Politics, ain’t it great?
House Republicans are trying to force action on a Democratic-written immigration enforcement measure, the latest GOP attempt to elevate the volatile issue into an election-year wedge.
Republican leaders hope that by pushing the bill – endorsed by 48 centrist Democrats and 94 Republicans – they can drive Democrats into a politically painful choice: Backing a tough immigration measure that could alienate their base, including Hispanic voters, or being painted as soft on border security in conservative-leaning districts.
Which bill is this? It’s a bill that emphasizing the principles of attrition through enforcement.
The SAVE Act addresses border security by increasing manpower and making needed technological and infrastructure improvements on America’s northern and southern borders, including 8,000 new Border Patrol Agents and provides the infrastructure they need to be effective.
It expands the E-Verify program to provide all employers with the tools they need to ensure that their employees are here legally. The E-Verify program is a simple, effective, and free program that allows employers to efficiently and quickly ensure that the people they hire are legally allowed to work in the U.S. The program will be phased-in over four years, beginning with the federal government, federal contractors, and employers with over 250 employees. Smaller businesses would begin using the system in a graduated manner.
The SAVE Act also provides the tools, resources and infrastructure necessary to enforce existing federal laws and penalize offenders. It increases the investigative abilities of Immigration and Customs Enforcement with more agents and more training. Additionally, it provides assistance for state and local law enforcement.
Rep. Heath Shuler, Democrat, introduced it in the House. Sen. Pryor (D), Landrieu (D) and Vitter (R) in the Senate. A total of 48 Democrats in the House and three in the Senate signed up and even RINO’s like Snowe joined along with the “get tough” side like Tancredo and Bilbray.
So whats the problem? Reid and Pelosi hate the thing and buried it, despite a clear majority who approve of it.
So they are forcing the Republicans to force a Discharge Petition. They need 20 Democrats to sign it in the House. Since 48 approved of it when it first came up that “shouldn’t” be a problem. The problem will be in the Senate where 10 Democrats can switch sides and Reid can still prevent it from coming up.
Which means it will be buried.
But make no bones about it, this issue will be coming up during the election.
Democrats are trying to turn the tables, hoping that Republicans’ efforts to push get-tough immigration measures will hurt McCain with Hispanic voters and independents, two groups that have supported him in the past.
In a letter to McCain last week, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., called on the Arizonan to reject the GOP leaders’ plans, calling them “draconian and divisive.”
“Such a rejection will let this nation’s 44 million Latinos know that demonizing them for political purposes will not be tolerated and that the more hateful rhetoric in the immigration debate has no place in our country’s civic discourse,” Menendez wrote.
Wanting to protect our borders and ensure those here ILLEGALLY are not allowed in and/or kicked out is now hateful rhetoric.
Which side will McCain come out on? Judging by the fact that he realizes his “comprehensive” bill was a mistake and has accepted the will of the people when it was defeated:
TIM RUSSERT (host): If the Senate passed your bill, S.1433, the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill, would you, as president, sign it?
McCAIN: Yeah, but we — look, the lesson is, it isn’t won. It isn’t going to come. It isn’t going to come. The lesson is they want the border secured first. That’s the lesson. I come from a border state. I know how to fix those borders with walls, with UAVs, with sensors, with cameras, with vehicle barriers. They want the border secured first — and I will do that. And, as president, I will have the border state governors secure — certify those borders are secured.
And then, we will have a temporary worker program with tamper-proof biometric documents, and any employer who employs someone in any other circumstances will be prosecuted. That means a lot of people will leave just normally because they’re not going to be able to get a job. Then, of course, we have to get rid of the two million people who have committed crimes here. We have to round them up and deport them.
As far as the others are concerned, we were in an ongoing debate and discussion when this whole thing collapsed, and part of that, I think, has to be a humane approach. Part of it has to be maybe people have to go back to the country that they came from for a period of time while we look at it. But the principle the American people want: secure the borders, reward no one ahead of someone who has either waited or come to this country legally because they have broken our laws to come here. But I’m confident — look, there’s humanitarian situations. There’s a soldier who’s missing in action in Iraq. His wife was here illegally. America’s not going to deport her.
We have humanitarian circumstances. America’s a generous, Judeo-Christian-valued nation, and we can sit down together, though, all the leading Republican candidates now just about agree that with — using those principles that I just articulated — we can fix it. But secure the borders first.
RUSSERT: But you would sign your bill if it’s passed.
McCAIN: It’s not going to come across my desk.
RUSSERT: It won’t pass.
McCAIN: I — if pigs fly. Then — look –
RUSSERT: So, it’s dead.
McCAIN: The bill is dead as it is written. We know that. We know that. And the bill is going to have to be, and I would sign it, securing the borders first and articulating those principles that I did. That’s what we got out of this last very divisive and tough debate. And we have to get those borders secured. That’s what Americans want first.
I think he realizes this SAVE bill is what the American people want and will come out in support of it, rather against it as Menendez wants.
It’s an excellent opportunity for McCain to show us that he can listen to the American people and come out in support of a bill that makes sense.