Any hope of passing comprehensive immigration reform this year is dead in the water, NBC's Mike Viqueira reports. But a plan is in the works to pass a series of border security-only measures before Congress leaves for a campaign recess on September 29. In addition, Viq says, House GOP leaders announced yesterday they will hold yet another hearing on immigration reform next week to discuss their observations from immigration field hearings and in talking to constituents over their summer recess. House Speaker Dennis Hastert left no doubt about where he and the GOP leadership stand on the principal provisions of the Senate bill. "Before guest worker, we need to heal the wound and stop the bleeding," he said, referring to the tide of illegal immigrants coming over the border.
The Los Angeles Times writes that supporters of the Senate immigration bill criticized the House's announcement. "'Security alone cannot fix the problem of illegal immigration,' said Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), who backs the Senate bill. 'If we do enforcement without anything else, crops in the field will be rotting, nothing will be picked and the problems will ripple throughout the entire economy.'"
Immigrants yesterday rallied outside the Capitol, calling for a comprehensive approach to illegal immigration. But, per the New York Times, "the political potency of such marches ... seemed to be waning. Organizers here had predicted hundreds of thousands of demonstrators on Thursday, but it appeared that only several thousand showed up. Rallies in