On Apr 29 2009 by William A. Stock

Senator Specter Switches Parties – The Immigration Angle

Senator Specter’s decision to switch parties and run in 2010 as a Democrat inspires mixed emotions here at KILP.  All of us have long supported the Senator because of his well-thought-out, moderate positions on immigration legislation (some of us in spite of his Republican party membership).  His role in passing a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate with both Democratic and Republican support in 2006 was, in many ways, the cumulation of more than 20 years of work to pass reasonable immigration laws that are good for our country.

AILA president Chuck Kuck says it best over on the AILA Leadership Blog:

Probably even more important is the boost this gives to those who believe, like us, that CIR is essential to renewed economic growth. Senator Specter spoke to our Spring AILA Conference (was it that which pushed him over the edge?). He let us know that he actually gets it. He understands all the key aspects of reform. He understands it is NOT just about legalization. He understands that it is also about DREAM. It is also about increased immigrant visa numbers. It is also about more sensible nonimmigrant visa categories. It is also about reforming how USCIS operates, and it is also about smarter enforcement and going after the real bad actors, not those struggling to put bread in the mouths of their children.

We certainly hope that Senator Specter can continue his leadership on the immigration issue as a member of the Democratic majority.   Because of his work on behalf of reasonable immigration laws, we will continue to support his efforts (it’s just others of us who will do it in spite of his party membership).