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Immigration Issues Score Political Points For Both Parties

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said at the press briefing today that Republicans pushing for hearings on the citizenship of American-born children are just posturing for the November elections.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has said he wants to change the 14th Amendment so that children of illegal immigrants cannot obtain automatic citizenship for being born in the U.S. Last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) threw his weight behind a push to reexamine the relevant Constitutional provisions.

“I don’t know if that was based on 2010 or 2012,” Gibbs said, referring to McConnell’s remarks. “But my hunch is it is based purely on politics.”

This is how a proposal with little chance of becoming reality balloons into a political sparring point. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), for instance, told ABC’s “Top Line” he thinks Republicans are using the issue to score points before the election: “I think the way it is being presented now is 100 percent political.”

Of course, hearings on the 14th amendment are not only immigration issue that politicians are using to score points against each other. For his part, McConnell told Bloomberg News the Obama administration used their lawsuit against Arizona’s SB 1070 immigration law as a political move. “The most blatant political move made lately was the administration’s decision to sue the state of Arizona and thereby heightening this issue even further,” he said.

It’s not pretty, but it might explain why Majority Leader Harry Reid is so hesitant to move forward on any type of immigration legislation.

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