Blogs on Immigration Law and Policy


Greg Siskind

New Poll Highlights Existential Risks to GOP if They Blow it on Immigration

Yesterday, the day the House voted to defund DACA, a new poll of Latino voters commissioned by America's Voice and conducted by Latino Decisions (which predicted with extreme accuracy the results of the 2012 election). If you're a master strategist for the GOP trying to figure out how to win back the White House and the Senate, you have to be worried about the folks in the House. We know that Latino voters increasing percent of the electorate coupled with their steady drift to the Democrats has cost the GOP dearly. We wouldn't be debating immigration reform today if that weren't obvious.

On the question of whether we should have all of the border security benchmarks be met before a legalization program begins, only 13% agreed with this while 81% thought both should happen together as is the case with the Senate bill. 58% of Latino voters now rate immigration as the most important issue needing to be addressed versus 38% who mentioned the economy. That's almost a complete flip from when the same question was asked last November. 78% said it was important or extremely important that immigration reform happen this year. And those polled would blame the GOP by a 4 to 1 margin if reform fails.

The good news for the GOP is that if they do the right thing and support immigration reform, a whole lot of Latino voters would be willing to consider voting for them again. 45% said they would be more likely to vote Republican in the future if they help pass an immigration bill. That matters because right now, the Democrats hold an almost 45 point lead over Republicans heading in to the 2014 congressional elections.

Reid Outlines Timing of Senate Debate

The Senate full floor debate on the immigration bill began this morning. But this is just the speechmaking phase and no votes on amendments will begin until next week. Majority Leader Reid said that the bill will come up for a vote before the Senate departs for the 4th of July recess. That would be on June 28th.

House Votes to Defund DACA

This is pretty stunning. The House actually voted to approve Steve King's amendment to the DHS appropriations bill which would strip all funds for the President's Deferred Actions for Childhood Arrivals program. That's the DREAM Act initiative that started last year. There's no way the Senate will go along and the President would, of course, veto the bill, but it shows that the House is not going to be an easy sell on an immigration bill.

The vote was 224 to 201. Three Southern Democrats supported it and six Republicans. Interestingly, none of the Republicans on the House Gang of Eight Seven voted against the measure.

I'm sure some will say they supported King on constitutional grounds. But let's start hearing from people on the House side endorsing the real DREAM Act as well as comprehensive immigration reform along the lines of what the Senate is doing and maybe we can believe that the GOP is not as anti-immigrant as today's vote certainly appears.

Incidentally, this happened the same day John Boehner wrote an opinion piece in Spanish for La Opinion trying to convince Latino voters that the GOP really cares about them. The optics of today's vote couldn't be worse for the House Speaker. How the hell did he let this vote happen? If he plans on taking a hands off approach on the immigration bill, we're all in trouble.* Since he's in a mood to speak Spanish, time to show some coj@$&es.

Christie Appointment Bad News For Immigration Reform

Don't count on the support of Jeffrey Chiesa, the NJ Attorney General just appointed by Chris Christie to fill the late Senator Frank Lautenberg's seat.

Politico is reporting that he's already stated he supports the right wing view that a legalization program will need to happen after a border crackdown.

About The Author Greg Siskind is a partner in Siskind Susser's Memphis, Tennessee, office. After graduating magna cum laude from Vanderbilt University, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago. Mr. Siskind is a member of AILA, a board member of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, and a member of the ABA, where he serves on the LPM Publishing Board as Marketing Vice Chairman. He is the author of several books, including the J Visa Guidebook and The Lawyer's Guide to Marketing on the Internet. Mr. Siskind practices all areas of immigration law, specializing in immigration matters of the health care and technology industries. He can be reached by email at

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