Friday, July 27, 2007

Arlen Specter's New Immigration Plan--Third Time's A Charm

Here is an odd story. It seems that The Hill, Congress Gossip Blog, and the Politico' Crypt Blog, are all reporting that Arlen Specter is getting ready for a third run at immigration reform. According to the Politico

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.
Let's see, Specter is saying if you have gotten into the country illegally, all you need to do is sign up for some sort of green card equivalent and you are legal. Isn't that the essence of amnesty? Specter says it isn't. Maybe he is counting on conservatives not noticing. It could happen. Specter knows how Republicans think. After all last month the Senate missed breaking the filibuster by one vote.

In possibly related news, according to the New York Times, Specter went flying with President Bush on Air Force One earlier this week. The Times says he was particularly chatty during the flight. Maybe he found time to listen to the President's advisers. Bush is still in need of a legislative success for his legacy. One vote from achieving cloture must seem doable if you are desperate.