After the Republican sweep in their district and a fairly contentious race to begin with, this article in Miami Herald by Alfonso Chardy of the El Nuevo Herald goes into detail on the current mood as the dust settles. That mood translates to some fireworks down the road for immigration reform as fear of a Republican outlash builds. Everyone knows such an outlash would be in the form of some kind of punitive “crackdown on illegals”. The article notes:
Fear is spreading among many day laborers in South Florida after Republicans won control of the House of Representatives, a move immigration reform activists say will make it more difficult — if not impossible — to legalize millions of undocumented immigrants.
But some activists who support legalization said Wednesday that separate immigration reform components could pass in the lame-duck Congress such as the DREAM Act, a bill that would give green cards to undocumented young students brought to the United States as babies or toddlers by their parents.
Suffice to day, check out the full article and take a look into the Miami papers in general. All throughout the US, the subject of “illegal immigration” is coming to a head in the form of intense debates regarding both “enforcement” and “illegal workers”.
Miami has it’s own distinct political flavor in this regard. Keep an eye on this area and the message being put out, when it comes time for the 2012 Presidential Election, what you see here could be the “deciding content” for the race.
The DREAM Act is listed here and defined further in Wikipedia here. It basically offers to help about 65,000 youth known as “illegal immigrants” to transition to the US citizenship they seek. It doesn’t cover much else on the face of it, and looks to be a form of political compromise that politicians can work into the media focus while they cut “back room deals” that will help them save face later if need be.
Since many of the politicians recently elected get to sit for a while, there’s not much risk in their game. They can get Sarah Palin elected in 2012, and if that happens, the whole issue will look quite different than it had after Obama first took office and promised reform within a year.