"Gang of Eight" senators plotting amnesty include Mike Lee and Jeff Flake (Utah, Arizona)

According to Politico ( peekURL.com/z38JuvS ), a "Gang of Eight" Senators are meeting to discuss a renewed push for comprehensive immigration reform (aka amnesty).

The group includes usual suspects, plus one or two that might be surprising to some:

* Charles Schumer (D, New York
* Dick Durbin (D, [[Illinois)]]
* Michael Bennet (D, Colorado)
* Bob Menendez (D, New Jersey)
* John McCain (R, Arizona)
* Lindsey Graham (R, South Carolina)
* Jeff Flake (R, Arizona)
* Mike Lee (R, Utah)

The first six have been pushing amnesty for years.

Flake - a darling of fiscal conservatives and some libertarians - co-authored a 2007 amnesty bill with the ethnic nationalist Luis Gutierrez.

Lee is a Tea Parties favorite which won't be surprising to anyone who's been following my coverage of that group: virtually all their leaders are supporters of amnesty and mass immigration and in some cases illegal immigration. While much of the Teaparties base might be on the right side, they're being useful idiots for those who are on the wrong side.

Want to do something about this?

* Point out to as many Teapartiers as you can that Mike Lee supports amnesty, get them to turn on him.
* Point out to Jeff Flake's supporters the full costs of illegal/massive immigration; point out that he's not being a good fiscal conservative.
* Use the DREAM Act questions to discredit Durbin et al.

UPDATE: From this:

[Mike Lee says:] "People are finally getting beyond their almost superstitious unwillingness to approach the idea of immigration reform."

... Lee paired up with Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) last year on immigration legislation intended to attract foreign investors to buy property in the U.S. and help jolt the housing market...

The politics of immigration in Lee's home state also plays a critical role. In 2011, Utah's Republican-led state Legislature passed a package of immigration laws that’s been characterized as a pragmatic compromise: It allows work permits for illegal immigrants but also calls for law enforcement to check the citizenship status of those arrested on felonies and certain misdemeanors.

See Utah for the background, especially why the Utah Compact is wrong. While Lee isn't as bad as Chris Cannon (at least so far), he's definitely a part of the "high immigration Right".

12/12/12 UPDATE: Per this:

Sen. Mike Lee opposed amnesty for illegal immigrants in his 2010 campaign and he continues to oppose it now, which makes his inclusion in a bipartisan group working on comprehensive reform all the more surprising...

...Lee is the only participant [in the Gang of Eight] who has never supported a pathway to legal status or citizenship for the more than 11 million people in this country illegally.

"I’m not interested in anything that offers amnesty and I’ve made no secret about that," he told The Salt Lake Tribune on Wednesday. "But there, I think, is potential to find common ground."

There are basically three possibilities here:

1. Lee is playing word games. See reform not amnesty for how that works: he supports what others (such as the Tea Parties) would call "amnesty", but he's just going to call it something different ("regularization", "legalization", etc.) and make it "tough" by making illegal aliens pay a fine, etc. (see amnesty require).

2. Lee might not support legalizing all or most illegal aliens, but would support something similar such as a huge guest workers program.

3. Lee is actually serious and will oppose any attempt to legalize illegal aliens either through the "path to citizenship" or through a guest workers program. If that's that case, why won't he explicitly say he opposes legalization? Why won't he come out in favor of just attrition? And, why is he being buddy-buddy with bad guys like Schumer and Durbin? Why isn't he working to take the easy steps to discredit them as discussed above?

I'll be asking those questions in my conversation with Lee's spokesman.