The Washington Times - February 14, 2008, 03:02PM

Audio: Listen to the interview\ \ \ Is immigration a dead issue now in politics? After Sen. John McCain acknowledged his stance on the issue nearly killed his campaign last summer, his campaign manager now says they’ve reached “convergence,” where the Republican Party shares the same view. That, said Rick Davis, the campaign manager, has helped immigration “mature” into a non-issue:\ \ \ “I do believe that the convergence of our party on sort of a single approach to immigration is part of what has done that. In other words, today, there’s a different debate going on than there was a year ago. And I think that part of that is because Senator McCain went out and exercised a position on this issue, vigorously, that didn’t work. And he was not able to pass a piece of legislation that addressed the issue in away that he thought would benefit the country the most. Part of the message he got was how little confidence the American people have in the institution of Congress and the administration to implement that law. I don’t think there’s much other reason — you can debate the merits of it from a public policy point of view, but clearly the American public opposed it because I don’t think they thought anything was going to get done. Now the issue is, we need to exert every resource we can as a government, whether Congress or the administration, to get control of our border before we can effectuate a real change in our immigration plans.”\ \ \ “It doesn’t even come up in conversations. You hear a lot of things, immigration’s not one of the hot topics anymore. So wihtin our own party I think that issue has matured into something that’s less divisive.”\ \ \ — Stephen Dinan, national political reporter, The Washington Times