For 2 Parties, Immigration Poses Complex Test

 The New York Times

WASHINGTON — Senator John McCain of Arizona took to the Senate floor the other day to embrace a tough new Arizona law giving the police the authority to detain people they suspect are illegal immigrants. Mr. McCain, long an outspoken champion of giving illegal immigrants a path to citizenship, is facing a primary challenge this summer from a conservative who backs tough immigrationmeasures.

This week, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the Democratic majority leader, abruptly announced that the Senate would take up an immigration bill to address both enhanced border security and citizenship, even in the face of daunting odds. Mr. Reid also faces a tough re-election battle, and his advisers believe that Hispanic voters in Nevada could prove key to his re-election.

The immigration flare-up that has engulfed Washington has emerged as a political challenge for Republicans and Democrats alike as they struggle to deal with the complexities and emotions of an issue that is scrambling party and geographic lines.

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