Saturday, May 19, 2007

Bastante es Bastante revisited

The latest update on the new Amnesty Bill in Congress. The title is in reference to a post I made in 2005 if you're wondering. It means enough is enough. It seems the new bill may be a fait accompli. Dare I say that it is a travesty and a very unfunny joke. I don't care how they spin it or by what nuanced names they try to call it, it is amnesty. Not only for those already here but for the flood to come. The border security part of the bill is a farce, just like the 700 mile fence, passed and funded is sitting in limbo. All that ended up being was political drama for public consumption. 2 miles have been constructed. Let us look at a little history of past efforts from the mouth of Sen.Kennedy

1965: "The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs."

1986: "This amnesty will give citizenship to only 1.1 to 1.3 million illegal aliens. We will secure the borders henceforth. We will never again bring forward another amnesty bill like this."

2007: "Now it is time for action. 2007 is the year we must fix our broken system."

Thank you Senator Kennedy. We read about this next partnership in the Washington Post.

When Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) declared last week that unnamed "stakeholders" would decide whether Congress overhauls immigration law this year, Latino organizations in Washington understood exactly what he meant.

After laboring in obscurity for decades, groups such as the National Council of La Raza, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and the National Immigration Forum are virtually being granted veto power over perhaps the biggest domestic issue coming before Congress this year. Organizations that represent what is now the nation's largest minority group are beginning to achieve power commensurate with their numbers.

"There's a real sense that the Latino community is key to the solution in this debate, so now they are reaching out to us more than ever," said Eric Gutierrez, lead lobbyist for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF. "Neither party wants to make a misstep politically."

Such groups were practically in the room yesterday, maintaining contact as Democratic and Republican senators tried to hammer out a new immigration bill before a deadline set by Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) for today before he moved it last night to Monday. The contours began to emerge for a bill that would couple a tightening of border controls with a guest-worker program and new avenues for an estimated 12 million undocumented workers to work legally.
A deal on those tough issues could depend on the assent of Kennedy's "stakeholders," Democratic negotiators agreed. Democratic leaders, who are fighting for the loyalty of the fast-growing Latino electorate, have no desire to embrace legislation that could end up alienating the voters they are trying to woo.

Another Washington Post article takes us behind the scenes into an amazing confrontation between Senator John Cornyn and Senator McCain.

During a meeting Thursday on immigration legislation, McCain and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) got into a shouting match when Cornyn started voicing concerns about the number of judicial appeals that illegal immigrants could receive, according to multiple sources -- both Democrats and Republicans -- who heard firsthand accounts of the exchange from lawmakers who were in the room.

At a bipartisan gathering in an ornate meeting room just off the Senate floor, McCain complained that Cornyn was raising petty objections to a compromise plan being worked out between Senate Republicans and Democrats and the White House. He used a curse word associated with chickens and accused Cornyn of raising the issue just to torpedo a deal.

Things got really heated when Cornyn accused McCain of being too busy campaigning for president to take part in the negotiations, which have gone on for months behind closed doors. "Wait a second here," Cornyn said to McCain. "I've been sitting in here for all of these negotiations and you just parachute in here on the last day. You're out of line."

McCain, a former Navy pilot, then used language more accustomed to sailors (not to mention the current vice president, who made news a few years back after a verbal encounter with Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont).

"Fuck you! I know more about this than anyone else in the room," shouted McCain at Cornyn. McCain helped craft a bill in 2006 that passed the Senate but couldn't be compromised with a House bill that was much tougher on illegal immigrants.

Ultimately, a deal was crafted and, as McCain suspected, Cornyn did not join in on the final agreement.

By early Thursday afternoon, McCain joined nine other senators and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff and Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez at a Capitol press conference announcing the deal.

After making a few comments, McCain left the Capitol to head to New York for presidential campaign events. Later that day, McCain missed his 43rd straight vote, this on the $2.9 trillion budget outline.

May I respectfully say to you Senator McCain Fuck you too. It will be a cold day in hell when you get my vote. As Arnold is wont to say, hasta la vista baby. I had written Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison, both my Senators with my concern regarding this legislation and recieved this e-mail in return from Hutchisons office. It is a long letter so I will post the meat of it without all the "I did this" and "I introduced this" stuff.

I believe that granting citizenship or lawful permanent residence status to those who entered our country illegally would only encourage others to break our laws in the future. For these reasons, I opposed amnesty provisions set forth in the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006. I voted against S. 2611 because I believe that any legislation addressing immigration must first address the safety and security needs of the United States. In a world where terrorists continue to seek to harm Americans, we must protect our citizens. We have every right to know who is in our country, who has crossed our borders, and the purpose and the length of the visit. We are negligent if we do not know these things.
The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006 was passed by the Senate on May 25, 2006, by a 62 to 36 vote. Though S. 2611 passed the Senate, it was not considered by the House of Representatives prior to the adjournment of the 109th Congress. I will keep your views in mind as the Senate continues to consider this important issue in the 110th Congress.
Sadly with the House in control by the Democrats and with the collusion of several Republican lawmakers, this bill will probably easily pass muster in the conference committee unless the voice of the people and their constituents are not loud and persistent. People need to contact their Senators and Representatives, both Republican and "Blue Dog" Democrats in order to get this bill defeated. Security and border enforcement needs to come first, then and only then can we talk about any type of amnesty and guest worker program