Well that was quick. Over the weekend, Harry Reid visited a rally for immigration reform and promised quick action on a comprehensive bill. It took all of one day back in Washington before he changed his mind:
Just a few moments ago, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid dashed hopes that immigration reform would be dealt with soon.
“We won’t to get immigration reform in this work period,” Reid told reporters on Capitol Hill.
Oops! I guess when Reid said “We’re going to come back, we’re going to have comprehensive immigration reform now,” that didn’t mean “now” as in “when we get back from recess.” Silly me for being so literal.
Some bloggers were enthused by the prospect of using immigration as a liberal wedge issue for the elections, raising Latino turnout and turning them against the nativism of the GOP once and for all. I certainly think that’s a plausible strategy, but it doesn’t seem like I’m the one who needs convincing. That would be Harry Reid.
Outside of financial reform, I don’t see another big bill between now and the elections.
UPDATE: The Immigration Policy Center insists that this doesn’t represent any backsliding, that it merely means CIR won’t come to the Senate during this work period. I would remind the IPC that there aren’t that many other work periods left – maybe three or four – before the midterm elections. But FWIW, they say that “Reid hasn’t recanted—his staff has assured ImmigrationImpact that he intends to take on CIR in 2010.”