciary Hearing, "Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2009, Can We Do It and How?""

With the White House recently renewing its pledge to move forward on immigration reform this year with the unified support of the nation's largest labor coalitions, we might expect the answer to the first question to be, "Yes."

To answer the question, "How?"

Tune into what the public- not the noisy Minuteman minority- really want. Weigh the economic benefits of legalizing twelve million underground workers and cracking down on bad-actor employers against the human and financial costs of deporting 12 million men, women, and children.

Most importantly, take the debate back from the extremists.

Frank Sharry is the executive director of America's Voice .

 
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