Skip to comments.'Path to citizenship' faces House foes
Posted on 05/25/2006 3:43:58 PM PDT by notes2005
Liberal House Republicans are taking an increasingly tough stance on immigration reform and are more determined than ever to delete the portions of the Senate bill that grant citizenship rights to more than 10 million illegal aliens.
"I don't want to see a bill come to the floor of the House that gives them a path to citizenship," said Rep. Christopher Shays of Connecticut, one of the most liberal Republicans in Congress.
This is a change from three weeks ago, before Mr. Shays attended 18 community meetings in his district, where the questions invariably turned to immigration. At the first meeting, he told a group of constituents that he supported providing a path to citizenship to illegals. Not anymore.
"There were real questions about that," Mr. Shays said yesterday. "There is not much tolerance for allowing people to become citizens who came here illegally."
It's the same reaction many House Republicans in moderate and liberal districts have had after hearing from angry constituents in recent weeks, said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, the former chairman of the House Republican Campaign Committee who can cite encyclopedic knowledge of congressional districts off the top of his head.
"It is the hottest issue out there," he said, referring to public reaction nationwide, including his own moderate district in Northern Virginia. "Everywhere I go, even the ethnic groups, everybody is talking about this."
It was with much uneasiness, Mr. Davis said, that he voted for the House's tough border-security bill last year. But since then, he said, he has been stunned by the overwhelming public support for the House approach to immigration reform.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
"It's the same reaction many House Republicans in moderate and liberal districts have had after hearing from angry constituents in recent weeks"
Washington Times breaking the news that liberal and moderate "little people" don't like it either?
Don't they read NYTimes and Lib Blogs threatening them they will be labelled racist? LOL.
I can think of no good reason to oppose such a requirement (in the absense of such a requirement, those who applied via legal process would be punished for having done so). Further, given the government's unwillingness to enforce its borders, some of its visa policies are simultaneously stupid and sadistic. Denying a tourist visa to someone who has a pending resident-visa application on the basis that they might overstay it might be a reasonable policy if visa-overstayers represented a major portion of the illegal-immigrant population. But to do so while simultaneously turning a blind eye to people who enter with no paperwork whatsoever is crazy.
What's interesting is that Shays is one of the Pubbies viewed as being in BIG TROUBLE this November. His district is very liberal, went for Kerry and Gore. Yet Shays has his ear to the ground...he does town meeting all around the district...and he's going to win on this ONE issue..
House Republicans will cave to Bush & Rove just like the Senate Republicans did :(
May 25, 2006
What the Base Thinks
The Bush administration and Republican Senators have badly misjudged both the attitudes of most Republicans (and, of course, most Americans) toward illegal immigration, and the intensity of those views. While we have opposed the Senate plan, we have been pretty mild-mannered about it. So I'm turning the microphone over to my friend Bob Cunningham. No one I know of argues immigration-related issues more cogently. Equally important, no one I know of conveys the white-hot anger and sense of betrayal that millions of Americans feel about this issue more effectively.
We know that this site is widely read in the White House and in Congress. To all Republicans in Washington: please, please read what follows with care, and understand that Bob speaks for most Americans and the overwhelming majority of Republicans:
Here's what they're missing, and it is the principal reason, in my opinion, WHY the anti-ILLEGAL forces are so upset -- and so powerful.
It has to do with the bad faith, calculated deceit, Orwellian propaganda, dishonest sophistry, misdirection, arrogance, presumption, indifference to, and, indeed, contempt for the beliefs of huge numbers of ordinary Americans -- including LEGAL immigrants and Hispanic natives! --- on the part of political/media elites.
Let's recognize that the political process has --- democratically --- designated the illegals AS illegal. Why? Because we, as a nation, decided that their presence -- NOT themselves per se (as the false attribution of racism would have it) --- but their presence in such numbers for such purposes (the phony Jobs Americans Won't Do/Jobs Americans Are Not Doing) is undesirable. There are perfectly reasonable grounds for that judgment. When did we vote for the Mexification of America? ANS.: NEVER....Indeed, going back to the 1965 immigration "reforms", assurances were REPEATEDLY given (Kennedy) that such reforms would NOT lead to an influx or demographic change. And guess what? The burden of proof is NOT on the nation to justify this stance.
