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Why the Immigration Bill Failed

President Bush, Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, John McCain, John Kyl, and other pro amnesty senators would be smart to heed what the American people think about the immigration bill before trying to revive it. Rasmussen has a piece that explains exactly why the bill failed:

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.

In other words, the American people are fully aware that the US government will not enforce any new laws, just as it hasn't enforced the laws that are currently on the books. Just let the current immigration bill go. It's done. The American people don't like it, and if you try to bring it back with just a few cosmetic changes and call it brand new, they will be furious. Instead, pick up the task of immigration reform in pieces, and begin with enforcing the border first. If you stem the flow of people illegally crossing our borders, maybe then the American people will actually believe you are serious about immigration reform.

Update: The New York Times writes in an editorial today that those who fought the amnesty bill are the "anti-immigration hard core" who insist that there will be "no amnesty today, no amnesty tomorrow, no amnesty ever," an obvious reference to George Wallace's "segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" speech. If the Times' editors bothered to look at Rasmussen's report, they would realize that the "anti-immigration hard core" they are calling racists and bigots is the vast majority of the American people. They would also learn that it is they, the pro-amnesty crowd, who are in the minority on this issue.

Mark Finkelstein at NewsBusters also comments on the insults the Times hurls at the American people.


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Comments (45)

Kim, that has been MY point... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Kim, that has been MY point from the beginning of this debacle. Enforce the borders first. When US citizens see that our governement; Federal, State and Local, have indeed sealed the border, then and only then will we believe our government is serious about this. ww

Kim: "immigration means ... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Kim: "immigration means reducing illegal immigration and enforcing the border. Only 16% believed the Senate bill would accomplish that goal."

16% believed the bill WOULD enforce the border?? hmmm? I think I read somewhere that 16% of all Americans are illiterate...but I might not have that figure right, and it COULD be a coincidence anyway! :)

I think legislators believe... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

I think legislators believe there's some magical point at which laws become self-enforcing without any need for such things as police or border-control agents. And they figure if they can just reach that magic amount by passing more and more laws on the same things, then everything will be just fine.

Or maybe they just figure it's more important to be seen as 'doing something about the problem', regardless of how effective that 'something' might be.

I'm just happy we can chalk... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

I'm just happy we can chalk-up another defeat for the Bush legacy, and Republicans continue to distance themselves from the Hispanic vote (see 2004 vs. 2006 party vote breakdown by Hispanics).

"Those determined... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

"Those determined to find fault with this bill will always be able to look at a narrow slice of it and find something they don't like," the president said. "If you want to kill the bill, if you don't want to do what's right for America, you can pick one little aspect out of it."
~George W. Bush, May 2007

"In other words, the Americ... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

"In other words, the American people are fully aware that the US government will not enforce any new laws, just as it hasn't enforced the laws that are currently on the books."
My sentiments exactly.

Old Barney proving again th... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Old Barney proving again that the democrats care more about the votes then the Country. ww

Keep on trying to Clint... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

Keep on trying to Clintonize President Bush Barney , ya pathetic bed wetter.

This is why democrats will always be inferior to Republicans , independents etc. Scum of the earth is scum of the earth. Democrats have shown the world just how low they can go and the rest of the worlds dirtbags and evil dictators have watched , learned and have begun to emulate the democrats wonderful examples.

"Or maybe they just figure ... (Below threshold)
Mark:

"Or maybe they just figure it's more important to be seen as 'doing something about the problem', regardless of how effective that 'something' might be."

I think you explained a big part of our Government problem JL!

The DNC wants more democrat... (Below threshold)
Colorado KnightOwl:

The DNC wants more democrat voters.
The RNC wants more cheap labor.

This bill would vote the Republicans out of power and change the country into Hillaryland, er The Socialists States of America

Barney, The majori... (Below threshold)
Allen:

Barney,
The majority of American's want to end this invasion of illegal's. Quit making stupid remarks about President Bush.

Start asking your elected critters, hell start telling the critters that we, the people of the US want our borders secure. Do that first, then decide what to do with the illegals already here.

Until our borders are secure, more and more illegals, some looking to destroy our country will be coming in. The monetary price the taxpayers pay is outrageous when you include schools, hospitals, etc. Not to mention the chance of disease spread through this country.

And this isn't Bush's fault, or Clinton's fault, it goes back further than that, but none of them have upheld their oath to protect and defend, and I am including all elected officials by that.

