|But the legislation sparked a furious rebellion among many Republican and even some Democratic voters, who were linked by the Internet and encouraged by radio talk show hosts. Their outrage and activism surged to full force after Senator Jon Kyl, the Arizona Republican who was an author of the bill, suggested early this week that support for the measure seemed to be growing.|
The assault on lawmakers in Washington was relentless. In a crucial vote Thursday night, the bill’s supporters, including President Bush, fell short by 15 votes. While there is a possibility the legislation could be revived later this year, there was a glow of victory among opponents on Friday.
“Technologically enhanced grass-roots activism is what turned this around, people empowered by the Internet and talk radio,” said Colin A. Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring, a conservative group.
Mr. Hanna suggested the passion and commitment were on the side of the opponents.
“The opposition to the amnesty plan is so much more intense than the intensity of the supporters,” said Mr. Hanna, speaking of the bill’s provisions to grant legal status to qualifying illegal immigrants, which the authors of the legislation insisted was not amnesty.
Pieces like this from the Wash Post "Backers of Immigration Bill More Optimistic" where people like Kyl dismissed the opposition as a small number of people certainly did help to make people more irate.
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