Period. Full stop. End of discussion.
Since these elites don't like that decision now they want us to accept a fait accompli..and more! They feel perfectly justified in collaborating in the subversion of our democratically enacted immigration regime --- with crass, narrow, economic special interests and with others having perhaps more sinister designs. Their objectives --- open borders, a free flow of cheap labor --- are plain now for all to see. Some no longer even bother to pretend otherwise.
Given that, there is NO REASON to believe ANY of their promises --- the "wall," enforcement of "tough" conditions for a "path to legalization/citizenship" or limits in a "tough and smart" "temporary" "guest workers" indentured servant-helot program. We also know that the very underlying rationale itself for "temporary" "guest workers" (the economically illiterate JAWD/JAAND) is in DIRECT CONTRADICTION to ANY arbitrary "limits"....Indeed, the very claim itself that deportation is "impossible" renders the enforcement promises self-refuting! We should all ignore the false promises and intentional non-feasance in the past?...and do I even have to mention the Simpson-Mazzoli fraud? "This time it's different"?....we REALLY mean it now?....
The ultimate retort of the immigration celebrationists --- let us call it the "immigrants are good people" argument --- is totally beside the point. It is an assertion that no one would disagree with, but it is also an argument that has NO internal LIMITING PRINCIPLE. There is, on its own terms, no non-arbitrary basis for excluding ANY ONE of the 6 billion non-Americans. Other than criminal disqualification, most of them, are, indeed "good people"....so what?
Well, we already decided the question of numbers and limits...and the political/media elites, in conjunction with the scofflaw employers, do NOT have standing to subvert the democratic decision made, upon deliberation, several times in reliance on what we now can see were plainly false promises.
Posted by John at 03:17 PM
""What's interesting is that Shays is one of the Pubbies viewed as being in BIG TROUBLE this November. His district is very liberal, went for Kerry and Gore. Yet Shays has his ear to the ground...he does town meeting all around the district...and he's going to win on this ONE issue..""
That is very interesting.
I don't know how long the MSM can ignore there are Dems against this. Rove defined the opposition as "conservative house members" than ran with the idea, already inclined to demonize the conservative domestic "other."
Even the commies in Conn, are starting to get the word, amazing what a few phone calls will do.
What's amazed me is the stubborn refusal of those (here on FR and "pragmatic" pubbies everywhere) to recognize the overwhelming national consensus for the "enforcment first" scenario. There is no more certain way to turn a political crowd against you than to argue for "comprehenseive" (read amnesty first) "reform".
It's been obvious for at least two weeks that it is political suicide to run for congress on anything other than an enforcment policy. Why is that so hard for people to see?
Senators for the most part don't listen to their constituents because they think they're immune from being voted out of office. And in many cases, they're right about that, unfortunately.
"I have seen it out in my own district, which is a very wealthy, educated, thoughtful district," Mr. (Tom) Davis (R-VA) said. His constituents "are not knee-jerk people," he said, but "have taken a look at this thing and are very, very tough on immigration right now. They want a tough bill."
Polling, he said, shows "better than 2-to-1" support for the House bill over the Senate bill.
Rep. Peter T. King, chairman of the Homeland Security Committee and a co-author of the House border-enforcement bill, said House Republicans have only become more adamantly opposed to legalizing illegal aliens.
"I see a definite stiffening of spines," the New York Republican said, adding that he doesn't know of any House Republicans swayed by last week's prime-time speech by President Bush favoring citizenship. "I haven't seen anyone change their position."
At a breakfast with reporters yesterday sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor, Mr. Davis said it is a common misperception in Washington -- especially among the press -- that only right-wingers are up in arms over illegal immigration.
"This is not just hard-right conservatives," he said. "These are seniors, these are liberals. Everybody thinks the border ought to be enforced, the rule of law should be preserved."
There may be more National Guard at the border, but nothing else will change.
