Wednesday, April 12, 2006

What Killed the Immigration Bill? -

In my continued effort to bring the truth to the light on immigration, I bring you this article published in the San Diego Union Tribune. No matter where you stand on the immigration issue we must all agree not passing immigration reform and border security legislation is just WRONG!!!! Not only do we leave our country without stronger national security, allowing hundreds to come into the country undetected each day, we endanger our economic well being, we also leave millions living in the shadows and increase the deep divides in this nation. (In future post I will show you some of the lovely hate mail I have been receiving.)

Read on, no matter what your position, you should be OUTRAGED that democrats would prefer to bow to party politics and political maneuvering then face the issues in this country...

Immigration bill trashed
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
by Ruben Navarrette
The San Diego Union Tribune

Who killed immigration reform? The autopsy shows it was Senate Democrats.
It's tempting to put a pox on both parties. But it wouldn't be fair. Republicans were tireless in search of comprehensive, and bipartisan, reform.

U.S. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., joined with U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., to draft the guest-worker legislation, and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa., made that legislation central to what his committee sent to the full Senate. U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. and Sam Brownback, R-Kan., were vocal in their support. Sens. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., and Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., offered a helpful compromise. And Republican Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., showed leadership by reaching out to the other side.
Democratic villain

Too bad you can't say the same for Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada, who was the villain
in this drama.

Hector Flores, president of the League of United Latin-American Citizens, told me he tried to impress upon Reid's office that it was important to get immigration reform done.

"Apparently, it fell on deaf ears," Flores said.

Reid claims it was GOP hard-liners who killed reform by running roughshod over Frist.
Baloney. The hard-liners had -- by all accounts -- no more than 30 votes, including those of conservative Democrats. On the other side, you had -- according to McCain -- as many as 70 votes.

A deal was at hand that would have offered legal status to some illegal immigrants. It would have made the GOP seem more Latino-friendly, but it would also have infuriated organized labor, which opposes something that was in the mix: guest workers.
After the Senate Judiciary Committee put out a guest-worker bill, AFL-CIO President John Sweeney issued a statement saying: "Guest-workers programs are a bad idea and harm all workers."

That did it. Senate Democrats sided with labor and sold out Latinos. The deal came undone because Reid refused to allow the legislation to go through the amendment process. Republicans had come up with as many as 400 amendments but whittled the list to 20. Reid agreed to proceed with debate on just three.
Calculated outcome

It was a masterstroke by Democrats. Labor is happy. And while Latinos are angry, there's always the chance that Democrats can fool them into channeling that anger toward Republicans.
Remarkably, it's working. At a protest in Washington Monday, one Latina held up a sign that read: "The GOP is losing my Latino vote." At another protest in Dallas, someone handed out registration leaflets urging demonstrators to vote Democratic.

Some Latino leaders don't think it'll be that easy. Cecilia Munoz, vice president of the National Council of La Raza, told me: "I don't believe that it's wise for Democrats to come to our community and ask for votes by saying: "Hey, we kept an immigration bill from going forward.' People understand when they're being used."

Even so, it looks like Reid and the Democrats orchestrated the perfect deception. Trouble is, they left fingerprints.

The Washington Post said in an editorial: "Democrats -- whether their motive was partisan advantage or legitimate fear of a bad bill emerging from conference with the House -- are the ones who refused, in the end, to proceed with debate on amendments, which is, after all, how legislation gets made."

Frank Sharry, the executive director of the liberal National Immigration Forum, said in a statement: "We cannot escape the conclusion that the Democratic Senate leadership was more interested in keeping the immigration issue alive in the run-up to midterm elections than in enacting immigration reform legislation."

And Kennedy told The Associated Press: "Politics got ahead of policy on this." He then refused, according to the article, to defend Reid's performance. The story noted that, "Outside the Senate, several Democratic strategists concluded that the best politics was to allow the bill to die."

The moral: Marches and Mexican flags don't equal power. Labor uses millions of dollars in political contributions to take care of Democrats, and so Democrats take care of labor.

After the bill died, Democrats rubbed salt in the wound by insisting that Latinos had no choice but to stay on the liberal hacienda. Susan Estrich, who served as campaign manager for Michael Dukakis in 1988, told Fox News that Republicans had blown their chance to win Latino votes and predicted that Latino support would help Democrats win both houses of Congress.

You see, in a twist on the famous words of one of their icons, Democrats no longer ask what they can do for Latinos, only what Latinos can do for them.

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