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RNC's Michael Steele supports amnesty at meeting with far-left, Mexico-linked groups

Two days ago I posted a notice that Michael Steele of the RNC was going to meet with extremist and Mexico-linked illegal immigration supporters and urged others to contact him suggesting that he handle the meeting in the correct way [1]. Not surprisingly, Steele handled the meeting in the completely incorrect way (link):

According to a news release put out by the activists [2], he said he would try and recruit Republican support for comprehensive immigration legislation.

The RNC says he made no such commitment. The immigration activist who led the meeting said he did, but then [Steele] backpedaled after being signaled by a staffer that he may have gone too far...

...Pramila Jayapal, executive director of OneAmerica, the largest immigrant rights coalition in Washington state, said that Steele committed himself to a “holistic bipartisan consensus on immigration reform” and said he believes the Republican party should be “reaching out.” She said he said he would call Graham and work with the party leadership to “determine where things are in immigration reform.” But she said he stopped short of promising to recruit other Republicans.

But the second activist said he did in fact make that offer. (Josh Hoyt), executive director of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, said Steele went through a list of possible Republicans in the Senate who might sign on to the effort, said he would try to recruit another sponsor and agreed with the activists on their goal of getting legislation introduced by April 30.

But Hoyt said that midway through the meeting, an RNC staffer signaled to Steele that he should “walk back what he had said.” After that, Hoyt said, Steele said he emphasized that he could not “get ahead” of Republican Senate leaders.

Julia Preston of the New York Times says (link):

Mr. Steele stressed that border security was the primary goal for Republicans in the immigration debate, several participants said. He seemed unfamiliar with the details of the proposal by Mr. Graham and Mr. Schumer, they said... But he “committed to looking at the Schumer-Graham bill to see how they can move forward with this bill,” said Tony Asion, executive director of (El Pueblo North Carolina), an immigrant organization in North Carolina, who is a Republican.

That underlines how in some cases those who harp on secure the border are just using it to mask how weak they are on amnesty.

[1] I posted that to FreeRepublic (and got the expected unhelpful responses: freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2483320/posts), Reddit (+2, -2), and a couple blogs. Needless to say, this is yet another example of how it's difficult to get people to do things that are effective. If I'd suggested waving loopy signs and throwing tantrums my postings would have probably received wide acclaim and maybe a link from Glenn Reynolds.

[2] communitychange.org/press-room/press-releases/
immigrant-leaders-get-commitment-from-rnc-chairman

Thu, 04/01/2010 - 09:10 · Importance: 4