Today, I was interviewed for an article in the Huffington Post about Democrats who are standing in the way of immigration reform. The article was written by Elise Foley, and is well worth reading in its entirety. Here is the section that relates to Montana in particular:
In Montana, home to two of the senators who voted against the DREAM Act, advocates are mobilizing against Sen. Tester to pressure him into changing his immigration stances.
“What we’d really like is to change his mind, but we know that it’s going to take a lot for that to happen,” Montana immigration attorney Shahid Haque-Hausrath told HuffPost on Thursday. “One of our major goals is for Tester to get the message that it’s not going to be politically expedient for him to be raising immigration as a campaign issue.”
Tester is up for reelection in 2012 against Republican Rep. Danny Rehberg, putting activists in the odd position of fighting against a Democrat who assumes he will get their support. Although they do not want Rehberg to be elected, they see it as important to send a message to Tester, Haque-Hausrath said.
In addition to voting against the DREAM Act, Tester also voted to take away funding from the Department of Justice to block it from challenging Arizona’s contested immigration enforcement law.
“Rehberg’s positions are certainly no better than Tester’s,” Haque-Hausrath said. “But they’re also no worse.”
I have previously discussed Senator Jon Tester’s problematic immigration positions in two posts on this blog (here and here). It is also important to note that not all Montana Democrats share Tester’s views on immigration. Governor Brian Schweitzer has an incredibly enlightened view of immigration, and for two sessions in a row, Democrats in the Montana Legislature have taken caucus positions against anti-immigrant legislation. Democrats just need to take action to get our U.S. Senators back on the right track.