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Senate GOP: Border troops could lead to immigration compromise

I wrote earlier about how today's surprising immigration politics were good for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), but I was struck by the seeming readiness for compromise from Republicans who, at the start of the day, were beseeching the Obama administration to send troops to the border.

"It wasn't a good idea to try to hold hostage the securing of the border in order to get comprehensive immigration reform passed," said Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.) at the GOP leadership's news conference. "I know there's feeling on the other side that if the border is secure, conservatives might be less likely to support comprehensive reform. But even if that's the case, and I don't think it is, it's important to secure the border."

Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) took a tougher line when talking about the GOP's proposal -- $2 billion, as many as 6,000 troops -- but ended up in the same place. "I think as we discuss the issue of immigration reform," said Cornyn, "which we all agree is very important, we ought to talk about credible -- credible! -- immigration reform. If we do that, I think we can do the job that we all want to get done."

This is basically where hopeful immigration reform advocates have thought the issue was going -- aggressive action from the White House, a quieter border and then an immigration compromise.

By David Weigel  |  May 25, 2010; 5:30 PM ET
Categories:  Immigration  
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