Thursday, May 24, 2007

American majority: Make them legal

A new NY Times/CBS News poll shows 2/3 of respondents favor allowing illegal immigrants to become legal. And there is little partisan difference:
Many Republican lawmakers have rejected this plan, calling it amnesty that rewards immigrants who broke the law when they entered the United States. But the poll showed that differences are not great between Republicans and Democrats on this issue, with 66 percent of Republicans in the poll favoring the legalization proposal, as well as 72 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of independents.

And a whopping 76% of respondents agreed that undocumented immigrants should have the opportunity to apply for citizenship.

As an aside, I'm not sure what to make of the 67% for legalization (question 63 on page 27 of the results (PDF)) and the 76% for citizenship (question 72 on page 28). It must have something to do with the wording of the question. Regardless, these results match the results of other recent polls.

The Lou-and-Lou (as in Dobbs and Barletta) race-baiting dog-and-pony show just doesn't cut it with the American people.

Andy in Harrisburg



Anonymous Anonymous said...

A bill written secretly, without the intention of much debate, to be acted upon in a matter of days, and with so many loop-holes and "trust mes" that one would have to have as much faith as Joan of Arc to accept it as gospel. A bill masterminded by Ted Kennedy, the architect of the misbegotten bill of 1986 that failed so miserably in the execution of its workplace and border enforcement provisons, could only be loved by someone that would accept failure as an objective. The anamosity, denunciations, recriminations and reluctance evoked in the Senate to pass such an abomination is indicative of the message that the voting constituency has expressed against it. The very fact that the senate hasn't even addressed the cost of this bill to the taxpayer shows how desperate the democrats are to get an additional 12 million constituents, even though they'd be saddling the public with billions in Earned Income Tax Credit refunds, educational costs, potential welfare obligations, health care costs, etc, etc. If it's racism to be concerned with the economic wellbeing of those that are already citizens, then so be it, the race card players who have no other card to play except ad hominem attack can have their way. If those of us against the bill are racists and negotiation with racists is pointless, there's no room for futher discussion. Have you're impasse, if that satisfies your ego. There will be no immigration bill this year, and 2008 will be the Waterloo for the democratic party. By their unholy pact with illegal alien advocacy groups, the democrats are squandering their leadership role and control will once again pass to the Republicans.

Don't bank on the NYT polls, as they haven't crafted a poll yet that hasn't been of dubious value in representing the will of the people.

10:13 PM  
Blogger ACLU of Pennsylvania said...

We are living in age where facts are merely minor inconveniences, but indulge me for laying out the facts. Polls beyond the most recent NY Times research show that the American people are for embracing undocumented immigrants who are already here.

CNN/Opinion Research
May 4-6
80% favor a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants

USA Today/Gallup
April 13-15
78% favor a path to citizenship

LA Times/Bloomberg
April 5-9
55% favor guest worker program

USA Today/Gallup
March 2-4
59% favor allowing illegal immigrants to stay

Quinnipiac U
November, 2006
65% support creation of a guest worker program for undocumented
69% support including path to citizenship in guest worker program

Andy in Harrisburg

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again Andy, you fail to address my points. Even if what you say is true, few Americans, after understanding the criminal neglect of congress and the executive branches to enact provisions to carry out enforcement of the requirements of the 1986 immigration act, really believe this betrayal of public trust won't occur again. As I've said, the only people who believe that congress will do the right thing this time are those who would like the provisions to fail. If you agree with the spirit of a congress which tries to ram through legislation without a decent period of debate, you're not a true believer in the democratic process. Legislation without debate is little more than dictatorship.

