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Game Changers on Health and Immigration

nunsTakoma Park Sunday in the early spring turns out to be a big event for a change in the DC area for two reasons.

The final votes are being wrangled into the corral for health care reform, and it looks like what Majority Leader Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) calls the “final yard” will be handled in heart stopping, breath taking fashion with prayers said and fingers crossed.  Good news for millions without health care, warts and all.

And, in momentous timing simultaneously, tens of thousands, certainly no less than 50,000 immigrants and their supporters and maybe as many as 100,000, are rallying and marching to demand real, comprehensive immigration reform after more than a year of suffering through empty promises and holding back anger and what Gustavo Torres, the director of the CASA de Maryland, which is bringing more marchers to the rally than any other organization, calls “frustration.”  If the numbers hit the high end of organizers’ hopes, then perhaps immigration advocates will take a lesson from the health care struggle that will be crunching to a close, one way or another, at the Capitol as they pass by on the way to their buses.  The immigration organizers might realize that there is a real movement behind them pushing out of the pain and into the streets that must have relief and win reform.  Perhaps they will stop stifling the grassroots base and unleash them por la causa. If they do, and the beltway lobbying machine finally becomes coupled to the strategy and tactics of a movement, then a real bill, and not simply a  convoluted politicians’ “framework” might emerge.

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