There is much to cheer in Washington’s rapid re-commitment to immigration reform, not least of which is the way it affirms some basic tenets of democracy. A large voting bloc makes itself heard on election day, and the system eventually responds, just as it did for the Irish and women and the anti-Vietnam War movement and gays.
In November, President Obama won 71 percent of a Latino vote that itself grew by 4 million since 2008, a number big enough for even Rush Limbaugh to see. Bob Menendez of New Jersey — one of the bipartisan group of eight senators who announced a framework for legislation this week — put the argument for action succinctly: “First, Americans support it. Secondly, Latino voters expect it. Thirdly, Democrats want it. And fourth, Republicans need it.”