On Tuesday, former President Bill Clinton said he’s convinced immigration reform legislation will pass easily in the Democratic-led Senate and faces a tougher road in the Republican-controlled House, but that it would inevitably make it through Congress, reports the Washington Times.
“They’re going to pass this immigration reform, I think, and I’ll be surprised if it doesn’t get 70 votes in the Senate,” Clinton said, citing “just the pure demographics of it.”
“The Republicans, I think, know they can’t be a national party if they lose 72, 75 percent of the Latino vote and, you know, three or four more times, the numbers are only going to get bigger,” Clinton said.
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Clinton made the remarks during a question-and-answer session after delivering a lecture at Georgetown University.
“And I think the same thing is true of [Asian voters],” Clinton said.
“When we had a huge influx of Asian immigrants, a lot of the Vietnamese were militantly anti-communist and came here and were inclined to vote Republican because they perceived that the Republicans were more anti-communist than the Democrats and that the Democrats had driven the country’s disengagement from Vietnam, even though President Ford was in office when the last troops were withdrawn,” Clinton said
“And all of that’s changed over all this immigration business, so that now the Democrats tend to get a big majority of the Asian vote, too, and they’re growing like crazy.
So I think just for sheer demographic credence, we’re going to get it.”
Though Clinton was sure the legislation would ultimately pass, he didn’t go so far as to predict the immigration bill’s prospects in the House.
Clinton said two obstacles that could derail the bill’s passing are a potential filibuster in the Senate and whether or not House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, would permit a Senate-passed bill to come to the floor if it doesn’t have the support of a majority of House Republicans.
“I think it is possible, depending on the details of the paths to citizenship…that there won’t be a majority of the Republican House caucus for it, and then they’ll have to decide whether to let it come to the floor or not, but I really think this will pass,” Clinton said.
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