As with any poll, the devil is in the details. I challenge you to take one of your polls, deconstructing it line by line, and argue that the polled are informed of the repercussions of granting amnesty to 12 million illegal aliens. As a premise to the poll I would pose the following question to the people, "Do you think that it is reasonable that 12 million poorly educated, non-English speaking people, currently working at subsistence level jobs, having no health care plans, living in substandard housing, would be capable of living in this country this country without need of assistance from the U.S. taxpayer?". If the the majority say yes, then the citizens of this country would obviously favor your position and welcome the huge new tax burden associated with an addition of millions of new wards of the state. The polls in question are premised on the ignorance of the polled, as they include nothing in the way of a discussion of the risks of inherent with the proposed legislation, and depend upon a childlike trust of a corrupt congress that has shown itself time and again to be unworthy of the public trust. If this were any other issue, Andy, and its consequences contrary to an ACLU position, your organization would be the first to claim that this body was being hasty in failing to do its duty as a democratic body, by being unfaithful to the ideals of our democracy. Instead, the ACLU remains silent and hypocrital because it has lost its direction as champion of informed consent. It has let ethnocentric advocacy groups dictate that charity trumps law. It's truly the end of the ACLU as an unbiased defender of the constitution.

4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


When you can honestly tell me that the American people have been informed of the total tax liability of the senate bill, and that they concur, then we can have an informed debate on this issue, otherwise the amnesty crowd and their opposition will never a compromise on illegal immigration. What does it cost, Andy? Or is that just some trivial question to you and your friends. I've never been rich enough to buy something without pricing it first, have you? Tough question, isn't it?

4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm also wondering, Andy, how much will it cost to implement the amnesty and guest worker program? Why don't we know by now? Shouldn't my senator know this before he debates? I understand that legal costs normally paid by the illegal immigrant are to be paid by we taxpayers. Won't that cost billions? I once had to pay back taxes and fines to the IRS. I now understand that illegals don't have to do this. Is this equal justice under the 14th Amendment? If not, how is this exemption justified by congress and the ACLU? Why should we trust congress to enforce the new immigration laws? Is this another scam like '86? Help me out here, because this bill seem to be unfair to citizens. I supported the civil rights movement during the 1960's but no more. The ACLU was great then, but now they seem to side with the Mexican government and non-citizens these days.

5:19 PM  
Blogger ACLU of Pennsylvania said...

First, let me clear that posting the poll numbers regarding a guest worker program above is not an indication that the ACLU of PA endorses such a program. These programs are problematic, as laid out in an article in this week's Time.

I posted them to make the broader point that most Americans think that something should be done with undocumented immigrants other than turning 12 million people into felons.

As for your points, anonymous, if you think this bill was written in "secret," then you don't know much about the legislative process. How often is the public engaged in the writing of a bill? Never. Legislation enters the public debate when it is introduced. Your point about the bill being written in secret is mere melodrama.

The original point from the post is that Americans want to be fair to immigrants.

I laugh to myself when people say the ACLU was great in the '60s but is insert-your-insult-of-choice in the present. Historical hindsight is always 20-20. Standing up during the civil rights movement was controversial and was a struggle, not unlike our present day struggles.


5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Your answers just show me that you're just a hack spouting the party line, without a mind of your own. We already permit more immigration than the rest of the world combined. To say that we have been unfair to immigrants is just nonsense. It's telling that you fail to answer any of the concerns addressed in these comments. You're only capable of attacking the messenger, as addressing the message is too complex for your mind.

7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excerpt from International Herald Tribune Immigration bill clears its first hurdle in U.S. Senate

By Robert Pear and Michael Luo Published: May 21, 2007

.....Sessions said the measure had been written in secret, with no hearings or review by the Senate Judiciary Committee and no cost estimate by the Congressional Budget Office.

"The American people were not in those meetings," Sessions said. "There are 85 senators who have no idea what's in the bill. All we have seen is a bill written on a computer by somebody who works for the executive branch.".......

This shows that you're ignorant of the history of this bill, Andy, but uninformed consent is what you're use to. This is a new day, Andy, one in which the internet proves to be far better at keeping the populace informed than the politically cowed news media. As the result, the bill is a goner.

8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


The Senate bill is intended by its proponents to be a failure in all regards. Only someone not interested in the welfare of the nation, but only that of illegal aliens would ever approve of this bill. Better there be no bill than a very bad one that our nation would regret long into the future. Americans are tired of bad bills and will not tolerate a disaster in the name of compromise. The current Congress presents false choices, that of a bad bill or no progress on immigration at all. The third choice, inforce immigration laws already on the books currently expresses the will of the people. Enforce current immigration laws and fence the border!

