In Washington, the Congressional offices are not reporting much activity from citizens opposing the massive Senate amnesty bill and that the phone calls are nothing like what happened during the 2007 victory against anarchy.
On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal gave the subject a page-top treatment with a photo of citizens speaking out against amnesty in Phoenix:
Part of the problem is likely the buying off of talk radio “conservatives” with big-money ad purchases (paid by Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg), particularly of Senator Rubio lying up a storm about how conservative the bill is, how filled with enforcement it is, blah blah. Those ads have run heavily on Rush Limbaugh’s show, among others. Limbaugh has recently begun speaking of amnesty again, but such a death threat to traditional America needs constant reinforcement, does it not? Perhaps he heard from enough irate listeners that buying into the Rubio snake oil is not acceptable.
We Won’t Be Distracted from Amnesty, RushLimbaugh.com Transcript, May 28, 2013
RUSH: By the way, Chris Cillizza’s point, that piece that I was sharing with you about how all of these scandals are distracting everybody away from amnesty, not here. And I just want to reiterate with all of these things that are going on, amnesty is the biggie, folks, because if amnesty is achieved, then all the rest of this is academic, and we basically have a one-party government and country for at least a generation. By the way, Chris Cillizza, even in his story, Chris Cillizza’s point was that the IRS scandals were distracting talk radio from raising the alarm about amnesty. He admitted that it was talk radio that stopped amnesty in 2007.
Chris Cillizza, the Washington Post. And he said all these other scandals — Benghazi, IRS — are providing cover for amnesty, got talk radio distracted, so they know where their real problems lie. Cillizza admits it. But here’s the point. The amnesty bill, as it’s written, or the pathway to citizenship bill, delays citizenship for a number of years. That’s why you’re hearing pathway to citizenship. Well, what’ll happen, the theory is — and it’s a good one — what’ll happen is if the law is passed, then it’ll immediately be challenged, that this citizenship provision is unconstitutional. You can’t bring these people out of shadows. You can’t grant them this. You can’t do that. They’re citizens now, and all you need is one Obama judge, one liberal judge, and they’re not hard to find these days, and, bammo, you’ve got instant citizenship, instant voting.
FAIR recently posted a list of 40 things wrong with S. 744 which could be helpful talking points, but the important thing callers should be saying is that the bill hurts American workers and taxpayers, and they want it voted down. Legalizing lawbreaking is no way for a great nation to deal with a vexing problem.
Here’s the text of the WSJ article:
Immigration Bill Slow to Stir Foes’ Passion, Wall Street Journal, May 28, 2013
Fierce Backlash That Derailed 2007 Overhaul Bid Has Yet to Materialize, Though Opponents Vow to Intensify Campaign
Grass-roots activists were instrumental in derailing the previous attempt by Congress to overhaul immigration laws, in 2007. This time, they have yet to ignite a similar fire.
Coordinated rallies last week to oppose the current bipartisan immigration legislation drew sparse crowds, with fewer than 10 people showing up for a protest in Dover, Del. The number of phone calls to lawmakers’ offices opposing the bill has been a fraction of what it was six years ago. As a discussion topic on conservative talk radio in recent weeks, immigration has ranked behind issues such as Syria-Israel tensions and President Barack Obama’s speech on counterterrorism.
“This time I am getting this sense of resignation,” said Rusty Childress, a veteran opponent of illegal immigration in Phoenix. “We have to awaken the sleeping giant.”
The current immigration bill, introduced by a group of senators known as the “Gang of Eight,” would provide a pathway to citizenship to about 11 million people illegally in the U.S. and create new work-visa programs. It also would require beefed-up border security and employment verification before steps to legalize undocumented immigrants could kick in.
Opponents of the bill say that, like the 2007 effort, it amounts to amnesty for law breakers and doesn’t stanch the flow of illegal immigration. Adding legalized immigrants to the workforce would disadvantage jobless Americans, they say.
But this year’s bill hasn’t stirred as much opposition. It has more support from mainstream Republicans eager to improve the party’s standing with the fast-growing Hispanic population, and from many evangelical Christian leaders. Also, a steep drop in illegal immigration in recent years has meant fewer television images of migrants sneaking into the country.
Even so, prospects for the bill’s passage appear mixed. The Senate legislation hasn’t yet been tested in that chamber, and efforts by a bipartisan House group to write a similarly broad bill haven’t succeeded. The path to citizenship provision of the Senate bill could prove particularly troubling in the House.
Meantime, opponents promise to intensify their campaign. Mr. Childress leads “Remember 1986,” a group named after the year of the last big immigration overhaul, signed by President Ronald Reagan. The group sponsored the coordinated rallies last week, many of which were dwarfed by larger protests the same day against the Internal Revenue Service over its scrutiny of conservative nonprofits. Mr. Childress said his group would start targeting a tea-party base that he said is “newly energized” since the IRS news broke.
A fierce backlash against the bill six years ago ultimately spelled its demise because it prompted lawmakers such as Georgia Republican Sens. Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss, who helped draft sections of the measure, to withdraw support. “The backlash began as soon as an outline for a bill was announced, and it was relentless,” said Joan Kirchner, a top aide to Mr. Isakson. Neither of the Georgia senators has taken a public position on this year’s bill.
In recent weeks, Mr. Isakson’s office has been receiving about 100 calls a day compared with as many as 2,000 a day in 2007. The volume is expected to rise if a bill reaches the floor, Ms. Kirchner said, “but signs are it won’t be as intense.” Activists said they are planning a protest outside Mr. Isakson’s Atlanta office in early June.
Michael Harrison, publisher of Talkers, a talk-radio trade magazine, said many influential hosts have “moved on” to discuss gun control, health care and other “hit topics” because “the public’s attitude is different on immigration.”
Alan Ogushoff, who made protest calls to Mr. Chambliss’s office in 2007, often several times a day, said he remains a foe of any legalization. But, the avid listener of conservative talk radio said, “I’m just going to let this happen and move on; I’m burned out fighting it.”
Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, a national group that channeled grass-roots opposition to the 2007 bill into a barrage of calls, faxes and emails to lawmakers, agreed “there may be some fatigue” now. Still, the group over the weekend said it unveiled TV and radio ads opposing the bill in 18 states. One radio script warning of the dangers of adding more potential workers says: “Jobs—20 million of our friends, family and neighbors still can’t find one.”
Groups pressing for an immigration overhaul, such as businesses and undocumented youngsters, also have been more vocal. The Evangelical Immigration Table, made up of leaders of Christian organizations, this week will launch another round of national radio ads to promote the overhaul.
“This time, there is not as much emotion on our side,” said Mr. Beck of NumbersUSA. But, “I don’t know if that means there is less resolve.”