Last year, President Bush pushed for a comprehensive immigration reform package. The bill lost, mostly due to hardliners in his own party who demanded, and got, a crackdown on illegal immigration. Now business owners are reaping the whirlwind.
The alliance between the socially conservative and fiscally conservative wings of the Republican Party has never been a comfortable one. So far it seems to be holding together, but the difficult economy tends to pit the two sides against each other. We'll see if the stress becomes a fracture over issues like immigration.
Senator McCain, meanwhile, is caught on the fault line. His own instincts seem to favor immigration reform, but he took a hard turn to the right after that position nearly cost him the nomination.