After actually reading and analyzing the bill Jeff Sessions founds 20 loopholes, which are listed as follows:

Loophole 1 – Legal Status Before Enforcement:

Amnesty benefits do not wait for the “enforcement trigger.” After filing an application and waiting 24 hours, illegal aliens will receive full “probationary benefits,” complete with the ability to legally live and work in the U.S., travel outside of the U.S. and return, and their own social security card. Astonishingly, if the trigger is never met and amnesty applications are therefore never “approved,” the probationary benefits granted to the illegal alien population never expire, and the new social security cards issued to the illegal alien population are not revoked. [See pp. 1, 290-291, & 315].

Loophole 2 – U.S. VISIT Exit Not In Trigger:

The “enforcement trigger,” required to be met before the new temporary worker program begins, does not require that the exit portion of U.S. VISIT system – the biometric border check-in/check-out system first required by Congress in 1996 that is already well past its already postponed 2005 implementation due date – to be in place before new worker or amnesty programs begin. Without the U.S. VISIT exit portion, the U.S. has no method to ensure that workers (or their visiting families) do not overstay their visas. Our current illegal population contains 4 to 5.5 million visa overstays, therefore, we know that the U.S. VISIT exit component is key to a successful new temporary worker program. [See pp. 1-2].

Loophole 3 – Trigger Requires No More Agents, Beds, or Fencing Than Current Law:

The “enforcement trigger” does not require the Department of Homeland Security to have detention space sufficient to end “catch and release” at the border and in the interior. Even after the adoption of amendment 1172, the trigger merely requires the addition of 4,000 detention beds, bringing DHS to a 31,500 bed capacity. This is far short of the 43,000 beds required under current law to be in place by the end of 2007, or the additional 20,000 beds required later in the bill. Additionally, the bill establishes a “catch, pay, and release” program. This policy will benefit illegal aliens from countries other than Mexico that are caught at the border, then can post a $5,000 bond, be released and never show up for deportation hearings. Annual failure to appear rates for 2005 and 2006, caused in part by lack of detention space, doubled the 2004 rate (106,000 – 110,000 compared with 54,000). Claims that the bill “expands fencing” are inaccurate. The bill only requires 370 miles of fencing to be completed, while current law already mandates that more than 700 miles be constructed [See pp. 1-2, & 10-11, and EOIR’s FY2006 Statistical Yearbook, p. H2, and The Secure Fence Act of 2004].

Loophole 4 -- Three Additional Years Worth of Illegal Aliens Granted Status, Treated Preferentially To Legal Filers:

Aliens who broke into the country illegally a mere 5 months ago, are treated better than foreign nationals who legally applied to come to the U.S. more than two years ago. Aliens who can prove they were illegally in the U.S. on January 1, 2007, are immediately eligible to apply from inside the U.S. for amnesty benefits, while foreign nationals that filed applications to come to the U.S. after May 1, 2005 must start the application process over again from their home countries. Last year’s bill required illegal aliens to have been here before January 7, 2004 to qualify for permanent legal status. [See pp. 263, 282, & 306].

Loophole 5 – Completion of Background Checks Not Required For Probationary Legal Status:

Legal status must be granted to illegal aliens 24 hours after they file an application, even if the aliens have not yet “passed all appropriate background checks.” (Last year’s bill gave DHS 90 days to check an alien’s background before any status was granted). No legal status should be given to any illegal alien until all appropriate background checks are complete. [See pp. 290].

Loophole 6 – Some Child Molesters Are Still Eligible:

Some aggravated felons – those who have sexually abused a minor – are eligible for amnesty. A child molester who committed the crime before the bill is enacted is not barred from getting amnesty if their conviction document omitted the age of the victim. The bill corrects this loophole for future child molesters, but does not close the loophole for current or past convictions. [See p. 47: 30-33, & p. 48: 1-2]

Loophole 7 – Terrorism Connections Allowed, Good Moral Character Not Required:

Illegal aliens with terrorism connections are not barred from getting amnesty. An illegal alien seeking most immigration benefits must show “good moral character.” Last year’s bill specifically barred aliens with terrorism connections from having “good moral character” and being eligible for amnesty. This year’s bill does neither. Additionally, bill drafters ignored the Administration’s request that changes be made to the asylum, cancellation of removal, and withholding of removal statutes in order to prevent aliens with terrorist connections from receiving relief. [Compare §204 in S. 2611 from the 109th Congress with missing §204 on p. 48 of S.A. 1150, & see missing subsection (5) on p. 287 of S.A. 1150].

