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What a Democrat-led Congress would look like

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Want Mass Amnesty? Vote for Democrats

What a Democrat-led Congress would look like

The only thing standing between the country and mass amnesty is the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives.

Yet, the House is the body of the federal government most in danger of falling to Democrat control this year.

Political analyst Charlie Cook now has about 35 House Republicans in serious races. Democrats need a net gain of less than half of those seats to win control.

Disaster for the U.S.

For Republicans to lose control of the House in the fall elections would mark a disaster for America. House and Senate Democrats, some Senate Republicans, and the Bush Administration will then be able to force alien legalization on America—four times greater than the supposedly one-time-only mass amnesty of 1986.

Understandably, many voters feel frustration over the failure to act to control runaway immigration. Republicans control both houses of Congress and the White House, they reason, so why hasn’t the border been secured? Why has legal immigration continued apace? Why haven’t the immigration laws on the books been faithfully enforced?

The reason: Republicans agree that immigration presents problems, but there’s no agreement on the solutions.

Bottom line, as in medicine, policymakers should first do no harm. Thanks to the House GOP, harmful policy has been stalled.

As pathetic as President Bush’s approval rating is (deservedly on immigration issues), the public approves of Congress’s job performance even less. And immigration has continued to rise as a top-priority issue, poll after poll shows. Conservatives name immigration as the chief issue facing the country in a GOPUSA poll—cited by half of respondents, from a list of 19 issues.

While the House passed a strong enforcement-only bill last year, many senators proved themselves out of touch with political reality. This spring, the Senate passed a bill pushing mass amnesty, a guest-worker program bringing in hundreds of thousands more cheap foreign laborers and a near-tripling of already-too-high legal immigration levels.

Some Republican apostates favor amnesty. They call it “guest-worker” or “comprehensive reform” or some other euphemism. Disappointingly, otherwise conservative Rep. Mike Pence (R.-Ind.) has been hawking an amnesty/guest-worker plan almost as bad as the Senate bill.

The Bush Administration has wasted five years combing the dictionary and finding new words to distort and redefine as amnesty—while doing precious little to enforce the laws on the books.

But the fact is that a majority of GOP senators and the overwhelming majority of House Republicans faithfully oppose amnesty—no matter what it’s labeled. The House’s immigration enforcement bill (H.R. 4437) passed with 203 GOP votes. Only 36 House Democrats voted for tough enforcement, and just 17 Republicans opposed it.

A majority of Senate Republicans opposed the amnesty/guest-worker bill (S. 2611), while 23 GOP senators voted for it. Only four Democrat Senators cast “no” votes.

Enforcement Held Hostage

So why hasn’t Congress enacted a tough immigration bill yet? Because the pro-amnesty senators and White House have held hostage the enforcement measures that are widely agreed upon. These apostate Republicans (and Teddy Kennedy’s clones across the aisle) have refused to follow the most reasonable, rational route widely advocated by House Republicans: enforcement-only, first and foremost.

The House GOP has stood firm against the intense pressure of the open-borders crowd, both in and out of government. House hearings this summer served to highlight the terrible, injurious measures the White House and Senate are pushing. Alone, House Republicans have dug in.

Only now have Senate GOP leaders come to the right side of the issue. Their last-second efforts have tried to move some modest House measures such as a border fence and alien gang deportation.

If voters abandon House Republicans come Election Day, amnesty advocates will claim victory. They’ll allege the enforcement-only strategy backfired on the House GOP. They’ll claim the American public really wants millions more foreigners flooding the country, bringing in distant relatives, undercutting American wages and getting taxpayer-funded health care, education, welfare and the like.

If Democrats win control, that means their most liberal members will chair committees, set the legislative agenda, stack hearings with liberal “witnesses,” micromanage the economy, overregulate business, raise taxes, spend red ink, undo the Reagan-Republican Revolution, use “oversight” as a weapon and cozy up to business lobbyists who, at the end of the day, are “friends” and bankrollers of whoever is in charge in Washington.

The country’s future rests in the balance this election. If someone cares about the problems of mass immigration, cheap foreign labor, the threat of amnesty and having Spanish forced down America’s throat, then he must keep the U.S. House Republican.

James Edwards is coauthor of "The Congressional Politics of Immigration Reform."

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