While the immigration rallies attract thousands, while those who rant against immigration attract their base voters, there are secret talks going on between the White House and Capitol Hill to actually get something done on immigration this year.
It's not an easy path, but given the fact that the Democrats now control Congressand most of them agree with the president on the idea of a path to citizenship for illegal immigrantsthere is actually a possibility that something could happen. Believe it or not.
At the center of this possible compromise are Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez, White House adviser Karl Rove, Sen. Lindsey Graham (representing Sen. John McCain), and Arizona's other senator, Republican Jon Kyl. Last time around, Kyl criticized the president's plan as too lax on illegal immigrants. But now he's talkingand there may be a way to pacify conservatives like Kyl. The possible compromise: Find a way to make sure that the citizenship process is a long one and would make it difficult to bring in relatives.
Under the best of circumstances, this is hard. Given the overlay of the war, it's really hardparticularly for Democrats who don't want to agree with the president on much of anything. Even so, Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy is talking. He doesn't like a legalization process that, as is being talked about now, could take as much as 13 years. But he wants a bill. And so does the president.
And that could be enough.