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THE BUZZ: THIS WEEK'S HOT STORY

Middle ground in immigration reform plan?

Saturday, February 2, 2013 - 12:01 am

For years, it has been accepted wisdom that comprehensive immigration reform won’t happen. All Democrats want is amnesty for the 11 million illegal aliens already here. At the top of the Republican wish list is border security. No middle ground is possible.

But Washington politicians can read election results. Hispanics are already the largest minority and still the fastest growing, and they overwhelmingly voted for President Obama. So this week a group of four Democratic senators and four Republican ones announced they had worked out the details of a proposal. There would be a “path to citizenship,” but only after border security has been guaranteed.

Many Republicans responded favorably, despite predictions from the conservative faction that there would be the same result as there was in the last reform – amnesty happened, but the promised border security didn’t, so the problem got worse. The fact that conservative tea party favorite Marco Rubio was one of the “gang of eight” made even fierce reform foe Rush Limbaugh give a respectful hearing to the idea.

Many remain skeptical that a deal will actually happen. But no matter how this turns out, the pundits say it will be a win for Obama and a loss for Republicans. If a comprehensive deal is defeated, Republicans will get the blame. If one passes, Obama will get the credit, but the GOP won’t get many Hispanic votes out of the deal.