Tuesday, June 26, 2007

It’s Baaa-aak! Immigration Bill Round 2.

Perhaps sensing that his legacy to the nation when he leaves office on January 20th, 2009 will be an 8.8 trillion dollar debt, endless war, and no immigration reform, George W. Bush decided to go for the one that he thinks he can fix, and got the Senate to reconsider the failed immigration bill that was cobbled together by a bipartisan Senate group.

They just voted on it today, 64 to 35, to bring it to the floor for debate.

Arlen Spector (R - Pennsylvania) predicts open trench warfare this week. That’s not a bad way of putting it. Trenches bring to mind the static positions that this issue has produced. And it looks like the bill will gain conservative support only if more punitive measures are included.

As pointed out in the Washington Post article, there has been a shift to the right on this. Twenty four amendments to the bill are going to be introduced this week, but the one that will truly be the deal killer will be the amendment that makes a path to citizenship possible if illegals follow the requirement that a head of household must return to their country of origin and file for a Z visa – not just a green card.

This is counter-intuitive. If you want to increase border security by bringing people in this country onto the radar, you don’t offer to smack them down. I was absolutely amazed at the numbers in a new first-ever poll of 1600 illegal aliens who were asked whether they would enter a legalization program. An astounding 83% said yes, but that number shrank to 63% if they had to honor the return to their home countries.

I think even those numbers are inflated. They probably didn’t question the illegals who cross back and forth all of the time, working in America for a living wage, then back to Mexico to be with their families.

All of this is just a supreme waste of time. The bill will never get out of the Senate, and even if it does we have 435 congresspeople just sitting there waiting, holding their scissors, glue and scotch tape dispensers. Nancy Pelosi estimates that she needs 70 Republican votes in order to pass this one, and from a vote just taken in the Republican Caucus, she’s just shy of that - - - 42 votes shy of that.

But I guess they don’t have anything better to do. No one is going to impeach Cheney, especially now that he apparently doesn’t actually hold office in the Executive Branch. No one is going to stop the war because we’re all waiting for September now, and at the current 3.48 per day American soldier deaths, that amounts to roughly 230 more KIAs until September 1st.

So they are going to do this instead.

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