Loophole 8 – Gang Members Are Eligible:

Instead of ensuring that members of violent gangs such as MS 13 are deported after coming out of the shadows to apply for amnesty, the bill will allow violent gang members to get amnesty as long as they “renounce” their gang membership on their application. [See p. 289: 34-36].

Loophole 9 – Absconders Are Eligible:

Aliens who have already had their day in court – those subject to final orders of removal, voluntary departure orders, or reinstatement of their final orders of removal – are eligible for amnesty under the bill. The same is true for aliens who have made a false claim to citizenship or engaged in document fraud. More than 636,000 alien fugitives could be covered by this loophole. [See p. 285:19-22 which waives the following inadmissibility grounds: failure to attend a removal proceeding; final orders of removal for alien smuggling; aliens unlawfully present after previous immigration violations or deportation orders; and aliens previously removed. This appears to conflict with language on p. 283:40-41. When a direct conflict appears in a statute, the statue is interpreted by the courts to the benefit of the alien.].

Loophole 10 – Learning English Not Required For A Decade:

Illegal aliens are not required to demonstrate any proficiency in English for more than a decade after they are granted amnesty. Learning English is not required for an illegal alien to receive probationary benefits, the first 4-year Z visa, or the second 4-year Z visa. The first Z visa renewal (the second 4-year Z visa) requires only that the alien demonstrate an “attempt” to learn English by being “on a waiting list for English classes.” Passing a basic English test is required only for a second Z visa renewal (the third 4-year Z visa), and even then the alien only has to pass the test “prior to the expiration of the second extension of Z status” (12 years down the road). [See pp. 295-296].

Loophole 11 – Earned Income Tax Credit Will Cost Taxpayers Billions In Just 10 Years:

Current illegal aliens and new guest workers will be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit, a refundable tax credit designed to encourage American citizens and legal permanent residents to work. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this loophole will cost the U.S. taxpayer up to $20 billion dollars in just the first 10 years after the bill’s enactment. To be consistent with the intent of the 1996 welfare reforms – which limited new immigrants from receiving public benefits until they had been legal permanent residents for five years – the bill should withhold EITC eligibility from amnestied aliens until they become legal permanent residents. Closing this loophole will save the taxpayers billions of dollars. [See p. 293 after S.A. 1190 was adopted, p. 307, p. 315, §606. All that is required for EITC eligibility is a social security number and resident alien status. Nothing in the bill’s tax provisions limit EITC eligibility. The issuance of social security numbers to aliens as soon as they apply for amnesty will ensure they are able to qualify for the EITC.]

Loophole 12 – Affidavits From Friends Accepted As Evidence:

Records from day-labor centers, labor unions, and “sworn declarations” from any non-relative (acquaintances, friends, coworkers, etc) are to be accepted as evidence that the illegal alien has satisfied the bill’s amnesty requirements. This low burden of proof will invite fraud and more illegal immigration – even aliens who are not yet in the U.S. will likely meet this burden of proof. DHS will not have the resources to examine whether the claims contained in the “sworn declarations” of the alien’s friends (that the alien was here prior to January 1, 2007 and is currently employed) are actually valid. [See p. 293: 13-16].

Loophole 13 – Taxpayer Funded Legal Counsel and Arbitration:

Free legal counsel and the fees and expenses of arbitrators will be provided to aliens that have been working illegally in agriculture. The U.S. taxpayer will fund the attorneys that help these individuals fill out their amnesty applications. Additionally, if these individuals have a dispute with their employer over whether they were fired for “just cause,” DHS will “pay the fee and expenses of the arbitrator.” [See p. 339:37-41, & p. 332: 37-38.]