Once again Barney exhibits ... (Below threshold)
MikeNC:

Once again Barney exhibits his extreme case of BDS. Nothing else matters excepts his hatred of Bush and republicans. Pathetic.

OK smart guys, tell me how ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

OK smart guys, tell me how you are going to secure 19,000 miles of border when we can't secure the 2,300 Iraq border with 150,000 American troops and 3000,000 Iraqi troops?

The New York Times... (Below threshold)
Lee Ward:
The New York Times writes in an editorial today that those who fought the amnesty bill are the "anti-immigration hard core" who insist that there will be "no amnesty today, no amnesty tomorrow, no amnesty ever," ... If the Times' editors bothered to look at Rasmussen's report, they would realize that the "anti-immigration hard core" they are calling racists and bigots is the vast majority of the American people.

Nope, that's flat out wrong. The "hard core" are indeed the racist bigots who will accept no compromise, and it is those racist bigots who are the "hard core" who fought this bill.

The fact that a large percentage (according to your reporting) of average Americans were not in favor of the bill does not mean the racist bigots were joined by these average Americans in "fighting this bill". Average Americans were not fighting this bill, just the bigots fought it.

Other polls have shown that average Americans want compromise and a solution -- and suggesting that people against bill were fighting by the side of the bigots is bullshit.

Lee,Do you not lis... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

Lee,

Do you not listen, or do you shut your ears and say "lalalalalalalala I can't hear you!" You call Hugh Hewitt a racist bigot, a guy who said that he would accept some form of regularization if there was some proof that the government was interested in enforcing the border. I've listened to him for years, and have never heard a racist comment from him.

If this were about racism, it would be a great discussion to have. But it is about security, about knowing who is in America. You remember that place, don't you? If you look at the maps, it has bold lines around it, denoting a border. Nations are defined in this world by their borders, and if a nation can't or won't defend them, it is doomed to failure. I'm all for people of good will coming to America to live out their dreams, but they should follow the laws of this country, frankly the most benevolent on Earth. I know people from all parts of the world who have come here legally, following the process and waiting their turn for years. Are you saying I am a racist bigot for wanting them to have more benefits from being here than someone who sneaks in and perpetrates continued fraud (bogus or stolen Soc. Sec. 3's), then whines when they are caught at it? If that is so, you are not just a moron, but an immoral one at that. And don't worry about me questioning your patriotism. That ship sailed ling ago.

Lee you hijo de puta shu... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

Lee you hijo de puta shut your stupid yap. You don't have a fricken clue what you are talking about.

"Other polls"

You jackass , "other people" say you have your head up your ass. It must be true.

Who are you calling a racist bigot? It has nothing to do with race except for true racists , democrats who must score political points because that is the only way they can get elected (buy votes). My Grand Parents were from Mexico , my mother doesn't want Amnesty nor do I. All I want to know is "Where is the F*****n Fence"?

I'm just happy an extremist... (Below threshold)
xray:

I'm just happy an extremist liberal bill was defeated and we aren't closer to the day when a member of la raza puts a 2 inch hole through BarneyG2000's head when they take over his house.

Why does Lee hate white peo... (Below threshold)
xray:

Why does Lee hate white people? Aren't Americans supposed to be race neutral? Lee, don't you know hate is bad and eats at your soul?

Lee, you could be white, bu... (Below threshold)
BillyBob:

Lee, you could be white, but if you were illegal, I would deport your ass back to home country ASAP.

Skin color does not matter to the LAW. Try sneaking into Mexico and see what happens.

Explosively ... www.sayyour... (Below threshold)

Explosively ... www.sayyourword.com

Lee likes to trot out polls... (Below threshold)

Lee likes to trot out polls he never seems to show to try to back up his garbage.

Lee, I support LEGAL immigration. I support immigrants who want to come here and become American citizens. I support immigrants who don't wish to just prop up their old country or support organizations like La Raza who believe the southwest belongs back in Mexico's hands.

Old Barney proving again... (Below threshold)
Brian:

Old Barney proving again that the democrats care more about the votes then the Country. ww

Hmm, who else feels like, I wonder? Oh yeah... Kim, who agrees that this "explains exactly why the bill failed":

When a bill has less popular support than the War in Iraq, it deserves to be defeated.
"...feels like this.... (Below threshold)
Brian:

"...feels like this..."

