Who Killed Immigration-Reform Legislation? (Hint: Not the Obvious Choice)


The San Diego Union-Tribune's Ruben Navarette has an interesting col in which he points the fickled finger of filibustering squarely at Senate Minority leader Harry "I like Harriet Miers" Reid (D-Nev.):

Hector Flores, president of the League of United Latin-American Citizens, told me he tried to impress upon Reid's office that it was important to get immigration reform done.

"Apparently, it fell on deaf ears," Flores said.

Reid claims it was GOP hard-liners who killed reform by running roughshod over [Senate Majority Leader Bill] Frist [(R-Tenn.)].

Baloney….A deal was at hand that would have offered legal status to some illegal immigrants. It would have made the GOP seem more Latino-friendly, but it would also have infuriated organized labor, which opposes something that was in the mix: guest workers.

After the Senate Judiciary Committee put out a guest-worker bill, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney issued a statement saying: "Guest-workers programs are a bad idea and harm all workers."

That did it. Senate Democrats sided with labor and sold out Latinos. The deal came undone because Reid refused to allow the legislation to go through the amendment process.

Navarette argues that after the Senate bill fell apart, Dems then "rubbed salt" in the GOP's wounds, pushing the idea that "Latinos had no choice but to stay on the liberal hacienda." His kicker: "In a twist on the famous words of one of their icons, Democrats no longer ask what they can do for Latinos, only what Latinos can do for them."

Whole thing, well worth reading, here.