Loophole 14 – In-State Tuition and Student Loans:

In-state tuition and other higher education benefits, such as Stafford Loans, will be made available to current illegal aliens that are granted initial “probationary” status, even if the same in-state tuition rates are not offered to all U.S. citizens. This would normally violate current law (8 U.S.C. §1623) which mandates that educational institutions give citizens the same postsecondary education benefits they offer to illegal aliens. [See p. 321: 8-31].

Loophole 15 – Inadequacy of the Merit System:

The “merit system,” designed to shift the U.S. green card distribution system to attract higher skilled workers that benefit the national interest, is only a shell of what it should have been. Though the merit system begins immediately, it will not increase the percentage of high skilled immigrants coming to the United States until 2016, 8 years after enactment. Of the 247,000 green cards dedicated to the merit based system each year for the first 5 years, 100,000 green cards will be reserved for low-skilled guest workers (10,000) and for clearing the current employment based green card backlog (90,000). From 2013 to 2015, the number of merit based green cards drops to 140,000, and of that number, 100,000 green cards are still reserved each year for low-skilled guest workers (10,000) and for clearing the current employment based green card backlog (90,000). Even after 2015, when the merit system really begins (in 2016) by having 380,000 green cards annually, 10,00 green cards will be reserved specifically for low skilled workers, and points will be given for many characteristics that are not considered “high-skilled.” For example, 16 points will be given for aliens in “high demand occupations” which includes janitors, maids, food preparation workers, and groundskeepers. [See p.260: 25 – p. 261: 20, p. 262, & The Department of Labor’s list of “occupations with the largest job growth” available at].

Loophole 16 – Visas For Individuals That Plan To Overstay:

The new “parent” visa contained in the bill which allows parents of citizens, and the spouses and children of new temporary workers, to visit a worker in the United States is not only a misnomer, but also an invitation for high rates of visa overstays. This new visa specifically allows the spouse and children of new temporary workers who intend to abandon their residence in a foreign country, to qualify to come to the U.S. to “visit.” The visa requires only a $1,000 bond, which will be forfeited when, not if, family members of new temporary workers decide to overstay their 30 day visit. Workers should travel to their home countries to visit their families, not the other way around. [See p. 277:1 – 33, and p. 276: 38-43].

Loophole 17 – Chain Migration Tippled Before Being Eliminated:

Though the bill will eventually eliminate chain migration (relatives other than spouses and children of citizens and legal permanent residents), it will not have full effect until 2016. Until then, chain migration into the U.S. will actually triple, from approximately 138,000 chain migrants a year (equal to 14% of the 1 million green cards the U.S. currently distributes on an annual basis) to approximately 440,000 chain migrants a year (equal to 45% of the 1 million green cards the U.S. currently distributes on an annual basis). [See pp. 260:13, p. 270: 29 – pp. 271: 17]

Loophole 18 – Back Taxes Not Required:

Last year’s bill required illegal aliens to prove they had paid three of their last five years of taxes to get amnesty. This year, payment of back taxes is not required for amnesty. The bill requires taxes to be paid at the time of application for a green card, but at that time, only proof of payment of Federal taxes (not state and local) is required for the years the alien worked on a Z visa, not the years the alien has already worked illegally in the United States. Though Senator McCain’s S.A. 1190, adopted by voice vote, claimed to “require undocumented immigrants receiving legal status to pay owed back taxes,” the amendment actually only required proof of payment of taxes for “any year during the period of employment required by subparagraph (D)(i).” Since the bill does not contain a subparagraph (D)(i), nor require any past years of employment as a prerequisite for amnesty, the amendment essentially only requires proof of payment of taxes for future work in the U.S., not payment of “back taxes.” [See p. 307, and p. 293 as altered by S.A. 1190, amendment p. 2: 19-20.]