I would like to see someone... (Below threshold)
pa:

I would like to see someone finally examine the two true underlying issues in the illegal immigration problem:

1. Why businesses are so insistent on the need for guest workers (or serfs or illegals or what have you): Government overregulation makes it difficult for businesses to function effectively, efficiently, and profitably. They wouldn't be so determined to employ illegals who are not subject to labor laws if those laws weren't so onerous, intrusive, costly, and likely unconstitutional. So they avoid having to comply (which gives them a strong competitive advantage over companies that are law-abiding) by hiring people who are outside the law. It apparently hasn't occurred to any politician that legalizing the current crop of illegals will simply not solve the problem. Once those people are legal and therefore entitled to all the same benefits and protections of American workers, the businesses that now hire them will simply look for new illegals who will be willing to work outside the requirements of the law. So we can expect more millions of illegals to quickly flood into America to serve the needs of non-law-abiding businesses. If businesses were willing to comply with labor laws, they could hire Americans and legal immigrants right now. But they aren't, so they won't. And they won't suddenly begin complying with the law just because of any so-called comprehensive immigration reform. Bottom line: No immigration law can provide a remedy for the real reason for widespread employment (and abuse) of illegals.

We would be better served by a Congress and a President that worked to repeal or rein in laws and regulations that have gone way beyond their fundamental objectives (to improve working conditions and fairness) and grown wildly out of control, making it difficult for American businesses to function.

2. Why so many millions of Mexicans are desperate to leave their homeland: This site and others have often discussed this issue, explaining that Mexico has no incentive to institute reform as long as they have the USA as a safety valve. They are solving their problems by dumping them on us; Mexico can therefore ignore poverty, poor education, bad housing, bad economic decisions, bad business environment, and all the other barriers to success by sending their people here, where we provide jobs, free healthcare, free schooling, and an enormous income for Mexico in the form of money the illegals send home -- taking billions of dollars out of our economy and creating Mexico's second biggest source of income. Aside from the problems illegal immigration creates for us, I am surprised at the utter lack of our interest in improving Mexico from within. Aren't we supposed to be fighting for economic freedom and success around the world? Seems like helping a neighbor (and a neighbor who is rapidly leeching us to death) would be as important as our efforts to bring democracy and economic freedom to the MidEast.

We would be better served by a Congress and a President that would pressure Mexico to improve conditions for their people. There is no reason for Mexico to be a poverty-stricken country -- other than corruption and a lack of political will (problems that exist on both sides of the border for this issue). We should use the same techniques that led to true welfare reform in this country: don't foster a dependent attitude, and require people to take control of their own lives. It works for individuals and should work for countries, too.

Solving a problem requires a solution that actually addresses the underlying causes. So far, we only have politicians who are willing to do cosmetic work on symptoms of the problem. A physician who only worked on symptoms without identifying and treating the underlying cause would have a lot of dead patients on his hands (e.g., aspirin for that headache, which is really due to a malignant brain tumor that could be cured with surgery). If our politicians were doctors, they would have been tried and convicted for gross malpractice, if not negligent homicide, long ago.

So, for as long as we have some voice in this debate (and that time is right NOW), I would urge you to (1) demand that our politicians focus on reform of business overregulation that drives the demand for illegal-immigrant employees and (2) demand that our politicians pressure Mexico to clean up its own mess. Without addressing these two underlying problems, immigration laws will never ever succeed in solving the problem.

(crosss-posted at Captain's Quarters on June 8)

Lee:The "hard ... (Below threshold)
marc:

Lee:

The "hard core" are indeed the racist bigots who will accept no compromise, and it is those racist bigots who are the "hard core" who fought this bill.

The Rasmussen poll found that just 23% of Americans supported the legislation. So what are you trying to say, that 77% of Americans are racist bigots?

Is that really what you believe or have you just swiped a talking point from the Open Borders loons with no thought whatsoever?

barneyGRUBBLE:

OK smart guys, tell me how you are going to secure 19,000 miles of border when we can't secure the 2,300 Iraq border with 150,000 American troops and 3000,000 Iraqi troops?

That's some comparison, of course it's only valid if you happen to suffer from BDS and believe all U.S. and Iraqi forces are massed on the borders.

In fact it might work if a significant amount of them were. Got PROOF how many are GRUBBLE, 0r are you just flinging poo like usual?

P.S. the border is about 20... (Below threshold)
Colorado KnightOwl:

P.S. the border is about 2000 miles...not 19,000.

If we had true workplace enforcement and a tamper proof ID 90% would go home on their own

<a href="http://pcfreenews.... (Below threshold)
Syllabucks:
Co Knight, you are wrong. ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Co Knight, you are wrong. You forgot about the coast line.

