Antonio Villaraigosa in Politico on immigration reform Early signals suggest that President Obama will push for comprehensive immigration reform in his second term. If he needs any suggestions, Los Angeles mayor Antonio Villaraigosa would be glad to bend his ear. "An immigration policy that allows us to grow together and not apart is the moral and economic imperative of our time," Villaraigosa writes, offering a six-point plan that he believes would not only make immigration policies more fair, but would also boost the nation's economy. "When the head of a household becomes a citizen, family income rises almost 14 percent on average. For the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the U.S. that would generate over $1.5 trillion in the next decade. And for the federal government that would mean $4.5 billion in new tax revenue over the next three years alone."
George Packer in The New Yorker on Southern Republicans The fiscal cliff vote briefly showed schisms forming in the Republican party, George Packer argues. But one GOP stronghold remains as united in opposition as ever: Southerners. "The South is becoming isolated again," Packer writes, worrying about the renewing split between Southerners and the rest of the country. "As its political power declines, the South might occupy a place like Scotland’s in the United Kingdom, as a cultural draw for the rest of the country, with a hint of the theme park ... An estrangement between the South and the rest of the country would bring out the worst in both—dangerous insularity in the first, smug self-deception in the second."