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Immigration Reform or Climate Bill – Which Major Issue Should Take Precedence?

With the misguided immigration law passed in Arizona, major political struggles are over whether the U.S. Senate should tackle immigration reform before a climate bill. The Senate may not have the time for both this year – which major issue should take precedence?

Hispanics, the nation’s largest minority and a power base for President Obama and his Democratic Party, are outraged over Arizona’s law, which requires migrants to carry documentation with them at all times. Arizona’s GOP Gov. Jan Brewer signed the bill into law Friday. Obama called the law “misguided.” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who faces re-election this year, has indicated he might schedule immigration reform ahead of a climate bill, which is also one of Obama’s top priorities. The House passed a climate bill last year, aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but the Senate has yet to take up the issue. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., has been working for months to craft a compromise bill with Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. If Reid does immigration first, Graham said Saturday he’ll pull his support for the climate bill.

With polls showing that Americans worrying less about the environment, including global warming, a climate change bill has been a difficult struggle to immigration reform.

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