Senate immigration amnesty bill: the supporters

Outside a number of Senators, there aren't too many who support the Senate's immigration amnesty/"guest" worker plan. This post will keep track of them, and I urge everyone to hold those below accountable whether the bill passes or not. I also urge everyone to keep calling Congress, but, even more importantly, follow the steps previously outlined to help stop amnesty.

The supporters:

* Of course: president Bush, Sens. John McCain and Ted Kennedy

* From "Few senators support the illegals bill" (link):

Sen. Arlen Specter, one of the Republicans who helped craft the deal, said it's the best they could do... "It will treat the 12 million undocumented immigrants in a constructive way. It is not amnesty. They'll have to pay a fine. They'll have to earn their way to citizenship," he said on CBS' "Face the Nation." "It's better than what we have now." Georgia, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, one of the secret negotiators, was also booed [like Lindsey Graham] at that state's Republican convention... ...Meanwhile, Republicans' chief negotiator in the closed-door sessions, Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona, wrote a column for the Arizona Republic newspaper yesterday saying he won't support the bill if major changes are made during the floor debate... "If the consensus we reach is not accurately reflected in the final legislative language, or is seriously undercut by amendments in the Senate or House, it will lose support, including from me," he wrote... ...Seven Republicans, including the party's chairman, Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida, Mr. Chambliss and Mr. Kyl, the Senate Republican Conference chairman, were at the press conference announcing the bill...

* DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff meanwhile challenged critics to offer alternative solutions instead of simply saying "this isn't good enough." (link; the obvious answer is, of course, that he should do his job)

* [Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez says] "I have the impression that perhaps for some people, the only thing that would not be amnesty is mass deportation... We don't think that's practical, we don't think that's logical, we don't think that's humane and that would hurt our economy. So it's not amnesty."

* [Sen. Lindsey Graham says (ibid)] "To my colleagues who have come on the floor to tear this bill down with no alternative, you're not doing this country a service and I will push back... If you’ve got a better idea and you can lead us to a better solution, I'm all for it. But if all you're going to do is embrace the status quo, I’m going to be your biggest critic.

* The Wall Street Journal editorial board offered "Immigration Opening" on Saturday (link), which was followed by several reader letters almost all denouncing the bill (link). Today, John Fund offers "Don't Run for the Border - America needs immigration reform, but not a law enacted in haste" (link), perhaps as an indirect acknowledgement of the bill's failings.

* Even deeper inside the compound, we find Tamar Jacoby, who's profiled in "An Advocate Rallies to Unify GOP" (link)

Last week after a deal was reached in the Senate, Jacoby held a conference call with 20 business owners Friday to explain the politics of the overhaul... [She's praised by] Randel Johnson, a vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce... ...Jacoby sat at a table in the Senate Chef last week surrounded by two Texas bankers, a cattle rancher and a guy who represents Rio Grande Valley orange growers, all of whom had flown in to put a last-minute press on their congressional representatives... "The most important thing is the temporary-worker program," Jacoby told them. Lawmakers "are going to go all out to cut it in half and unless business goes all out, like D-Day, they will surely win." ...She is willing to work with religious and civil rights groups, including the Roman Catholic Church and the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group, to achieve the goal... ...the leader of a Latino civil rights group tapped Jacoby on the shoulder. Brent A. Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens...

* Safely outside the compound, Michael Barone phones in to say that he supports the bill, despite not having read it.

* In the basement of the compound, Captain Ed decides to be even more like Hugh Hewitt than Hugh Hewitt, saying today [1] that

"Conceptually, I think it could work -- but the bill doesn't quite match the concepts outlined in the announcement, either."

In a previous post [2], he offered this stock talking point:

Everyone agrees that the system is broken; in fact, that's about the only agreement to be found.

* In the subbasement, Dafydd ab Hugh shows how little he knows about this issue and continues to support some form of "regularization" (the same word the Mexican government uses) [3]

UPDATE: NAU apologist Michael Medved comes out in favor of it (link):

the bi-partisan Senate bill makes a point of rewarding only good behavior... ...And speaking of rewarding good behavior, and punishing the bad: those courageous conservatives (Senators Kyl, Graham, Isakson and, yes, McCain) who have worked constructively and seriously on immigration reform deserve our support, not our rage, while those politicians and media figures who have demagogued this issue in a way that only makes it worse, in no way merit our encouragement.

UPDATE 2: I knew this would come sooner or later. Instapundit says [4]:

WHY PEOPLE WHO HATE THE IMMIGRATION BILL SHOULD BACK THE IMMIGRATION BILL: Okay, I had this thought last night as I was drifting off to sleep. But the Nyquil wore off and I still think it may make sense. Lots of people think that the immigration bill stinks, and want to punish the GOP by staying home in 2008. Fair enough. But if you plan to punish the GOP in 2008, then you might want to support the immigration bill now. Why? Because if the Democrats win the White House and Congress in 2008, you'll get a bill that you like a whole lot less! So if you plan to punish the Republicans later, you should encourage them to pass their bill now... There's got to be something wrong with this analysis, I just can't figure out what it is. Anyone? Kaus? Anyone?

UPDATE 3: Here's another Chertoff quote:

"You know, Wolf [Blitzer], first, I understand there's some people who expect anything other than capital punishment is an amnesty. The reality is the proposal here requires people who came in illegally who want to stay to pay a penalty. Like a fine. That's a punishment. That's not an amnesty."

