Republican quits immigration reform

April 28, 2010

By Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times

The sole Senate Republican working with Democrats on a bipartisan immigration bill said Tuesday that the issue will have to wait until 2012, undercutting the drive to pass a law this year and setting up a partisan floor showdown that all sides acknowledge won’t produce a bill that can reach the president’s desk.

Pointing to Arizona’s new law cracking down on illegal immigrants, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who had been trying to write a bill with Democrats, said it’s clear that Americans do not think the border with Mexico is secure and will not accept an immigration bill until that’s fixed.

He said trying to pass a bill in the face of that opposition will doom immigration reform for years to come and that the best lawmakers can hope for right now is to pass a bill in two years, once the border is secured.

“I believe we can do it by 2012, if we’re smart and we address the big elephant in the room, and that is that our borders are broken,” Mr. Graham told Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano at a hearing on Capitol Hill.

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