Massachusetts Election: Death Blow for Immigration Reform?

According to New America Media, Massachusetts could spell trouble for Democrats, but advocates of immigration reform say it’s not over yet.

By capturing the seat held by former Democratic Sen. Edward Kennedy who passed away last summer, Republican Scott Brown brings a different vision to the historically blue state. While Kennedy was known as a champion of health care reform and was co-author of the 2006 McCain-Kennedy immigration reform bill, Brown has spoken out against both.

But advocates of immigration reform were quick to dispel fears that the election could be the death knell for immigration reform in 2010.

“This was a race that revolved around the issue of change, and Scott Brown – in spite of having a long history of being anti-immigrant, was able to tap into that wave,” Ali Noorani, executive director of National Immigration Forum and chair of Reform Immigration FOR America, said in a telephonic press conference Wednesday. “What didn’t happen is that we did not articulate that immigration reform is part of that change agenda.”
Janet Murguía, president and CEO of National Council of La Raza, added that the campaign by Democrat Martha Coakley made a fatal error in the election in Massachusetts – It “did not engage the Latino community,” she said.

Advocates of reform also note that, while some predict that the Massachusetts Senate race could spell the end of immigration reform, “conventional wisdom” isn’t always right.

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