For Washington insiders, one of the most troubling aspects of the Department of Homeland Security's six-state raids is their timing. An agency doesn't execute the largest immigration raid in U.S. history, complete with a press conference
and a pretty color map
for republishing, because it woke up one day and decided the weather was right.
In fact, it seems there's almost no political climate for the raid. The elections are over, Congress is in recess, it's two weeks to Christmas, the White House has no plans to talk about immigration until next year. I talked this morning with one of the top corporate lobbyists on immigration issues this morning, who echoed the sentiment.
Laura Reiff is with Washington powerhouse firm Greenberg Traurig (once home to Team Abramoff), from where she chairs the "Essential Workers Coalition" -- a bunch of corporations and trade groups which rely on low-wage labor.
Saying she was "very disappointed" with DHS for the raids, she lambasted their political sensibilities. "It makes no political sense whatsoever" to run these raids now, she told me. "I can understand doing this prior to the elections." Furthermore, everybody in power is already focused on immigration -- as an issue for next year. "I talked to the president and Karl Rove last week" about the importance of immigration reform, she said. It's a top priority for both Democratic and Republican leadership. . . You don't need to go in and do these high-profile raids."