Have you been watching the activities in Washington concerning the immigration reform bill? Here I was thinking conservative people don't make their voices heard and maybe don't know how to speak up anymore. But boy people sure spoke out about this proposed bill! For several weeks now Senators' phones and faxes have been on fire with an extraordinary number of calls coming in from people who don't like this immigration bill. (It seemed strange to me I heard so little about it--the bill and the reaction of the people--on the evening news. Until this morning, when the radio news said the phone system at the Senate crashed because of so many calls, I'd mostly only heard about it on conservative talk radio and TV.) I guess people really do know how to make their voices heard! Too bad we have to be pushed so far to do it.
This morning, the Senate took the vote on cloture and stopped debate on the immigration bill effectively killing it until another time. (Most speculate it won't come up again until after the 2008 presidential election, with a new President, and a new Congress).
cloture -- n. A parliamentary device to stop debate in a legislative body in order to secure a vote. -- v.t. To stop (debate) by cloture. (Funk & Wagnall's Standard Desk Dictionary, c. 1969, p.119)
I think this bill was full of bad ideas:
- It's never right to allow people to do wrong. Allowing people to come into our country illegally and then making them legal citizens? That's not right. Overlooking the fact they broke our laws? That's not right. Rewarding their refusal to respect our laws? That's not right.
- This bill had nothing in it to strengthen our borders, especially our southern border, to stop more people from breaking the law and entering the United States illegally. Where is the fence? I distinctly remember the President promising us a fence, what...like two years ago? Why isn't it being built and who's holding it up? The Democrats who oppose everything President Bush does? I've heard there's no funding for the fence. I've heard the President could use his presidential power to fund it. I've even heard there are engineering challenges. Please. Building a space shuttle is an engineering challenge. But a fence? Get real.
- What this bill really said became so clouded I don't know if anybody really knows what it said, but there was some talk about illegal immigrants who are in the U.S. paying fines as part of the process to become citizens. Let me see...if someone is already making a living without paying taxes and getting free health care through our emergency rooms, why would they pay a fine to become a citizen to gain the obligation to pay taxes and pay for their own health care? Staying illegal is a better deal.
- I could go on, but where would I stop?
What seems really, really ironic to me is that all the politically savvy people that I'm hearing talk about this say it is a failure for the President and all the blame will go to the Republicans, hurting them politically down the road, ensuring a Democratic victory in the next election...
Wait a minute. I think this bill was bad news for America. I think Democrats were trying every trick in the book (and writing some new tricks into the book) to push it through. (Including and especially my own Senator: Ken Salazar.) I think conservatives stood up and shouted until it was killed. I think it was a good thing to kill this bill. I'm grateful the Republicans finally killed it. I blame the Democrats for trying to push through a really, really bad idea. I'm more encouraged about the Republicans after this. Whoo-hoo! Way to go, Republicans! So why is this going to reflect badly on Republicans?
But then what do I know? I'm only a voter.
Making millions of illegal aliens citizens was the wrong thing to do. Enforcing our current laws regarding immigration, employment, and housing, allowing our law enforcement officials to investigate citizenship when legal and appropriate (when someone is arrested or stopped for a traffic violation and they can't produce a legal driver's license), not allowing people who are not citizens of the United States the rights of citizens, strengthening our ridiculously porous borders...these are just some of the right things to do. Our laws have served us well in this country and it is never right to ignore them and allow anyone to break them without enforcement. It's never right to do the wrong thing.
It's never wrong to do the right thing. It seems to me the Republicans stood up and did the right thing. No buts about it.