Amnesty fans cheer GOP, Teaparty mostly ignoring immigration to oppose Obamacare (NumbersUSA, Tea Party "Patriots")
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Jim Avila and Serena Marshall of ABC News enthusiastically offer "Obamacare Backlash Leaves Room for Immigration Reform to Breathe" ( peekURL.com/zbj9LXn ). It covers how those who should be opposing amnesty are either AWOL yet again, or aren't doing things correctly.
I've been warning about the Tea Parties being a bad thing for those opposed to amnesty for over four years, and now we're seeing that in action.
What you can do about this at the end of this post, first the excerpts:
Distaste for one of President Obama's priorities seems to be offering a lifeline to a second.
One is already law; the other is working its way through Congress. One is Obamacare; the other, immigration reform.
As Congress enjoys its remaining two weeks at home over the August recess, Obamacare is dominating the attention of Republican constituents, while immigration reform seems to have few riled up.
Jenny Beth Martin, president and co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, said her group is interested in what she calls "amnesty" and the "IRS scandal," but, "Our primary issues are the economy and government spending, and Obamacare."
Jenny Beth Martin's comments are idiocy on a Tim Kaine scale. If amnesty passes, it will make things far worse for the Tea Party "Patriots". The Democratic Party and the far-left will greatly increase their power base, which they'll use to push for bigger government and more spending. Those covered by amnesty will almost certainly become part of Obamacare, greatly increasing the constituency for that program. Immigration is far more important and more fundamental than spending.
...A key Democratic congressional aide who supports immigration reform and is hip-deep in the immigration debate told ABC News August has been very constructive, so far.
"There have been very few events that are strongly anti-immigrant, where people are coming out to yell at their member to oppose any kind of immigration reform," the aide said, citing a recent Steve King anti-immigrant rally in Richmond that drew fewer than 50 people... "The status quo on immigration reform is really hard to defend.
"It kind of confirms what we've known about anti-immigration movement: It's loud but not very strong," the aide added. "Republican base is much more animated by other issues, particularly anything related to Obama, than they are anything about immigration reform."
There have been minor push-backs by the anti-immigration crowd. A new commercial in Bakersfield, Calif., KBAK/KBFX reported, accuses Rep. McCarthy of favoring undocumented immigrants over American workers.
That ad is probably from FAIR. Continuing:
...Numbers USA, an anti-reform group, did post a "toolkit" prior to the recess outlining what constituents could do to voice their displeasure with reform -- including talking points for town hall meetings.
All of that was happening while pro-immigration groups held well-attended rallies, such as one last week in McCarthy's district with more than 1,500 people in attendance.
The Democratic aide said he thought the lack of outcry against immigration could make it easier for Republicans to come out publically in favor of reform when Congress reconvenes next month.
"Some of them have felt like they'd have a big target on them if they said anything," the aide said, "and enough of them are starting to talk about this issue, from Rubio and Ryan on down, so it isn't as big a target."
Here are two things you can do about this:
1. Stress to those leading figures that oppose amnesty the absolute necessity of doing things the right way. Leading opponents include Numbers USA; FAIR; Mickey Kaus; AllahPundit; Lee Stranahan and Matthew Boyle of Breitbart News; and some top rightwing bloggers. Let them know that if amnesty succeeds, they're going to be made to shoulder part of the blame. Strongly suggest that they oppose amnesty in smart ways rather than how they're currently doing it. You can suggest that to them directly, or search for their names on Twitter and ask those they talk to why they aren't doing things the right way. You can contact or search for: @RoyBeck_NUSA, @NumbersUSA, @FAIRImmigration, @KausMickey, @AllahPundit, @Stranahan, @mboyle1, @LegInsurrection, and @AceofSpadesHQ among others.
2. Put pressure on those who concentrate on issues that are much less important than amnesty. Look up those who talk to @JennyBethM and @JimDeMint and point out to them that the priorities of Martin and DeMint need a great deal of work. Martin and DeMint claim to define conservatism; ask their supporters just how conservative it is to make opposing amnesty a low priority.
