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Immigration Reform's Specter

July 26, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

Republican Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) is getting ready to send some bad news to his colleagues. “I’ve got letters to the 100 senators on my desk,” he said on Thursday. Here’s a preview of what will be in the envelopes:

>Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said he’s floating a plan that would grant legal status to the nation’s 12 million illegal immigrants, but offer no path to citizenship.
>"It might be the equivalent of a green card," Specter said Thursday. “The main thrust is to bring the 12 million out of the shadows,” and eliminate the fear of arrest or deportation.
>Specter said conservatives who last month derailed a comprehensive immigration bill might accept his plan because it would not allow the 12 million to seek citizenship status.
>"We litigated amnesty and that lost," Specter said.

Just a reminder: the Senate has already killed immigration reform — twice — and it has cost them almost a month of precious floor time. After it died the first time, it was brought back with an alteration to attract more conservative votes ($4 billion up front for border security), but it only faired better in the final cloture vote by a single “aye.” Specter would still need to get 14 more votes for his third-attempt immigration bill to pass. Then again, you know what they say about third times…

This article from The Hill points out that he’s already been talking to all the right people:

>Sen. Arlen Specter, who accompanied President Bush Thursday on his visit to Pennsylvania, said he has spoken to Bush and the two Cabinet members who have led immigration talks about his new bill. Specter also told reporters that he has spoken to most senators involved in this spring’s failed “grand bargain,” outlining his plan and appealing for a restart to the arduous immigration debate.

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