President Bush's immigration plan to legalize as many as 12 million unlawful immigrants while fortifying the border collapsed in the Senate on Thursday, crushing both parties' hopes of addressing the volatile issue before the 2008 elections.
The Senate vote that drove a stake through the delicate compromise was a stinging setback for Bush, who had made reshaping immigration laws a central element of his domestic agenda. It could carry heavy political consequences for Republicans and Democrats, many of whom were eager to show they could act on a complex issue of great interest to the public.
After the defeat of the bill, President Bush was reported as saying,
"Legal immigration is one of the top concerns of the American people and Congress' failure to act on it is a disappointment," a grim-faced president said after an appearance in Newport, R.I. "A lot of us worked hard to see if we couldn't find common ground. It didn't work."
Actually, Mr. President, if this were about legal immigration, the voters probably wouldn't be nearly so upset. It is the fact that this was a blatant attempt to give the benfits of American citizenship to folks without their earning it that enraged so many Americans. Why is it so hard for Washington to realise the difference between LEGAL and ILLEGAL immigration?
While this is a much-needed show of empathy with the concerns of their LEGAL constituents by Senators, I disagree with the A.P.'s analysis that it could have "heavy political consequences for Democrats and Republicans", however. It has been plain throughout that a very large majority of voters in both Democratic and Republican parties was furiously opposed to this shamefully conceived attempt to ramrod millions of new illegals down the throats of American voters who have already been forecd to pay for the many peccadillos of earlier attempts at amnesty.
I think that the Republicans (and Democrats) who so strongly opposed the bill will reap rewards, while the forces of amnesty (excluding the buffoonish Kennedy, who is essentially unbeatable in Massachusetts) may well suffer for their attempt to push this shamnesty past American voters. If I were a supporter of amnesty, I would be hoping that voters forget before I face them again. The House, who would have been most concerned, must have breathed a sigh of relief, as the failure of the Senate to force cloture means the House does not even need to address the issue.
Hopefully this will serve as a lesson that however much illegals lobby Congress, American citizens and legal residents do not like to see criminals granted privileges that they cannot access. And that is what this bill amounted to- an attempt to give Mexican criminals more rights in the United States than Americans. Remember, Congresspeople- it is legal voters who hold your fate in their hands- not illegals from across the border. Next time, maybe you can figure out that simply enforcing existing laws and securing the border must come befroe you attempt to further dilute this great county with an influx of those who neither deserve nor waznt to become American.