This afternoon, President Bush participates in a briefing on comprehensive immigration reform -- another attempt, it seems, to sell the Senate bill to the public. Per NBC's Kelly O'Donnell, White House advisers say Secretaries Chertoff and Gutierrez will lead the briefing, which will include representatives from business, agricultural, Hispanic, religious, conservative, and immigrant-rights groups.
Is immigration causing fundraising problems for the RNC? The Washington Times: "The Republican National Committee, hit by a grass-roots donors' rebellion over President Bush's immigration policy, has fired all 65 of its telephone solicitors, The Washington Times has learned… Several of the solicitors fired at the May 24 meeting reported declining contributions and a donor backlash against the immigration proposals now being pushed by Mr. Bush and Senate Republicans… A spokeswoman for the committee denied any drop-off in fundraising."
This very well might be the basis of a question at Tuesday's GOP debate in New Hampshire. Writes Peggy Noonan, What political conservatives and on-the-ground Republicans must understand at this point is that they are not breaking with the White House on immigration… What conservatives and Republicans must recognize is that the White House has broken with them. What President Bush is doing, and has been doing for some time, is sundering a great political coalition. This is sad, and it holds implications not only for one political party but for the American future."
The Los Angeles Times looks at the split within organized labor over the immigration bill. "On one side of the debate are the AFL-CIO and other large industrial unions whose members have historically seen illegal immigrants as unwanted competitors. The other side includes the Service Employees International Union, whose members have healthcare, property management and public service jobs, and Unite Here, which represents garment, hotel and restaurant workers. These unions have embraced immigrants, even those here illegally."
More: "Some Democratic strategists say the labor divide could be enough to halt the bill, given the amount of added opposition from immigrant groups and businesses. Others predict that the SEIU and Unite Here will succeed in moving the bill forward with their lobbying and organizing of immigrant workers."