Ok now here are my ideas:</... (Below threshold)
Syllabucks:

Ok now here are my ideas:

1. Completely close the borders to ALL immigration until such time as all temporary visa's have been verified as being within their time limits and legal.

2. Those who are not (with the exception of students CLOSE to graduation... say within 1 - 1.5 semesters (I'll get back to them) are immediately fined $10,000 or subject to 6 months in jail. Not country club jail, but hard work Alaska jail or chain-gang jail with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio who has decreed that inmates must learn how American government works, the words to God Bless America and the rudiments of health and safety. And they must learn it all in English. Their jail time can be used to "earn" all or part of their 10K fine by "doing the work no American wants to do". The embassy of the country from which the offend us ...US... is financially responsible for them and if they reach certain financial liabily thresholds without paying, lose their status within the United States.

Student on temporary visa's that have expired must be within a certain time limit of graduation (say 7 mos) to stay and finish school, but again only if they pay a fine to do so. If not... kiss your graduation good-bye baby and get your ass back home or in jail.

By the time all these visas are checked by an incompetant bureacracy, the fence should be finished.

3. English is required.

4. All immigrants are required to become citizens within 5 years.

5. All immigrants are required to serve America in some capacity (not necessarily in the military) before being considered for citizenship.

6. Absolutely no government handouts to any immigrant for the first 7.5 years: NONE.

7. Any child born of an immigrant in that same 7.5 years does not automatically become a citizen.

8. The immigrant must prove that their originating country will guarantee to stand behind him and his actions until such time as he has earned his citizenship. This could be a financial bond with a simple official declaration that says the country of origin knows the person wants to immigrate, gives their blessing to the immigration and vouches for them (with that financial bond) as upstanding human beings. These financial bonds are put into ONE large simple account, tracked by country and used to pay for the incarceration and its adjunct costs of any citizens originating from that country who break our laws. When the immigrants who become citizens do so, the money is credited back to the originating country.

8. An company caught hiring illegals are fined $50,000 PER illegal. No exception, especially when we have all those ones mentioned above doing "the jobs no American wants to do" to work off their fines.


Sound harsh?? GOOD! It should be tough.

Typical of Barney and Lee, ... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

Typical of Barney and Lee, we are taking oranges and they are thinking apples. Sad. ww

SDN wrote the following com... (Below threshold)
pa:

SDN wrote the following comment at dailypundit.com/?p=26207:

Absolutely it's not over:
Lindsey Graham on Fox News:
"I know where the votes are for final passage. ... We're going to get this done," Graham said, adding that the topic is not going to go away. "All I can say is, if you name a post office, you're going to be talking about immigration."

He definitely DOES NOT GET IT. And -- he has clearly warned us -- now we will have to be especially vigilant in monitoring all the little bits and pieces of crap that ride along with every piece of legislation that will ever come out of this Congress, no matter how far removed from immigration any bill may seem.

Barney throws out the "19,0... (Below threshold)
Justrand:

Barney throws out the "19,000 miles of border" as his "it can't be done...so we shouldn't try" argument. Pure strawman!

Last night Geraldo Rivera started with the "you can't possibly DEPORT 12,000,000 people" and then went TOTALLY around the bend with this: "We have 2,000,000 people in this country in jail now. There isn't room in those prisons for 12,000,000 MORE!"

I thought he said we were trying to DEPORT them?? Then in the next breath he says we want to JAIL them. What's next? We want them EXECUTED??

Point is that MOST Americans want the borders MORE secure (we're not talking East Germany here). We also want those HERE illegally to leave on their own, for the most past.

If it is tougher to get IN, and the rationale for STAYING is reduced then most of the problem solves itself! So make it TOUGH for employers to HIRE them, and force the "sanctuary cities" to obey the law, and secure the highest traffic areas!

It actually shouldn't be that tough! So why did it take 800 pages to describe this bill?? Because they hid a BUNCH of shit in there!! Sadly (for them) the bill didn't get rammed thru fast enough!!

What I can't understand is ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

What I can't understand is if we can't find them to deport them, how the hell do you find them to collect the "$5000.00 fine"? Oh I get it now those on welfare will line up and say here is my fine now give me my welfare check. Anyone like to make a guess at how many would come forward with the $5000.00 out of the good of their heart? Yeah sure.

Don't forget to give props ... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

Don't forget to give props to the Democratic upset kings (Tester, Webb) and the dean of the Senate (Byrd) for the bills defeat.
George Allen would have been bought off with a totally so-not-jewish pork barbeque fund raiser sponsored by ADM.
And cash.

