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Border Enforcement : It\’s Not Just For Racists Anymore

July 26th, 2007 by Kevin

Wow, what a turn around….with the surging polls of the anti-amnesty crowd, it\’s suddenly becoming popular for Republicans to actually care about our laws. Imagine that??? I honestly didn\’t write about this previously because….well I didn\’t think it had a shot and sure enough for awhile it did bounce back and forth and looked like it was going to die a sad lonely death.

Of course, I\’m referring to the amendment to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act of 2008, introduced by Sen. Graham of all people. And it was even a good amendment, opposed by the White House of course, which would have introduced basically just the border enforcement parts of past bills. Included in this would have been roughly $3 billion to hire more agents and perform a whole variety of border enforcement activities. Lots of good stuff in here. But it was blocked by a procedural motion yesterday….Democrats opposed it with help from Republican Senators Voinovich, Cochran, and Stevens (doesn\’t he have some bribes he should be hiding?).

There was some give and take as political showmanship took place. Apparently Cornyn and Reid came to an agreement last night though…

But Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, resolved their differences overnight and announced agreement Thursday morning. Cornyn won a promise to use some money to pursue immigrants who had entered the United States legally but had overstayed their visas.

Reid had apparently thought that Cornyn wanted harsher language.

\”I was wrong and Senator Cornyn was right,\” Reid acknowledged.

Wow, seriously, how often does that happen?? But in addition to what\’s mentioned above, it also includes that funding for additional agents, walls, vehicles, towers, etc. Basically the good parts that amnesty supporters were using to try to get the rest of America to accept amnesty. Now I can\’t verify the details, because as of my writing this post the text of the amendment is not yet available online.

After having been previously blocked 52-44, the amendment came up again and passed 89-1, with Voinovich voting against it. Abstaining from casting a vote includes Brownback (R-KS), Coleman (R-MN), Conrad (D-ND), Dodd (D-CT), Inouye (D-HI), Johnson (D-Coma), McCain (R-AZ), Obama (D-IL), Stevens (R-AK) and Wyden (D-OR). I\’m not ragging on Coleman there as his father passed away this morning, so he didn\’t take part in any votes today. But it is amusing to see the people who couldn\’t even take a stand on the issue.

So those provisions have made it into the bill. Now the White House was originally against this amendment and was threatening veto but appears to have backed off on that language. I\’m actually sort of surprised that the Democrats voted against it at first. If I were Harry Reid I would have encouraged the Democrats to vote for it and force another showdown between the White House and Senate Republicans. Many of these Senate Republicans are still stinging from the last amnesty bout and would have no interest in siding with the White House again. When given the chance, why Reid didn\’t go for the option that would have further fragmented the Republicans, I have no idea.

However, a veto-proof vote on the amendment sorta kills the possibility of a showdown with the White House, which more than likely is why the veto threats stopped….sorta. Now vigilance must be maintained as this bill goes to conference. My guess is that Democrats and the White House will try to strip the text of this amendment out. But I\’m not entirely certain they\’ll succeed. There is enough support in both the House and Senate for these provisions that almost certainly there will be a supporter on the conference committee.

Finally some good news on the immigration front….now let\’s hope it pans out. However, it is notable that alot of formerly pro-amnesty Republicans like Graham have suddenly found religion on this issue, now that they understand how insanely unpopular it was with the public. Better late than never.
In Related News :

Yes they are still attempted to sneak the AgJobs bill into the Farm Bill. The House is deliberating the Farm Bill now, and Senators Feinstein and Craig are leading the effort but it appears they are hitting more resistance than they are likely to overcome. Notable amongst opponents are Senators Harkin and Sessions.

Senator Specter is apparently thinking of trying to bring back \”amnesty that isn\’t amnesty\”, basically giving them legalized status but not citizenship. So basically amnesty as second-class citizens. Cute Senator, you might want to rethink that plan of attack. Good luck with all that.

Correction : In the first paragraph I originally said that Senator Sessions introduced the amendment, when it was actually Senator Graham.  I\’ve made the correction.  Still a little surprised it was Graham who grew the testicles.

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Posted in Immigration | 1 Comment »

One Response

  1. J. Ewing Says:

    The most surprising thing here is that we find it so surprising. That is, that something which makes so much sense and is the right thing to do, could actually get a majority vote in this Congress. The nation may survive until the next election after all.