Because the Congress is in recess this Memorial Day week, the Republic is safe from its depredations for a few days. Nancy Pelosi is off on her Global Warming tour of Europe (though probably not on a ticket that’s priced to include the EUnuch’s proposed tax on air travel to reduce pollution.) Baby Obama is probably in a tutoring session designed to teach him the definition of a “flack jacket,” a garment presumably worn by his campaign spokesmen. In a press release he mistook it for a “flak jacket”, the term for the WW2 body armor worn by bomber crews. All week, we’ll be subjected to more spin and verbal abuse by those out flacking for the Senate immigration “grand compromise” bill, support for which has earned the President a strong accolade from Eleanor Clift. Which should be — but isn’t — enough to prove why the Senate bill is a disaster. The fact that both John McCain and Ted Kennedy support it is.
So the boys and girls will be out in their states and districts, speaking but not listening, kissing babies, shaking hands and begging for campaign contributions for the 2008 races. Last week, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.) said that the Senate immigration bill would pass soon. It would be very unwise to ignore McConnell’s prediction. So while the members talk, and despite the fact that many do not want to listen, we have to speak out loudly, clearly, and persistently. In person, on the phone, by e-mail and however else we can do it, the message that we oppose the Senate immigration bill is the top priority this week. Here are a few points that should be made.
First, remind them that no one has a “right” to immigrate to America. It is neither bigoted (thanks for the slap, Sen. Graham) nor xenophobic to place conditions on immigration that protect our security and our economy. The Senate bill endangers the former and — as the Heritage Foundation’s Robert Rector has demonstrated — will destroy the latter.
Second, don’t let them get away with the “it’s the best we can do” spin from Congress and the White House that beclouds the Senate bill. That’s the same argument that was made last year about the equally bad 2006 Senate “immigration reform” bill. It wasn’t true then, and it isn’t true now. What they’re saying is that this is the best that can be done easily to dispense with the issue for another decade or two. It is not, to paraphrase Churchill, enough to whine that we are doing our best: it is essential that we succeed in doing what is necessary. It would be far better to kill this bill and put the issue off until legislation that actually secures the borders can be agreed upon.
It’s ludicrous to say — as Homeland Security Secretary Chertoff did last week — that those who oppose the Senate bill are effectively advocating a “silent amnesty” that will leave the situation unchanged. Dear Judge Chertoff (cc to President Bush): Baloney. Secure the borders — which you have yet to demonstrate much interest in doing — and then we’ll talk about guest worker programs, chain immigration, and the rest.
Third, ask why — twenty-one years after the Simpson-Mazzoli amnesty bill — we should believe congressmen or senators when they insist: (1) that this amnesty will not beget another; (2) that the government will suddenly become serious about protecting our borders or enforcing penalties for employing illegals; or (3) that the government will be competent in administering a new series of requirements that are as simple as the Internal Revenue Code.
We demand that the borders be secured, that the laws against employing illegals be enforced, and that border security be provably demonstrated to have succeeded before the people here already are granted some legal status. Until the borders are proven to be secured — by objective standards, over a sufficient period of years — the members of Congress should be told we simply do not believe them when they promise to do it. Remind them of what Fred Thompson said in his underrated Lincoln Club speech, that Americans are not as worried about the 12 million illegals here now as we are about the next 12 million and the 12 million after that.
Fourth, remind them of what real border security means. As Wayne Simmons wrote here last week, it consists of dedicated national assets: satellite reconnaissance, active international human intelligence and a border security force designed to prevent intrusions.
As much as it pains us to do so, we have to follow the motto of a Democrat, “Give ‘em Hell.” Harry Truman was famous for saying that, “I don’t give ‘em hell. I just tell the truth and they think it’s hell.” Seek out your representatives and senators. Tell the truth about the Senate bill. They’ll think it’s hell.