LINDA VALDEZ / Arizona Republic: Obama can checkmate GOP on immigration

By Linda Valdez:


House Dems' discharge petition shows strategic advantage

The House Democrats' effort to force a vote on immigration reform is being dismissed as pure politics. OK. The discharge petition failed to get the needed 218 signatures to force a floor vote on the Senate's immigration bill. That was no surprise.

If the goal was to highlight the GOP's challenges with Latino voters, though, it was a success.

But we didn't need a failed discharge petition to demonstrate the intransigence of House Republicans or the colossal failure of GOP House Speaker John Boehner to move ahead on reform.

This is an issue of huge national importance, but the GOP has let the far right control the game and block progress.

Democrats shouldn't let up on this message.

Despite the slim hope of actually achieving reform, Democrats should continue to play this for political gain. (They need all the help they can get in November.)

Next move: President Obama can suspend deportations of those who would qualify for legal status under the Senate's bipartisan immigration reform bill. He should do it in the name of fairness and traditional family values.

Obama can legitimately claim the moral high ground. Families are being torn apart by the current policies, as demonstrators have been telling us in heartbreaking stories.

Obama also will be energizing the base by playing the kind of daring political chess Democrats expected from him years ago.


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An Independent American Voter Group merging Tip O'Neill Democrats and Ronald Reagan Republicans.