Senator John Cornyn said that "The federal government needs to obtain operational security of our borders," [Senator calls immigration a national-security concern .By Robert Stacy McCain, The Washington Times, February 10, 2006]
Phylis Schlafly said that "We don't want a servant or serf or peasant class."
Mark Krikorian compared the Guestworker plan to a Nigerian email scam:"It's obviously false, but people keep falling for it over and over." and pointing out that temporary workers almost always become permanent.
But the important thing to remember is that it was the immigration reformers, AKA the Good Guys, or our side, who were cheered by the conservative base:
CPAC attendees signaled their mood with loud cheers for Chris Simcox, president of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, a group that has made headlines with its civilian border vigils.
"I'm tired of hearing sheriffs from Texas ... begging and pleading for military support because they're outmanned and outgunned on the borders," said Mr. Simcox, who called the inflow of illegal aliens and drugs "terrorism that's affecting the lives of people who live along the border.
Further evidence of disaffection can be found in this article in the Seattle Times
The immigration issue is especially sensitive because it threatens to split the Republican coalition, dividing the grass-roots conservatives (the campaign workers) from the business lobby (the big donors).
Within the grass roots, there is great hostility toward Bush's "guest worker" plan, which would allow illegal immigrants to stay in America for three years. Many conservatives dismiss that plan as a back-door amnesty and an invitation to terrorist infiltration; Bush's big-business allies like the plan, because they see the illegals as cheap labor.[Bush-bashing on the rise within GOP By Dick Polman, February 13, 2006, Knight Ridder Newspapers ]
That divide represents a huge problem as far as winning election is concerned. Here, I'm just going to repeat myself: OK, Big Business supports the Republican Party financially, but how many votes does the Business Round Table have? A hundred and sixty votes, thats how many. But there are a lot of displaced American workers in the Republican voting base.