Donnelly targeted in immigration reform debate

June 5th, 2013 at 4:14 pm by under Jim Shella's Political Blog

There’s an immigration reform debate about to begin on Capitol Hill but it’s already underway here in Indiana.  TV ads from a national group called the Federation for American Reform or FAIR are on the air.  It is opposed to the immigration bill.

Meantime, Indiana Democrat Joe Donnelly is considered a swing vote on immigration reform in the Senate.  So far he’s remained neutral on the bill that would create sweeping immigration reform.  The ads are airing here because of Senator Joe Donnelly.

Donnelly is also the reason why the Indy Chamber is taking part in public forums in support of the immigration bill.  “Actually that’s encouraging for us that they feel the need to place these ads,” said Angela Smith-Jones of the Indy Chamber, “that there might be some fear factor involved.”

In Washington, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is calling for a debate despite Republican efforts to stall it.

Indiana Republican Dan Coats is opposed to the current version of the bill.

And so Donnelly, who is new to the Senate and says he’s reviewing the legislation, is considered undecided.
That’s despite the hard line he took in his 2010 campaign for Congress.  He ran an ad where, on camera, he said, “Deport illegals who commit felonies and eliminate amnesty because no one should ever be rewarded for breaking the law.”

Among other things, the immigration reform bill would create a path to citizenship for many of the 11 million illegal immigrants who came to this country prior to 2012.  Senate passage is in doubt and there is still no guarantee that there will be a House vote on it.

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