Loophole 19 – Social Security Credits Allowed For Some Illegal Work Histories:

Aliens who came to the U.S. on legal visas, but overstayed their visas and have been working in the U.S. for years, as well as illegal aliens who apply for Z visa status but do not qualify, will be able to collect social security credits for the years they worked illegally. Under the bill, if an alien was ever issued a social security account number – all work-authorized aliens who originally came on legal visas receive these – the alien will receive Social Security credits for any “quarters of coverage” the alien worked after receiving their social security account number. Because the bill requires social security account numbers to be issued “promptly” to illegal aliens as soon as they are granted “any probationary benefits based upon application [for Z status]” (these benefits are granted 24 hours after the application is filed), an illegal alien who is denied Z visa status but continues to work illegally in the U.S. will accumulate Social Security credits. [See pp. 316:8 – 16, and pp. 315: 32-39]

Loophole 20 – Criminal Fines Not Proportional To Conduct:

The criminal fines an illegal alien is required to pay to receive amnesty are less than the bill’s criminal fines for paperwork violations committed by U.S. citizens, and can be paid by installment. Under the bill, an illegal alien must pay a $1,000 criminal fine to apply for a Z visa, and a $4,000 fine to apply for a green card. Eighty percent of those fines can be paid on an installment plan. Under the bill’s confidentiality provisions, someone who improperly handles or uses information on an alien’s amnesty application can be fined $10,000. Administration officials suggest that the bill’s “criminal fines are proportionate to the criminal conduct.” Why, then, is the fine for illegally entering, using false documents to work, and live one-tenth the fine for a paperwork violation committed by a government official? [See p. 287: 34, p. 317: 9, p. 315:6-8, & remarks made by Secretary Gutierrez on Your World with Neil Cavuto, 4:00 May 31, 2007]

8:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I believe that the outcome of the Rasmussen poll best reflects the attititude of the American people and discredits polls that you refer to. The ACLU should take note of the citizen's will and expectation of the enforcement of our immigration laws.

Why the Senate Immigration Bill Failed
Friday, June 08, 2007

Elite newspapers and countless bloggers are writing their own explanations of why the compromise immigration legislation failed last night. Most of the write-ups discuss legislative tactics, an amendment offered by Senator Byron Dorgan (D), or some particular provision of the bill dealing with amnesty or guest workers.

The reality is much simpler and has nothing to do with legislative tactics. The immigration bill failed because a broad cross-section of the American people are opposed to it. Republicans, Democrats, and unaffiliated voters are opposed. Men are opposed. So are women. The young don’t like it; neither do the no-longer-young. White Americans are opposed. Americans of color are opposed.

The last Rasmussen Reports national telephone poll found that just 23% of Americans supported the legislation. When a bill has less popular support than the War in Iraq, it deserves to be defeated.

There is no mystery to why the public opposed the bill. In the minds of most Americans, immigration means reducing illegal immigration and enforcing the border. Only 16% believed the Senate bill would accomplish that goal.

It wasn’t amnesty or guest-worker programs or paths to citizenship that doomed the bill. Each of those provisions made it more difficult for some segments of the population to accept. However, most voters were willing to accept them as part of a true compromise that accomplished the primary goal of reducing illegal immigration.

The key to winning voter support was to accomplish that primary goal.

The Senators missed that point and that’s where the mystery resides in analyzing why this bill failed. It’s not unusual for political leaders to be out of touch with their constituents, but rarely this out of touch. How could something this unpopular with voters get so close to passage in a legislative body that is supposed to represent them?

From the beginning, the Senate approached the issue with top priority of addressing the legal status of the illegal aliens. They addressed concerns about guest-worker programs and questions about whether family or skill level should be more important when determining who could enter the country.

All of those are important questions, but they are not the most important question. Rasmussen Reports polling found that 72% of Americans believe it’s Very Important to reduce illegal immigration and enforce the borders. Just 29% said it was Very Important to legalize the status of those illegally living in the country today.

After ignoring the main point that voters were hoping to address, Senators should not have been shocked at the public reaction. But they were.

With all the polling data in the world today, how could they have failed to see this coming? While Rasmussen Reports was the only public polling firm to directly ask about support or opposition to the Senate bill, other polling data such as a recent CBS News/New York Times survey provided plenty of warning signs. Besides, the nation’s politicians purchase plenty of private polling data that should have given them a hint.

We live in a world where most Americans believe that most Members of Congress will sell their vote for cash or a campaign contribution. Only 16% believe the legislators’ votes are not for sale. By a nearly 5-to-1 margin, voters believe that Members of Congress are more interested in their own careers and agenda rather than the public good.

