Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Kyl: Border Kingpin

Posted By on Wed, May 9, 2007 at 5:18 PM

The Washington Times examines how Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl is the new go-to guy for immigration reform. As reporter puts Stephen Dinan puts it:

While the White House was working with Sen. John McCain, Arizona's other senator, Jon Kyl, emerged this year as the most important player in the immigration debate, showing that even as the Congress has grown more liberal with Democrats in control, the immigration debate has shifted to the right.

It's also a recognition that as Mr. Kyl goes, so go a number of Republicans.

"If it's good enough for Kyl, it's going to be good enough for a lot of conservatives," said Rep. Jeff Flake, Arizona Republican and one of the top House lawmakers pressing for a bill this year.

Can Kyl bring along the crowd that wants all 12 million illegal immigrants kicked right out of the country? Hard-line groups such as Federation for American Immigration Reform are already using the A word:

But opponents of such a bill say Kyl is in a difficult position, given his own opposition to amnesty.

"Jon Kyl is being placed in an impossible position that can neither serve the nation's interests, nor his own," said Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).

"When the president of the United States taps you on the shoulder and asks you to be his point man, it's hard to refuse. But at the same time, Sen. Kyl's record makes it very clear that he knows that no matter how you dress it up, any legislation that allows illegal aliens to remain in this country is an amnesty."

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