Earlier this week, President Bush traveled to Capitol Hill, hat in hand, to make his case. Reporters on the scene described the reaction to Bush's visit as tepid, at best. But now the same backstabbing Senators—still convening in private—have apparently revived the bill while trying to convince a rightly skeptical public that border security will be the number one priority of any final immigration legislation.
As I file my column, the terms of the agreement are not completely clear. Apparently, the Senate will hear a limited number of proposed amendments from each side. [Senators To Revive Immigration Bill," David Espo, Associated Press, June 14, 2007]
VDARE.COM contributors are divided about how the S. 1348 soap opera will play out. Peter Brimelow, writing that "the moral of recent immigration legislation history is that Washington's insiders have ways of making elected officials talk—and vote", has warned that immigration patriots must be prepared for legislation to pass—but that the struggle for America will then simply be fought, and won, on another, darker, plane.
I am the in-house optimist. I am convinced that even though the other side is relentless in its pursuit of amnesty, only good things can come from our back-to-back trouncings (last year's S. 2611 and this year, S.1348) of horrible immigration legislation.
No one can argue that popular momentum is not overwhelmingly on our side. And we should take heart in Steve Sailer's blog (read it here) pointing out that Florida's Republican Senator Martinez's popularity has nose-dived. Perhaps, suggests Steve, Florida residents are less keen on amnesty than Martinez realizes.
And Utah reader Craig Russell pointed out that three Senate Democrats who face re-election in 2008 acknowledged by their "Nay" vote on cloture that immigration is a huge factor in their states. Read his letter here.
These examples on top of our long string of successes are positive proof that the trend is going our way.
The road ahead will be long and rocky. But the bad guys are on their heels. They badly underestimate the power of the grassroots.
California case in point: Senator Dianne Feinstein For an old dame, she sure is thin-skinned.
With her net worth estimated at between $43 and $99 million, why does Feinstein care what other people think? Feinstein is so rich that, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, her 347-page Senate financial disclosure statement is "nearly the size of phone book."[Bay lawmakers among wealthiest |Feinstein and Pelosi continue to top the list of the richest members of Congress, By Zachary Cole, June 26, 2004]
"I've listened to talk show hosts drumming up the opposition by using this word amnesty over and over and over again. In 15 years in the Senate, I've never received more hate or more racist phone calls and threats." [Kennedy Vows To Revive Measure, By Carl Hulse and Robert Pear, New York Times, June 9, 2007)
Really? Feinstein didn't take any phone calls personally—you can be sure of that. And her staff, if I understand the procedure correctly, simply lists the calls as "pro" or "con" and tallies them up at the end of the day. Staffers don't make an independent analysis of the caller's tone.
I can't help but wonder if Feinstein included my call as "racist?"
When I phoned her Washington, D.C. office, I identified myself as a California Democrat opposed to S.1348.
In conclusion, I noted that many growers simply use the same people who picked the crops last year…a much better option than importing more guest workers who will bump poor people out of their jobs and who will never go home.
(Aside: During my call, I conveniently omitted the fact that I have never actually voted for Feinstein and would have done so only with a pistol held to my head.)
The immigration reformers I know are much too bright to call and make, as Feinstein called them, threatening remarks. Hard to do as it is, we know that a measured response to the Senate's treasonous behavior is better for our cause.
For sure a few hotheads also telephone. While I wish they had minded their manners, I am nevertheless going to rally to their defense.
Shall we say that Feinstein may have provoked them into their outbursts?
In the first place, for Feinstein, a co-author of S. 1348, to hole herself up behind locked doors with the so-called "Gang of 12"—12 Senators dedicated to destroying America—to write immigration legislation violates the concept of the U.S. Senate and the democratic process.
Every Senator, especially those opposed to open borders like Alabama's Jeff Sessions and others, should have the opportunity to participate.
If the Gang of 12's Open Borders position is as popular as they claim, why did they negotiate "in the shadows"— to borrow an overused phrase.
Without committee hearings or debates Americans, according to South Carolina Republican Senator Jim DeMint, "…feel betrayed and violated. They don't trust our Congress." [Gang of 12 Mulls Over Immigration Bill, By Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Washington Post, May 24, 2007]
Secondly, as if her secrecy wouldn't be enough on its own to make an immigration reformer lose his cool, just look at who Feinstein aligned herself with.
As the old saying goes, you can tell a lot about people by the company they keep. And Feinstein is cozy with some real rats.
Never before have we been so well positioned to win. I like where we are. Nothing could make me trade places with the other side.
Joe Guzzardi [e-mail him] is the Editor of VDARE.COM Letters to the Editor. In addition, he is an English teacher at the Lodi Adult School and has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.