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Menendez Calls for 2010 Immigration Reform in Lame Duck Session

Sen. Menendez urged advocates and the media to focus on the merits of the bill, rather than the timing.

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Similarly, the inclusion of triggers relating to operational control of the border—no matter how achievable—is disturbing. While the program to give people LPI status will be able to go forward unimpeded, the decision to link border security to legalization is a significant reminder that Sens. Menendez and Leahy aren’t exactly going it alone. The political baggage of our enforcement driven culture has become a seemingly unavoidable part of immigration reform.

People will find far more to critique and argue about before too long—that’s the nature of a massive bill like CIR 2010. But that’s also the beauty of it. Theories, proposals, and principles advance the debate only so far. An actual piece of legislation, real text that people can debate and analyze, gives advocates something to rally around and policy folks something to build on. In going it alone, Sens. Menendez and Leahy aren’t truly alone, of course. CIR 2010 is a snapshot of where the Senate is today—a calculation about what makes sense to the sponsors but also about what is most likely to bring more people to the bill. Sometimes you just have to take the plunge, knowing and believing that others will follow.

Mary Giovagnoli is the Director of the Immigration Policy Center.

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