UPDATE: Anna Palmer of Politico offers "Anti-immigration reform’s laid-back summer" ( peekURL.com/zSLkY3C ), which is highly similar to the ABC post. Whether she copied their idea, came up with it completely on her own (not likely, given the similarities), or both sources are taking their marching orders from the same group isn't known.
It continues the failure outlined above:
But the conservative activist landscape has changed with the emergence of the tea party since their last battle and the those groups continue to have a fervent focus on repealing Obamacare.
“I’m not going to pretend to say right now the grass roots - I think it’s pretty obvious people aren’t worked up anywhere near the groups are that are fighting Obamacare,” [Roy Beck] said.
Many tea party groups aren’t weighing in on immigration at all, and for those that do it hasn’t emerged as a top-tier issue.
“As far as intensity on an issue our supporters are much more concerned about government over spending and the economy and Obamacare,” said Tea Party Patriots’ Jenny Beth Martin. “Those are our primary issues, so immigration and even reforming the IRS and Tax Code, those are secondary issues for us.”
And while tea party groups have continued to train their fire on Obamacare and government spending, many third party conservative groups are staying away from taking a position on immigration reform at all.
AFP spokesman Levi Russell said the group made the decision a long time ago not to get involved in immigration reform.
“We stick to our issue areas of government spending, health care and energy,” Russell said. “A lot of folks are conflicted. I haven’t seen any real effort to organize support against it.”
If anti-immigration reformers were going to kill off immigration reform once and for all, August was the time to do it. They promised to rally the grass roots and dissuade House Republicans from daring to even think about bringing it back in the fall. Instead, the anti-immigration forces haven’t turned out. (Hint: They are largely on talk radio.)
I work to show Rubin wrong; the loudest opponents of amnesty keep unwittingly helping her.
It was the kickoff of a "Stop Amnesty Tour" organized by the Tea Party Patriots and other groups. But the crowd was so sparse that immigrant advocates were soon gleefully circulating photos of the featured speaker, Republican Rep. Steve King of Iowa, standing alone on an empty stage...
"In a sort of immediate sense, Obamacare is what the party has decided they want to make a big deal of in these town halls, so that's frankly siphoning off a lot of outrage because the people ticked off about Obamacare are the same people ticked off about amnesty," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which opposes higher immigration levels...
"The big story I think of the August recess is that we haven't seen what some had predicted, this major anti-immigrant movement where members of Congress would be heckled into inaction," Galen Carey, vice president of government relations at the National Association of Evangelicals, said on a media call this week to announce a $400,000, 14-state radio ad campaign in support of immigration reform. "We've seen very much that that has been a muted voice, but actually the pro-immigrant voice has been rather prominent at many of the town halls that we have observed."
..."I think that when I heard about what happened at the Richmond event, we just look at what can we do to improve going forward, and one thing would be to give people more than 72 hours' notice," said Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots. The group is working on the events with others, including NumbersUSA, which advocates lower immigration levels.
Earlier this summer, there were predictions that the outcry from conservatives would sink the chances for immigration reform. Instead, advocates have out-organized opponents, rallying in cities across the country as they try to convince House Republicans that the politics of the issue have changed.
UPDATE 5: Still another example of the failure of leading amnesty opponents comes in "Immigration advocates claim 'resounding win' in quiet August" (link):
Advocates for comprehensive immigration reform are claiming victory in the August recess. Their argument? They won because they didn’t lose.
With legislation stalled in the Republican-controlled House, the push to overhaul the immigration system has not dominated the national headlines or evening news during the four weeks that Congress has been taking its annual summer vacation.
Proponents of reform say they entered the recess worried that foes of the effort would flood town-hall meetings and stage large rallies, in a repeat of the Tea Party uprising that threw the push for healthcare reform off track in the summer of 2009.
“What’s more important than what we have seen is what we haven’t seen,” said Jeremy Robbins, director of the Partnership for a New American Economy, a group co-founded by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg that is advocating for immigration reform. “August was a resounding win for us.”
The conservative activist Grover Norquist, who is pushing for immigration reform, also cited the lack of major opposition as the dog that didn’t bark in August. “There’s nothing like that,” he told The Hill on Tuesday. “The anti-immigrant stuff is an inch deep and a mile wide.”