To legislate or not to legislate, that is the question.
The debate buzzing in immigration circles these days isn't so much about what President Obama will propose on one of his top domestic policy agenda items, but how he will do it. Should he send a draft bill to Congress or a simple outline of proposed changes? (He picked the latter in unveiling his gun proposals last week.)
No matter what Obama decides, the immigration bill will start in the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has spent months debating similar legislation in the past. Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., wants Obama to ease that process by sending Congress a draft bill. "If the president does send up specific language that would make it easier because we'll work from that," Leahy said in an interview taped for C-SPAN's Newsmakers. "[We] may not accept all of it, may add to it. But at least we have something to work from, so that would be very helpful."
Not everyone agrees with Leahy's preference. Some Democrats, along with advocates for a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants, worry that if Obama sends a completed bill to Capitol Hill, it would start negotiators off on the wrong foot with Republicans. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who has outlined some of his own ideas on immigration, has made a point of noting that Obama has not met with him about immigration.