by John Hawkins | May 1, 2007 10:33 am
In the next couple of weeks, the Senate is probably going to take up illegal immigration. As we speak, a panel of Democrats and Republicans, led by Ted Kennedy is working on a bill that in all likelihood will be an even bigger nightmare than the bill that made it through the Senate in 2006. And, if it gets through, George Bush — who might as well be an employee of the Mexican government when it comes to illegal immigration issues — will most assuredly sign it.
The good news is that the Republicans in the House will stand strong against any amnesty plan and a lot of Democrats in Republican leaning districts are going to be extremely reluctant to get on board as well. Moreover, the rumor is that Rahm Emanuel is advising the Democrats to avoid passing a bill so that the GOP will be split again on the issue in 2008.
So, the most likely scenario appears to be that a bill will pass the Senate again and then it will die in the House — which would certainly be preferable to passing an amnesty bill.
However, the immigration split the GOP faced in 2006 definitely hurt us at the ballot box and we have every reason to expect that it will hurt us again in 2008…unless, Mitch McConnell and Company in the Senate use a little “strategery.”
In fact, what the Republicans in the Senate should do specifically is take a page out of the Democrat playbook on the issue. When Ted Kennedy comes out with his amnesty bill, the GOP should pick out a dozen or so flaws in it, hammer the Democrats relentlessly on those flaws, and refuse to negotiate or offer an alternative plan.
In other words, there should be Republicans in the Senate out there every day complaining about illegal immigrants getting Social Security, illegals with criminal records becoming American citizens, illegals not having to pay all their taxes (and yes, those were all features of the old bill), or whatever other nightmare provisions turn up in this bill. Then, they should vote in a block against the bill.
That does something very simple, but very important: it will put the Republicans in the House and Senate on the same side of the issue and unite the base. Granted, you will still have disagreements between the anti-amnesty and pro-amnesty forces, but if both sides can at least agree that they don’t want to sign on to a horrible bill written by Ted Kennedy, that would be a big deal. And besides, let the Democrats be the, “Party of Amnesty,” the party that puts the welfare of illegal aliens above that of Americans, while Republicans are the law and order party and let’s see how that plays out in the 2008 elections. I believe it would definitely work in our favor.
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