In that environment, the only way for political leaders to prove they are serious about enforcing the border and reducing illegal immigration will be to do it. That’s the next logical step in the immigration debate.

There are plenty of steps that could be taken quickly with solid voter support. Some may require new laws while others may simply require enforcement of the existing laws. But, voters aren’t concerned about the specifics—they’ll support serious efforts to reduce illegal immigration. This could include imposing employer sanctions, building a barrier, adding more border patrol agents, supporting local law enforcement efforts, and more.

Once the government actually enforces the border, then the debate can begin on all other aspects of immigration reform. Then, the same politicians who were stunned by their misreading of the public on this bill will probably be stunned to learn something else—most Americans actually do favor a welcoming and open immigration policy.

The United States is a nation of immigrants. It is also a nation of laws. Voters want to honor both aspects of the national heritage. And, like good parents trying to instill values in their children, voters want their elected representatives to do the same.

5:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


If your writing does not reflect the official position of the ACLU, you shouldn't preface your comments with "ACLU of Pennsylvania: said...." Try "Andy said", instead.

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take that, amnestas! How will an amnesty bill ever pass in congress if the House spirit appears to be totally against it? It really matters not whether Tancredo's bill passes. His bill sends the proper message to the Senate that no matter what kind of monster it produces it won't be passed.

June 15, 2007
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives this morning voted to withhold federal emergency services funding for "sanctuary cities" that protect illegal immigrants.
Anti-illegal immigration champion Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., sponsored the measure, which he says would apply to cities such as Denver and Boulder. He was elated by its passage, which stunned critics and supporters alike.

The Littleton Republican's amendment to the Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill appears to have no language specifically defining a sanctuary city. Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper has long disputed giving the city that label.

"The issue has come to fruition," Tancredo said by cell phone after the vote. "The people of the country really have spoken. It's a really good indicator of just how much closer to the people the House is than the Senate is."

The House passed the amendment, 234 to 189, with 50 Democrats voting in favor.

Tancredo and his staffers hooted and cheered from his office across the street from the Capitol immediately after the vote.

Tancredo has introduced similar amendments at least seven other times since 2004, but each has failed — often by wide margins.

The Homeland Security appropriations bill faces a vote tonight in the House, then later in the Senate. It must also be signed by the President before it becomes law.

A year ago, Tancredo and other immigration foes unveiled billboards in Denver, including one with a mock declaration: "Welcome to SANCTUARY CITY . . . Relax, you made it! Brought to you by Executive Order 116."

The billboard was referring to a 1998 order issued by former Denver Mayor Wellington Webb that outlines the city's anti-discrimination stance regarding immigrants.

"There are no ordinances, executive orders or regulations that establish a 'sanctuary policy' in Denver," the mayor's spokesperson, Lindy Eichenbaum-Lent, said at the time.

"Denver's policies comply with federal law, and Denver law enforcement officers cooperate with federal officials on immigration matters. Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials have said Denver is not a sanctuary city, so merely erecting a misleading billboard doesn't make it true."

A call for comment from Hickenlooper had not been returned immediately after the House vote.

The amendment comes as the Senate is poised to take up debate again next week on an immigration reform plan that some opponents criticize as giving amnesty to illegal immigrants.

President Bush, who supports the Senate's reform plan, sweetened the deal this week by agreeing to include $4.4 billion for border security. The Senate had put the reform bill on ice because it lacked enough support to bring to a vote.

Tancredo said he thinks his amendment is an indicator that the House would crush the reform plan if it passes in the Senate.

"If I were (Speaker of the House) Nancy Pelosi, I'd be asking if she could pass a vote on amnesty on the House side," Tancredo said. "If she lost 50 Democrats on this one, and she says she needs 70 Republicans to pass the immigration plan, this is an interesting indicator of things coming down the pike, and that the times, they are a-changing."

10:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a sad day in America when the lawmakers side with the lawbreakers against the law abiding citizens!
I don't care what the polls say. I care what our laws say. These people are stealing the most precious gift we have....American citizenship. My family immigrated here from Italy and stood in line. Why can't the mexicans?

1:18 PM  

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