For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. ---Ephesians 6:12

"The age of casual Catholicism is over; the age of heroic Catholicism has begun. We can no longer be Catholics by accident, but instead must be Catholics by CONVICTION." ---Fr. Terrence Henry TOR, Franciscan University of Steubenville

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Immigration Bill Dies in Senate

Not more than 90 minutes ago, the Immigration Bill, often referred to as the Amnesty Bill or even the Shamnesty Bill died on the Senate floor when the cloture vote failed 45-50. Senator Mitch McConnell lead the charge against the bill, but took the time to thank the 11 Democrats in joining the NO votes.

The Immigration Bill infuriated people on both sides of the issue. The Republicans have claimed that it was nothing more than a repeat of the Amnesty Bill of 1986, while many of the most liberal Democrats felt it went too far in punishing immigrants who simply want a better life (it should be noted here that liberal Democrats do not differentiate between legal and illegal immigration when the illegal immigrants vote Democrat).

The Immigration Bill debate has been marked by fractions in both parties, most notably in the Republican Party, where even President Bush and/or close allies accused the Republican base of being fear-mongering racists. Other unfair attacks came from both Linda Chavez and Giraldo Rivera, neither of whom (IMHO) would be supporting illegals if the illegals were all Russian--Chavez would be calling for investigations into Russian human-sex-trade trafficking, while Rivera would be doing stories on the Russian mafia and how their presence hurts our great nation. It is their own xenophobia that makes them support the vast wave of Hispanics entering illegally from the South.

Why has illegal immigration been a problem for so long? I'm sure all of you know, but I will go on record as to why. Both Democrats and Republicans in power have desired the influx of illegals for years for their own selfish reasons--much to the chagrin (pardon my French) of the general public. The Dems want more poor people to be dependent on the government so Dems garner more votes; while business owners (many of whom are Republican out of self interest) want cheap labor. So the government has been saying that illegal immigration is bad, while beckoning them to enter our country with a "wink and a nod" by giving them benefits and keeping the borders weakly patrolled. Large cities aren't helping by giving sanctuary to illegals or not allowing police officers to inquire legal status during arrests. I was almost certain that in 1995 when the Republicans took control of Congress, that the issue of illegal immigration would've been dealt with. But it wasn't. After 9-11 I was very certain that a wall would be built quickly, what with a Republican in the White House and Republicans still controlling both houses in Congress. But it wasn't. No, it wasn't until the Democrats took control of Congress that the issue was addressed. How insulting it has been to hear Republicans like John McCain say that it's the best bill we can get in a compromise. If they hadn't waited, there would be little need for compromise.

So what now? Will Congress take Peggy Noonan's advice and the advice of all right thinking Republicans (even most presidential candidates) and close the borders first, and THEN deal with the illegals already here? And what of those illegals currently residing in the US? Is it right for us to rip them out of their lives here (some have been here a long while) and ship them home to countries that many can no longer identify with? We as a nation shouldn't ignore the wink and nod they were given, along with their own poverty at the time, that enticed them to sneak in illegally. But how can we put them ahead of those who wait in line legally and jump through all the hoops for years and years? After we protect this country's borders we should take the time to have a national debate on their disposition...with no upside-down American flags being flown below Mexican ones. And we'll also try to forget shouts of "Osama" at sporting events between Mexico and the US, or their booing of Miss USA. Or will we?