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- 02-03-2012, 01:03 PM #1
Dems face tricky immigration choice
By Alexander Bolton
02/03/12 06:00 AM ET
Democrats face a politically tricky choice over whether to pursue a compromise with Republicans on immigration reform that was recently floated by Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
The Republican presidential contenders are willing to grant illegal immigrants legal status if they came to the country at a young age and served in the military.
It’s a tough election-year call for Democrats for several reasons.
Immigration reform has been a winning issue for them as staunch GOP opposition has driven Hispanic voters to support Democratic candidates in recent cycles.
Hispanic voters helped Democrats win tough Senate races in Colorado and Nevada in 2010. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) bolstered his standing among Hispanic voters by claiming immigration reform as one of his highest priorities.
During his State of the Union address last month, President Obama called for Congress to resurrect the DREAM Act, even though lawmakers say there is virtually no chance of it passing the GOP-controlled House.
Striking a compromise would allow Republicans to earn some points with Hispanic voters and lessen pressure on Republican lawmakers to support more comprehensive immigration reform.
Walking away from possible common ground, however, could leave Democrats open to criticism that they missed a chance to make incremental progress.
At a debate in Florida last week, Romney and Gingrich said they could support a scaled-down version of the DREAM Act.
The DREAM Act, which Democrats have tried unsuccessfully to pass the last several years, would grant legal status to illegal immigrants who crossed the border at a young age if they meet certain conditions. The legislation, which has previously gotten a few Republican votes, has been criticized by many in the GOP for granting “amnesty.”
Romney and Gingrich, the two front-runners for the 2012 GOP nomination, say they could support it only if it were scaled back.
“I wouldn’t sign the DREAM Act as it currently exists, but I would sign the DREAM Act if it were focused on military service,” Romney said.
That clarification came soon after Romney had vowed to veto the DREAM Act, triggering criticism from prominent Hispanic Republicans. During the presidential debates, Romney hammered Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) for signing into law a version of the DREAM Act in the Lone Star State.
Gingrich and Romney would lop off part of the DREAM Act that would grant legal residency to alien minors who came to the country at age 15 or younger, live in the country for at least five years and complete at least two years of higher education.
Some Democrats are unsure whether they will embrace the Gingrich-Romney approach.
“I think it’s a step in the right direction,” said Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act.
“If you are willing to accept that military service is the kind of bona fide that credentials a young person to take advantage of college benefits, I’d want to explore what other kinds of service might also qualify with them before I wrote off drawing the line there. I’ll do a bit more exploring but it’s a good start,” Whitehouse added.
Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), a leading Democratic voice on immigration reform, said he would prefer to pass the DREAM Act in its entirety, but would not rule out a compromise.
“My belief is we should try to pass the whole DREAM Act. As for what compromise might come about, that’s down the road,” said Schumer.
Other Democrats reject out of hand the GOP proposal to rewrite the DREAM Act.
“I don’t support that,” said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), the lead Senate sponsor of the DREAM Act. “That will literally mean that those who came to this country at an innocent situation early in life have only one way to become legal, and that’s to join the military. I want men and women to join the military out of a sense of duty and patriotism, rather than to feel they are desperate and have no other place to turn.”
The day after the GOP presidential debate in Tampa, Fla., Rep. David Rivera (R-Fla.) introduced the Adjusted Residency for Military Service (ARMS) Act, which followed the outlines set by Romney and Gingrich.
Rivera said he first talked to Gingrich about the bill in November.
He said Democrats should support it because it’s the only immigration reform proposal that has a chance of passing Congress this year.
“Any Democrats who take a reasonable approach to immigration reform understand the realities we’re facing in the 112th Congress. If we want to do something to help young people in this Congress, this is the only option,” said Rivera, who has endorsed Gingrich.
“If Democrats want to take an all-or-nothing approach, there will be nothing. If someone is willing to die for America, we can give them a chance,” he said.
