On Meet the Press Sunday, Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) announced that he and Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) are resuming negotiations on "comprehensive" immigration reform legislation. "Sen. Graham and I have talked and we are resuming the talks that were broken off two years ago," said Schumer.
Speaking to NBC host David Gregory, Sen. Schumer, who is chairman of the Senate Immigration Subcommittee, seemed convinced that Republicans are now willing to work with Democrats to pass an amnesty for illegal aliens. He also said he anticipates his "blueprint" to be the framework for it. "Graham and I are talking to our colleagues about this right now and I think we have a darn good chance using this blueprint to get something done this year," said Schumer. "The Republican Party has learned that being anti-illegal and anti-immigrant doesn't work for them politically and they know it."
Meanwhile, Senator Lindsay Graham made a similar pitch for "comprehensive" immigration reform on the CBS show Face the Nation. Using recent election results as the reason, Graham attempted to justify renewed amnesty negotiations. "This is an odd formula for a party to adopt," said Graham, "the fastest-growing demographic in the country, and we're losing votes every election cycle. And it has to stop. It's one thing to shoot yourself in the foot. Just don't reload the gun." While Senator Graham stated that an immigration bill would have to take a "backseat" to addressing the impending "fiscal cliff," he nevertheless signaled his commitment to moving forward amnesty legislation. "I intend to tear this wall down and pass an immigration reform bill that's an American solution to an American problem."
The Schumer-Graham outline for amnesty legislation includes the basic components of all "comprehensive" immigration reform legislation to-date: amnesty, some border security provisions, mandatory E-Verify, and a massive increase in guest workers. Different from previous amnesty bills, however, the outline also includes that all aliens receive a biometric identification card to help establish their identity.
Once the Schumer-Graham outline is turned into actual legislation, it's unclear how quickly the Senate will move on it. Senate Majority Leaders Harry Reid (R-NV) has promised that amnesty legislation will be high on the agenda of Senate Democrats. But it remains to be seen how much Democrats intend to consult the rank-and-file of their own party, and whether the Senate Republicans will offer any resistance to undermining the rule of law and granting amnesty and work authorization to nearly 12 million illegal aliens currently in the U.S.