I wrote here that they misu... (Below threshold)
drjohn:

I wrote here that they misunderestimated the anger in America, and they did.

Bush is an idiot.

Barney, One way to ... (Below threshold)
Allen:

Barney,
One way to help secure our borders is to put the returning GI's, in their same units, on the borders.Included with the GI's would be shrinks to help the vets get rid of the post trauma stress.

The returning vets from WWII came back on ships, anywheres from 10 to 14 days returning. They the vets had time to talk to their buddies, work out most of the nightmares they had. Today they normally are back here in 24 hours or less.

They could work with the border patrol agents and help them, plus would be helping themselves. And if Mexico doesn't like the idea of our troops on our borders, TS.

This idea might be worth a try, and save a bunch of lives in the process.

Talking to racists about ra... (Below threshold)
Lee Ward:

Talking to racists about racism is always a slippery slope.

This issue will not be solv... (Below threshold)
jim:

This issue will not be solved unless and until real jail time is given to the source of the problem: the people who ***hire*** the illegal immigrants.

No jobs to immigrate for, no illegal immigration. Conversely, as long as there's jobs available for illegal immigrants, those immigrants will find a way to make it here and do them.

A secondary solution would involve making Mexico a better nation, where people think they can actually improve themselves there. We could do that pretty simply, if not necessarily easily; just tie any and all of the funding we already give Mexico to their improving their local governments, and removing their corruption.

That would of course require that we care, which we really don't.

Don't get me wrong, I'm for a strong and secure border as well.

I'm just saying, concentrating on the illegals and ignoring the suppliers of labor, will work as well as concentrating on arresting drug addicts and ignoring the dealers.


Until that happens

This issue will not be solv... (Below threshold)
jim:

This issue will not be solved unless and until real jail time is given to the source of the problem: the people who ***hire*** the illegal immigrants.

No jobs to immigrate for, no illegal immigration. Conversely, as long as there's jobs available for illegal immigrants, those immigrants will find a way to make it here and do them.

A secondary solution would involve making Mexico a better nation, where people think they can actually improve themselves there. We could do that pretty simply, if not necessarily easily; just tie any and all of the funding we already give Mexico to their improving their local governments, and removing their corruption.

That would of course require that we care, which we really don't.

Don't get me wrong, I'm for a strong and secure border as well.

I'm just saying, concentrating on the illegals and ignoring the suppliers of labor, will work as well as concentrating on arresting drug addicts and ignoring the dealers.

This bill looks like it was a joke, and an attempt to undercut US labor as well. Glad it was defeated.

They can walk home. <... (Below threshold)

They can walk home.

Hell they walked here didn't they?

That link to the Times isn'... (Below threshold)

That link to the Times isn't working. Try this "A Failure of Leadership". That editorial is a dreadful pile of rotting compost. The bill was something similar, hence it failed. The system worked. Sigh of relief.

The anti-immigrant hard-core -- no amnesty today, no amnesty tomorrow, no amnesty forever -- must not be allowed to hold the nation hostage.
The only think I can take from this is that the Times thinks that amnesty is some kind of moral imperative. I don't see it that way, and from what I have seen, I'm not alone.

Also -- note the term "anti... (Below threshold)

Also -- note the term "anti-immigrant hard-core," in the same sentence with "amnesty!" Legal immigrants don't need amnesty! Nobody, well, hardly anybody, is anti-immigrant, it's the illegality that's the problem. The Times is using a double-shuffle to confuse their own readers. Reprehensible.

The gubmint will not now, n... (Below threshold)

The gubmint will not now, nor ever take action to alienate millions of potential voters.

It's become a self-sustaining mechanism where the primary goal is to get and hold office. Nothing else. The Constitution and the people of the United States be damned.

When Bush allies himself with the likes of the scumbag Harry Reid and Ted Kennedy, it's proof he's unwilling to do what his own base put him in office to do.

This is how to close the la... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

This is how to close the land border. Put up two fences and mind the land between them. Yes we would have to withdraw from the mind treaty but that is legal. Put up sensors and some air patrols and some observation station with orders to shot anyone who enter the dead zone. It would save more lives in the end.


The water and air pathways are more difficult to secure but are much more difficult to use than the land pathways. Air and water patrols can be increase and penalties for any one caught using them should be greatly increase.

I understand the will to do these things are probably not there but to say it can't be done is completely wrong.

I meant mine not mind.... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

I meant mine not mind.




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