President Bush is visiting the US-Mexican border this morning in an attempt to inject some life in to the immigration legislative process. This follows on the heels of the leak of the Powerpoint reported on last week (has a Powerpoint presentation ever drawn so much coverage?). NBC News reported this morning that the White House is feeling surprisingly optimistic. This follows on the heels of reports last week showing the Senate is getting ready to move on its immigration bill. The big questions now are whether the President can reach agreement with congressional Democrats and whether congressional Republicans will sign off on any proposal from either the White House or Congress.
In the mean time, protesters were out this weekend in LA mostly to express unhappiness with the massive fines included in the President's plan. My own opinion - the fines are very high, but the President is on the right track. The best way to address the amnesty complainers is to make it clear that the plan being approved is one that involves serious restitution. When the amount is high enough that the typical American winces, then we'll probably have accomplished the goal of sufficiently addressing the law and order/no amnesty folks. What that number is, I'll leave to the pollsters.
I also think that the pro-immigration folks make a mistake when they try to appeal to the American public mainly in terms of trying to assert a right for undocumented immigrants to be in the US. This only creates a backlash and hardens positions. The smarter approach is to remind Americans that legalization is in the best interest of the American public and that deciding to proceed with CIR is the best decision for the country as a whole.