|Congress's week-long Memorial Day recess was expected to leave the bill in tatters. But with a week of action set to begin today, the legislation's champions say they believe the voices of opposition, especially from conservatives, represent a small segment of public opinion. Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), who led negotiations on the bill for his party, said the flood of angry calls and protests that greeted the deal two weeks ago has since receded every day.|
"You just have to recognize you will get 300 calls, you'll get conflicts at town hall meetings -- all of them negative," said Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), who consulted with Kyl and hopes to carry a similar deal through the House in July. "The last few days have really turned things around."
Public opinion polls seem to support Kyl's contention that Americans are far more open to the deal than the voices of opposition would indicate. In a Washington Post-ABC News poll released today, 52 percent of Americans said they would support a program giving illegal immigrants the right to stay and work in the United States if they pay a fine and meet other requirements. Opposition to that proposal was 44 percent.
I would support a program like that as well if I thought such a program would exist in this bill. It doesn't and it becomes an amnesty bill for 12 million illegals who do not deserve it.
|Republicans in the coalition will be expected to oppose amendments that put them in equally difficult positions. One, sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), would expand the list of crimes making illegal immigrants ineligible for legalization. Cornyn has emphasized infractions such as gang activity and "aggravated felonies."|
Democrats say the list would virtually wipe out the legalization program by barring undocumented workers who ignored deportation orders, overstayed their visas or otherwise evaded immigration authorities.
Heaven forbid we don't reward lawbreakers. This whole thing is a mess and I am hoping someone is dumb or even smart enough to slyly kill this mess.