This is the reason I think this (it's purely anecdotal and personal, but it's all I've got to go on): We've been doing some basic precinct work prior to the California Primary. Normal GOTV and November volunteer type of stuff. Usually, it's just a lit drop, but now, people are asking, heatedly, "what's *candidate x's* position on immigration?" The ONLY answer they want to hear is "against amnesty", and "for securing the border".
Right or wrong, the operative definition of "amnesty" is, at it's most forgiving, "Any measure that allows any sort of path to citizenship before the border is really, no kidding, secured, and internal enformement is a reality."
No parsing dictionary definitions, no waffling. This from moderates, conservatives, and the general not-too-involved voters, across the board.
Anyway, the "status quo" scenario will hurt in November. Hard to say how much at this point, though.
The fact is, there is no way to get 12 million people to just go home when they have jobs here. If employers decide to stand firm, Congress will run into what it ran into several years ago: employers will be screaming, and Congressmen will be telling ICE to back off.
I don't think the American public is as opposed to some sort of earned citizenship program as the hard right Republicans are. Polls indicate that, anyway.
I don't think the American public is as opposed to some sort of earned citizenship program as the hard right Republicans are...
My own unscientific, though detailed, interactions with California voters supports this view, AND my note above. I think the package that can be sold is "Enforcement First", an approach that has the almost universal endorsement of the center-right punditry as well. I continue to believe that anything that is sold as "comprehensive" will go over like a lead balloon.
At present, ie the spring/early Summer of 2006, the only politically viable (according to me) sequence is "enforcement first, wait a couple of years to make sure it's being followed through on, and then, and only then, deal with status issues of the 12 million already here."
I'm not saying this is good or bad from a policy standpoint, just reporting what I think is viable politically.
I think you're exactly right. You know, of course, that another two years of 12 million illegals remaining here will simply augur even more in favor of a citizenship program.
About 213 out of 231 Republicans in the House voted FOR HR 4437; along with about 36 out of 201 democrats.
That is 92% of Republicns FOR and 82% of democrats against.
Hastert has said he would NOT bring a bill forward without a majority of Republicans supporting it.
Do the math. With congressmen like Shays changing their position, I doubt Bush can convince the House of anything approaching the Senate bill.
The President is too politically weak at this time to convince enough Republicans in the House to go along with the Senate. That is my hope.
Even with majorities the Republicans are playing defense. The liberal Republican Senators are standing in the way, of a Republican claim this November that democrats are blocking firm border control.
The House Republicans have nothing to fear. The Republican Senators who vote for their bill have a lot to fear, or at least should have.
This amnesty bill is Omaha Beach for house Republicans. You step on that Beach and there is good chance your political life is over. Even Mr. Shays understands that, and he may be from a liberal district, but the national polls have to indicate that liberals outside the political elites of Washington are not in lock step with as Bush euphemistically calls this amnesty a "comprehensive immigration bill."
There needs to be some real honest-to-goodness reform in how the INS/ICE processes applications for legal residency/citizenship. I see no reason why someone who snuck into this country five years ago should be given any sort of priority over someone who applied five years ago to enter this country legally but is still waiting.
One may well argue that people who applied to enter this country five years ago should have been let in legally by now. I happen to think the treatment of people who try to enter legally is appalling and would favor changing it. I would not, however, reward those who seek to simply bypass the process.
I don't get why it takes so long for someone to legally enter the US. Six months, at the most. That's all it should take.
Very encouraging about the House moderates getting the message.
PUBLIC PRESSURE WORKS!
We cannot trust the corrupted politicians to do want Americans want. The cheap-labor lobby wants more illegal immigrants to keep wages down; the La Raza extremists want open borders so the country will be Mexi-merica. America wants an end to illegal immigration, moderate immigration flows, and the rule of law re-established on our borders with real border security.
Any quid pro quo looks to us like a bait-and-switch. Only AFTER we see that the Government is serious about *really* ending the flows of illegal immigration, can we talk about letting some of the illegal immigrants here stay.
And this is why the House bill HR4437 IS THE ONLY REAL SOLUTION FOR RIGHT NOW. Pass it this year, implement it in 2007, and pass an immigration and legalization act in 2008. That is the ONLY WAY.
