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Jon Kyl Blames Obama For Failure Of Immigration Reform Under Bush

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The reality was somewhat nuanced because then-Sen. Obama and multiple Democrats opposed guest worker provisions backed by Republicans and the Chamber of Commerce. But the eventual Bush-backed legislation was supported by most Democrats and a handful of Republicans. Fierce attacks from conservatives against any form of "amnesty" for illegal immigrants forced GOP leaders to break with their president.

The motion to advance the bill in June 2007 went down 45-50, falling short of the 60 votes needed to break the filibuster. Thirty-eight Democrats and 6 Republicans, including Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), voted in favor, while 38 Republicans, including Kyl, and 11 Democrats blocked it.

Although Obama hasn't prioritized immigration reform as president, he has championed the cause and supported various Democratic bills to revamp the nation's immigration laws. They've all died at the hands of Republicans, including the DREAM Act in 2010, out of allegiance to the party's anti-immigration conservative base. But the cause is important to Hispanics, whose votes Republicans need in the general election -- or at least they need to stay home. So the party has aimed to paper over this by blaming the Obama White House for failing to reform the system.

Kyl's allegation takes it to a new level. His office did not respond to a request for comment.

About The Author

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Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at sahil@talkingpointsmemo.com and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.