On the night of March 12, the House of Representatives, with the encouragement of the Bush administration, picked up the large and sloppy pie of amnesty for illegal aliens and pitched it smack in the face of the American public. By a vote of 275-137, one more than needed for the two-thirds majority required for this particular measure, the congressmen voted to allow aliens who entered the country illegally or whose visas have expired to apply for legal immigrant status without returning to their countries of origin to do so.
Only at the insistence of the bill's major opponent, Rep. Tom Tancredo, did the House decide to record the vote. The preference of the congressmen was to hide even that from their own constituents by holding a voice vote.
How many illegals are affected by the measure is unclear. The New York Times says "tens of thousands of Mexicans now living illegally in the United States"; the Washington Times says "hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants." There are some 8 million illegal aliens living here, according to most estimates, but the truth is no one—most particularly the cowardly lawmakers who voted for the amnesty—has a clue.
Are the illegals granted amnesty part of the global terrorist network that slaughtered thousands of Americans last year? Are they drug smugglers linked to the Latin American cartels that flood American cities with their poison? Are they serial murderers, like Angel Maturino Resendiz, who slipped back and forth across the Mexican border for some 23 years because our own Border Patrol kept capturing him and letting him go and who committed nine murders before he was finally brought to justice? If no one knows how many illegals will be legalized by the amnesty, no one knows who or what kind of people the illegals who will benefit are.
But if no one, including its supporters, knows what they've done, it's perfectly clear why they did it. As the New York Times also reports, "Employers, including hotels and restaurants and other service industries, lobbied for extension of the law permitting immigrants to obtain visas in this country. If immigrants working here were forced to leave the United States, many businesses would be severely disrupted, immigration lawyers said." Indeed. The businessmen might even have to start hiring Americans for a change.
Greed is one reason the measure passed, but lust for power is another. The Washington Times, a pro-Republican paper, reports that "Mr. Bush, whose advisers are promoting an aggressive strategy of courting Hispanic voters, lobbied congressional leaders last week on the immigration bill." Having explicitly abandoned the strategy and positions that won landslide victories for his GOP predecessors for decades, having pandered to racial minorities to replace the white voters he's lost, and unable to win even a bare majority of voters in the last election, Mr. Bush now desperately needs Hispanic votes to keep him in office. The huge popularity ratings he now enjoys because of his Afghan bombing campaign will fade, just as the war frenzy that gave his father similar ratings in 1991 vanished as well. If this Mr. Bush is to avoid the ignominious political fate of the last Mr. Bush, he has to hornswoggle new voters somewhere, somehow.
Thus, neither the safety of Americans from terrorism and crime nor respect for the laws that the illegal aliens violated to come here were of the least concern to the Bush administration or those who voted as it directed this week. Their sole concern was for cheap labor from which profits are heaped and cheap votes from which power is built.
The silver lining of the amnesty sell-out is that for all the administration's arm-twisting and distortion and efforts to conceal from voters what it was doing, the amnesty still passed by only one vote, a fact attributed by friend and foe alike to the immensely heightened concern about immigration and security that has surged since Sept. 11. Rep. Jeff Flake, an Arizona Republican who voted no, told the Washington Times that "a deluge of phone calls and e-mail messages from groups such as Numbers U.S.A. [www.numbersusa.com], an immigration reform group based in Washington, persuaded many members to vote against the amnesty bill." It didn't persuade enough, but the message it sent is still clear.
A main part of that message is that voters, thanks to the recorded vote and those like Mr. Tancredo who demanded it, now know who supported the amnesty and who didn't. In the next election, Americans who want to protect their nation and themselves from the reckless greed and lust for power of the Open Borders Lobby and its stooges need to hunt down every lawmaker who betrayed them this week and throw them as far from public office as possible.
COPYRIGHT 2001 CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
March 14, 2002