UPDATE 4: Jorge Mursuli, National Executive Director, Democracia Ahora (a project of People For the American Way) offers "Senate's Immigration Proposal Needs Work, but Is Salvagable".

UPDATE 5: Dick Morris: "Republicans should back immigration compromise"

UPDATE 6: Sen. Trent Lott says:

"Is the current situation in America with legal and illegal immigration intolerable and unacceptable? Yes. Everybody would agree. Is this bill better than the current law? Without a doubt, yes. Are we going to have another opportunity to do this better next year or the next year? The answer is no. We've got to do it. We've got to do it as good as we can. We've got to do it right now."

UPDATE 7: Sen. Mitch McConnell says he'll support the bill, and also says:

"This is a divisive issue... I don't think there's a single member of either party next year who is going to fail to be re-elected over this issue."

SPECIAL HACK UPDATE: Hacks - not all of whom specifically support the Senate bill - have started their rampage of smears against those who oppose massive illegal immigration: Linda Chavez, Michael Gerson, and Robert Novak.

SPECIAL "LIBERAL" HACK UPDATE: Eleanor Clift offers "Bush Is Right—On Immigration, Anyway". She and the preceding hacks aren't that much different. Let's count the lies:

Just as [Pete Wilson]'s anti-immigrant [lie] policies turned California into the bluest of Blue States [misleading if not wrong], the angry, racist and xenophobic rhetoric emanating from the Republican right [smear and largely false] is turning the fastest-growing voting bloc in America against the GOP... Seeing a way to rally the base and respond to the growing anti-immigrant sentiment [lie], House Republicans pushed and passed legislation that was racially divisive and punitive [lie], cracking down on those who aided illegal immigrants - even church groups [lie]. The bill sparked massive rallies across the country against the Republican Congress [some of the organizers of those rallies were Mexican political parties and those linked to the Mexican government]. Rosenberg's New Democrat Network monitored ads in 25 states picturing a Mexican immigrant side by side with an Islamist terrorist. [Chuck Schumer created a similar TV ad]



The letters to the editors at the open borders Orange County Register are all against the bill as well. What is Cheroff's email? I'll send him my alternative plan!

Michael "The Skull" Chertoff holds dual citizenship, and this guy is in charge of homeland security? Couldn't they find an American to do the job?

Of all the voices, Chertoff and Gutierrez say the most idiotic things. OK, guys, here's my alternative: quit holding enforcement hostage to amnesty and guest worker. Forget amnesty and guest worker and separately pass mandatory ID verification, high employer fines, and fund lots of inspectors and auditors. A la the IRS, create a snitch line program with rewards to report suspected illegal employers. A la drug laws, in addition to fines and jail terms, add asset forfeiture. Here is what the WSJ thinks of enforcement: 'GOP lawmakers want to harass businesses by increasing the penalties for unlawful hiring and require employers to electronically verify the immigration status of new employees.' Heaven forbid! They obviously think an employer should be able to hire anyone it wants, legal or illegal. They are like Teddy Kennedy on illegal alien fear of being caught. He goes on about how horrible it is that an illegal alien have even the slightest worry about authorities. So I guess that means he won't be satisified until an illegal alien can cross the border and from his first step in the U.S. know absolutely 100% he is home free. Our current Ivory Soap-like % isn't good enough. Teddy says worksite 'raids' are unacceptable so he and the WSJ are on the same page--no border, no law.

Any bill that includes amnesty is so flawed that I am not concerned about what the dems will do if they get the white house and both houses of congress. The intimation that we will get a worse bill next time around is absurd. This bill throws open our country to any child molester or or serial rapist that wants to take a walk in the desert. Exactly how do you think the dems will do worse. If the gop lets any form of amnesty get signed into law, it becomes inevitable that the dems will have complete control of our government and will do what they want. This is clearly a line in the sand and the future of the gop is riding on their performance here. They lost power because they didn't even try to govern conservatively. If they committ another unforced error, they are toast.

Great ideas, Amanda. And while we are distracted by the fight on this current amnesty bill, 5000 or more, cross the border daily. We are waiting for another empty promise of enforcement? Silly us. No enforcement of the laws in the past, present or future is reality. Silly government. Had they come down hard with enforcement some months, or years ago, this bill might have slid through with ease (not saying its any good, just would have been more likely to pass quickly). As regards employer penalties, perhaps smaller, but more frequent penalties could be tried. Like a speeding ticket. And just like a traffic stop, "Good faith efforts" or feigned ignorance, would be irrelevant. NO excuses, just a quick $500 ticket each and every occurence, and let the local government keep the cash. And like speeding tickets, increase the penalty based on frequency and severity of the violations. Local law enforcement wouldn't have to enforce federal immigraton law, just write tickets. Lots of tickets. Most PD's already have vice and drug squads, just add one for employment violations. Could be self supporting with the fines. I like your idea for more inspectors and a snitch line we could all use. I would include these "tickets", not just for the big hotels, casinos, and homebuilders, but also for our "friends" and neighbors who hire nannies, gardeners, or unlicensed contractors, too.

Please consider signing the petition against this amnesty bill. The text of the petition is here [1] with a link to the petition.