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Op-Ed: Debaters Should Press Biden on Killing Immigration Reform in 2007

Greg Orman

October 14, 2019

Toward the end of the last Democratic presidential debate, Joe Biden was interrupted by protesters before answering his final question of the night. While much attention has been paid to some of Biden’s answers that evening – I even ran out and bought a record player – the concerns of those demonstrators haven’t been fully examined. With the impending impeachment hearings dominating the daily news cycle, it’s unlikely the national news media will give them any attention at all.

The demonstrators were trying to bring visibility to the concerns of undocumented people in America. Their refrain was “We are DACA recipients. Our lives are at risk.” It may seem odd to many that the protesters would choose a Democratic forum to make their point. The popular narrative is that the failure of immigration reform lies squarely at the feet of Republicans. It is undisputable that in 2013, when the Gang of Eight senators pushed immigration reform through the Senate, it was House Republicans who refused to even debate the measure. Hiding behind a cowardly custom known as “the Hastert rule,” which requires the support of a “majority of the majority” to bring a bill to the floor of the House, Republican Speaker John Boehner declared the measure dead on arrival.

A more complete assessment of the immigration reform battle suggests a different narrative -- one in which Democrats have been...  Continue Reading.

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