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Optimism on immigration reform is hard to find

There they stood. Together at last. Pillars of true representative democracy giving hope to 11 million Latinos who some day could know what it is to be “free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, free at last.”

Can’t we all be optimistic that immigration reform can be a reality just like the civil rights legislation was? After all, John McCain of Arizona was standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Charles Shumer of New York and next to them were Democrats Dick Durbin, Robert Menendez and Michael Bennet on the same platform as Republican senators Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and our own Jeff Flake.

They were all there to show some real interest in bringing immigration into the 21st Century. When will that happen?

Well, the U.S. government has been working on it since the early 1800s, and between then and now, there have been limits or outright restrictions on Chinese, Irish, Catholics and Jews. It took until 1924 for citizenship to be granted to Native Americans.

So Guillermo and Rosalinda, you can hold off for a little while memorizing the Pledge of Allegiance.

I’m Pat McMahon.