Indeed. But the INS/ICE policies are absolutely horrible. For one thing, there's a quote for how many people from various countries are allowed to immigrate each year. Illegal aliens are effectively counted against the quota. It shouldn't take a genius to figure out that counting illegal aliens against the quota without doing anything to stop them from coming over is downright insane.
"Even Mr. Shays understands that, and he may be from a liberal district, "
It is *because* Mr Shay is in a liberal district that he needs every vote he can get from Republicans.
That is correct ... the Republicans could possible MAKE GAINS in the House and Senate, if they turned a sow's ear into a silk purse and passed a bill close to HR4437 and Bush signed it, calling it "a downpayment on immigration reform". The Senate CIRA bill is chock full of real stinkers that could sink many a candidate forced to explain their support for bizarre and underhanded provisions that acutally undermine enforcement, give handouts to illegal aliens, quintuple legal immigration, etc. A very radical and very bad bill that will certainly cost some politicians their office (at least I hope).
And BTW, whoever came up with the Clintonesque "earned legalization" term to replace 'amnesty', he deserves the 2006 Orwell award for deceptive terminology.
"I don't get why it takes so long for someone to legally enter the US. Six months, at the most. That's all it should take."
Wow. You've been arguing about this issue vehemently and are that uninformed? Let me explain it in simple terms: We have limits on visas. 6 billion people out there, many millions want to get in... we let 1 million in each year. some vias categories have strict caps, some do not. Certain family categories (parents), and the H1B visas come to mind.
Think of it like Saturday night at a very popular restaurant, with it mostly booked. For those in the capped categories, you can wait a long long time to get in. Years.
I work with legal immigrants, I married a legal immigrant. It's not a simple process, and it costs a lot of money (making the $2000 'fine' no more than a nuisance fee really). Many legal immigrants (inclduing my better half) are not happy with this amnesty for illegal immigrants; it is a slap in the face to legal immigrants who wait and followed the rules.
Back at the restaurant, we find that people who just barged into the restaurant and grabbed a table are getting service, while the lawabiding patient ones wait outside. Restaurant owners feel they cant kick out the rude uninvited patrons and so decided to throw in the towel and serve them.
If you were a hungry would-be customer waiting on line, how would you feel?
There should be much higher limits. Much higher. Double the current number. It's clear that they are needed.
The MSM is gleefully reporting on this with a "Republican meltdown" theme.
I think that it's even odds that they (the msm) are going to be disapointed come Novermber.
This is a Democrat bill passed with the help of a few Republican Senators who want to be president..and look at the Dems who voted against it..that, more than anything, tells you something..
What should have convinced even the Washington Compost and the NYSlimes is that Sen. Byrd, D-WV, voted NO on the Amnesty Bill yesterday. Since he's been in office longer than anyone else, that should have given them a clue as to what he thinks is necessary for re-election in WV.
Yet, our clueless, spineless RINOs are comatose.
"The MSM is gleefully reporting on this with a "Republican meltdown" theme.
I think that it's even odds that they (the msm) are going to be disapointed come Novermber."
Ha! Here's the script:
1. MSM believes their own lies about immigration polls
2. People realize that only a GOP-led House will legislate sanely on this.
3. GOP support quietly strengthens as base gains the resolve to defeat Democrats in November in House races to stop this amnesty-sellout nonsense that the Bush-RINO-Democrat axis wants.
4. MSM gets a hissy fit on election night as returns show a decent night for GOP and no electoral rout.
you heard it here first. ALl that is reqired is for the House to HANG TOUGH and not cave in to the senate's odious bill.
Well, that's the thing: anyone running for office this term KNOWS that the leadership has misjudged both the intensity and breadth of the outrage on this issue, and that supporting anything other than "enforcment first" is political suicide.
The White House is worried about longer-term issues, recognizing that unless a good-sized minority of "Hispanic" voters can be convinced to pull the "R" lever, the Republican party will be wiped out in election cycles down the road. They're not stupid, they're just trying to solve a different problem.
But, if you get killed in the short term, there's no point worrying about what happens four cycles down the road.