Hooray for the House!
Thank goodness for the House of Representatives. Specifically, the conservative Republican contingent. Faced with pressure from the White House, the Senate, the business community and the media to support legislation that would result in amnesty for millions of illegal aliens, and open the door to tens of millions more in coming decades, they have wisely opted to stick with the people that put them in power. Namely, conservative Republican voters.
While it is not official yet, and keeping in mind that bad ideas in Washington are harder to kill than Dracula, the amnesty ridden version of immigration "reform" appears to be just that dead. Why? For lots of reasons.
First, thanks to the overwhelming opposition on the part of grassroots conservatives all across the country. Their voices have been heard and their position was unmistakable. And the political implications of ignoring their position became equally unmistakable, at least to House members.
Also, thanks to the legal and illegal immigrant street protestors that paraded through our streets in favor of amnesty. Specifically, those that insisted on waving Mexican flags, flying the American flag upside down, voicing opposition to making English the official language and openly speaking in favor of a demographic "re-conquest" of the American South-west by Mexicans.
Then there was the bill itself and the amazing provisions it contained, such as:
- Granting amnesty for those that have been here illegally, then giving them a fast track to permanent resident status and ultimately citizenship
- Making illegals eligible to receive Social Security benefits for the work they have done while here working under fraudulent documentation including fake or stolen social security numbers
- The mere two-thousand dollar fine each illegal would be assessed to take advantage of the program
- Granting complete amnesty to the businesses that openly flouted the law and hired the illegals in the first place
- And requiring the US to coordinate with the Mexican government before any fence or other barriers could be put in place along the border
The long term demographic repercussions of the bill's guest worker program were pointed out by a Heritage Foundation study, showing it would lead to more than an additional sixty-six million immigrants over the next twenty years. This was in addition to the ten or twelve million illegals that would be granted amnesty in the first place. Add to that allowing them to legally bring in many of their immediate family members, and the bill was shown to be the most drastic change in American immigration law since the days of Ellis Island.
Then there was the fact that it attempted to force those who wanted only to strengthen our border security to accept all these provisions as part of a "comprehensive reform" bargain. Not to mention that we've seen this movie before. Specifically In 1986, when immigration "reform" granted amnesty to millions of illegals in exchange for the political tradeoff of increased border security that never materialized. This time conservatives said "no thanks".
And let's not forget the Democrats, such as Harry Reid, who wanted to prevent Bush and the Republicans from achieving any notable legislative victories prior to the election. (note to self: send thank-you card to Reid) As a result, they have only succeeded in saving the Republicans from themselves and improved the odds that the GOP will retain both chambers of Congress this fall.
Add to that the recent letter to Bush and the GOP leadership signed by dozens of leading conservative intellectuals, authors and assorted activists which called the bill what it was, an incredibly bad idea. Then last, but certainly not least, was the recognition by the House GOP leadership that the bill was as a demographic, social and political time bomb.
The nail in the coffin appears to be the House leaders' move to hold "field hearings" on the legislation in areas all over the country. In other words, air the bill's laundry back home and let the locals do the dirty work and rip it to shreds. That plus a hearing schedule that doesn't get under way until well into the campaign season tells me that the bill is dead.
But somebody get a wooden stake and let's be sure.
Heritage study link: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Immigration/wm1076.cfm