Some Dems Could Be Barrier to Immigration Reform

A handful opposed efforts in 2007


While much of the attention for the success or failure of bipartisan immigration reform is centered on the reaction of Senate and House conservatives, quite a few Senate Democrats are content to play the waiting game even as President Barack Obama barnstorms for legislation.

There are nine Democratic members of the upper chamber who voted against the last immigration package: a 2007 bill pushed by the Bush administration and supported by the majority of the Democratic Caucus.

Several, like labor supporters Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Tom Harkin of Iowa, ended up opposing the bill — in part because of provisions in the guest worker program and what they saw as a lack of protections for low-wage earners. Others, like Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Max Baucus of Montana and Mark Pryor of Arkansas, hail from states where support for a pathway to citizenship might not sit well with voters. Sens. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia, Jon Tester of Montana and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan also opposed the bill.