Playing Politics with Immigration

With an eye to 1984, O'Neill scotches a compromise bill

The real news came almost as an afterthought. House Speaker Tip O'Neill was winding down a routine press conference last week when he offhandedly announced that he would block a sweeping reform of the immigration laws from even reaching a vote. "The His-panics," O'Neill declared, "have said that it's the worst thing that has ever confronted them."

Thus, without even consulting other Democratic leaders in the House, O'Neill derailed a compromise bill that was designed to stem the flow of illegal immigrants, while giving amnesty to most of those already here. Co-sponsored by...

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