Morning Read: Bush Immigration Plan Hits the Wall

05/25/2011 12:15 pm ET
  • Marc Cooper Special Correspondent for The Huffington Post, frmr Editorial Director of OffTheBus

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My early read of Thursday's morning press revolves around the stinging defeat handed to the Bush Administration yesterday by a Federal judge who (at least temporarily) blocked a proposed government crackdown on businesses that hire undocumented workers. Emily Bazar at USA Today has the direct-to-the-point story.

"Extending an earlier injunction, U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco criticized a government plan to punish businesses that don't fire workers whose Social Security numbers don't match government records. He said the records have so many errors that, with only a 90-day time frame, the verification process would "result in the termination of employment to lawfully employed workers."

The WaPo's Spencer Hsu takes a deeper look at the whole affair and underlines that it was an "unusual coalition" that successfully sued the Feds in court -- one including the ACLU, the AFL-CIO and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The truly dedicated on this subject can see the judge's ruling over at Bender's Immigration Bulletin Daily, one of the best sites on the Web to keep up with the sizzling immigration issue.

Our good bud, Dan Kowalski, edits the site as well as the hard-copy version, a veritable bible for immigration lawyers and policy experts. Dan's also a correspondent for our Off The Bus project where he's recently written on his disappointment with Obama's big roll-out on border issues as well as on what's really meant when the candidates start jabbering about "sanctuary cities."

Debate on immigration policy has not exactly been among the brightest aspects of the '08 campaign to date. The Republicans -- including those who previously championed a liberalization of policy like McCain-- are now pretty much in lockstep in emphasizing only a border crackdown. And while all of the Democratic candidates pay lip service to the bromides of "comprehensive reform," the party as a whole (especially the congressional leadership) seems to want the whole thorny issue to just go away.

All the better reason to keep boning up on the subject.