I am feeling confident—very confident—about our chances to kill off the horrible S.2611 – the Bush Amnesty and Immigration Acceleration Bill.
Those of us who have been alarmed over immigration for more than a decade remember those black days when we were left to scratch our heads, and wonder if anyone would ever pay attention.
We no longer toil in obscurity. Instead, we are headline news all across America.
Of course, while our hard work has paid off, we must not take all the credit. Let's acknowledge that the organizers and participants in the arrogant and impotent May 1st "Great American Boycott" deserve kudos aplenty.
And thanks also to the MSM, symbolic Mexican flag wavers. The media has outdone itself by not only refusing to write about immigration reasonably, but also by insultingly comparing the illegal alien clamoring to the Civil Rights Movement or the Southeast Asian War protests.
We expect nothing from the MSM. It never disappoints us.
When conference time between the House and the Senate rolls around, tentatively scheduled for later this month, we'll prevail for three reasons:
News reports repeatedly emphasize that House Republicans are bombarded with irate calls demanding a border security approach only…no amnesty, no guest workers. [Immigration Deal At Risk As House GOP Looks To Voters, Jim VandeHei and Zachary A. Goldfarb, Washington Post, May 26, 2006]
A Congressional aide representing a border state told me that over 90% of the calls his office receives are adamantly opposed to amnesty. According to the aide, so that at least some non-immigration related work would be done during the day, his staff will only accept phone messages from his district's residents
And get this. In an interview with Lou Dobbs, Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson said that when she added up her calls the tally was 1,578 against S.2611 with only 12 in support.
The re-election angst is not limited to the House either. Here is a great example of how heavily illegal immigration plays in the mind of an incumbent.
Michigan Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow, who ironically won her seat in 2000 because the Coalition for the Future American Worker exposed then-incumbent Spencer Abraham as a shameless immigration enthusiast (read election details here), cast a "Yea" vote to end discussion on Republican Senator John Ensign's (also up for re-election) amendment that would prohibit aliens from receiving Social Security benefits based on contributions allegedly accrued while working here illegally.
(And I thought Social Security is on the brink of insolvency!)
Stabenow's vote may have been the deciding one in a 50-49 defeat of Ensign's amendment.
But Sheriff Michael Bouchard, Stabenow's likely Republican November opponent, immediately ballyhooed her support of Social Security for illegals.
And in the end Stabenow, running scared, voted against S. 2611.
Stabenow joined West Virginia's Byrd, Nebraska's Nelson and North Dakota's Dorgan as the three Democrats to oppose S. 2611.
House members are thinking exactly the same way as Stabenow.
The canny survivalists among the politicians know that the immigration winds have shifted.
But those who insist on touting the Bush party line are poised at the edge of the cliff. And won't it be sweet to see them fall off?
Ed Rollins, who served in the White House under Republican Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan surveyed the post S. 2611 scene and made the following comments to Lou Dobbs about:
Other politicians whose pro-immigration positions might create voter backlash (especially if they run against aggressive immigration reform candidates) are:
In the meantime, I believe that our prospects to escape from the conference unscathed grow stronger every day.
Led by Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., the House is firm. The House and the Senate, he said, have gone from "miles apart" to "oceans apart" [Sensenbrenner: House, Senate 'Oceans' Apart on Immigration, Craig Gilbert, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, May 26, 2006]
After ruling out amnesty in any form, Sensenbrenner said:
"A guest-worker program I think can be on the table if it does not contain an amnesty, but only if the employer sanctions and the increased border patrols are effective." [Amnesty Jams Compromise Bill, Jerry Seper and Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, May 26, 2006]
Key words: "I think," "if," "employer sanctions," "border patrols," and "effective."
Sensenbrenner obviously has to make noises like he is willing to compromise with the Senate.
But reading between the lines, a compromise between the two Chambers is possible...but highly doubtful.
Reflecting on what his role in history might be, Sensenbrenner remarked that he doesn't want to be approached after retirement by people who say:
"You made the biggest mistake of your career in signing off on a bill that ended up making the problem worse."
Right now, if you ask me, things look pretty darn good for us.
Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.