“I’m comfortable with that [the Romney-Gingrich position] and I think most Republicans are,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who backs Romney and is seen as a possible running mate.
Even if the Romney-Gingrich compromise passed the Senate, it’s unlikely it would pass the House because most Republicans in the lower chamber say the top priority on immigration is securing the borders.
Politically, the scenario of House GOP leaders breaking from their White House nominee would play well for Democrats just months before the election.
Meanwhile, immigration experts say Pentagon officials have tightened their application processes in recent years.
Gregory Chen, the director of advocacy at the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), said illegal immigrants are currently prohibited from serving in the military.
He said military recruiters now carefully check Social Security numbers to make sure inductees are legal residents, a precaution not always taken in the past.
Chen noted that non-citizens receive expedited processing for citizenship if they serve in the military. He also noted that legal residents can win citizenship posthumously if killed in the line of duty, which can benefit surviving relatives.
“AILA would generally support providing a path to legal status, but this bill is very small in the sense that it will enable very few people to qualify,” he said of Rivera’s legislation.
Chen estimated that the Gingrich-Romney plan would only affect 1,000 people a year.
Rivera disputed that assertion.
“It’s impossible to estimate,” he said.
Dems face tricky immigration choice - TheHill.comIf a man sneaks into your home he is a burglar, not an undocumented tenant you must provide for!
- 02-03-2012, 01:17 PM #2
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ALIPAC is going to come out strong against any plan to allow illegal aliens to join the US military and gain access to elite weaponry and combat training. Big NEGATIVE on that.
WClick here to learn more about William Gheen President of ALIPAC
- 02-03-2012, 02:03 PM #3
This is just BS.
Hispanic voters helped Democrats win tough Senate races in Colorado and Nevada in 2010. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) bolstered his standing among Hispanic voters by claiming immigration reform as one of his highest priorities
It has been PROVEN that over 5000 illegal aliens voted in a Federal election in Colorado. The Democrat,who supports the rights of illegal foreign nationals over citizens, won by less than 1000 votes.
The election should have been "called" for fraud and Bennet should not be in the Senate.
Harry Reid is, in my opinion, a pathetic political w****, that will take any cheat he can to stay in power.
Interesting input from the 2010 elections.
Illegal Immigrants for Obama
Posted on October 26, 2010 by Ben Johnson
In a desperate push to keep the Senate in friendly hands, Barack Obama took to the airwaves of Univision Radio on Monday and encouraged Hispanic voters to join him in his plan to “punish our enemies.” It appears Hispanics have sunk to the challenge. Among the most motivated members of Obama’s nightmare coalition are those who have no right to play any role in the American political process, or even to be in this country, generously financed by Democrats and their political allies.
Last Thursday, Obama campaigned for Democratic Senator Patty Murray in Seattle, and across Oregon, delivering a speech noted for its fearmongering. The Associated Press reported Friday that “dozens” of illegal immigrants are crisscrossing Seattle to campaign for Democratic U.S. Senator Patty Murray. Dozens is putting it modestly. All told, “About 150 volunteers rolled out in nine cities across Washington this past week, knocking on 3,000 doors.” AP credits the pro-illegal immigration organization OneAmerica Votes with launching “one of the largest get-out-the-vote campaigns in the state on behalf of Democratic candidates.”
In its grand tradition of missing the forest for the trees, the dinosaur media have focused on individual foot soldiers like Maria Gianni, one of the illegals in the Seattle GOTV drive. Gianni told reporters she feared being asked about her immigration status and being deported, “But if there’s a change, I would feel like I contributed, even in a small part, to a change we all need.” In some quarters, Gianni is being hailed as a fearless hero braving arrest for her beliefs – although Seattle is a sanctuary city that provides free health care to illegal aliens. She and other illegals need not fear that the law will halt their interference in another country’s political process.
Bribery and Voter Fraud
And it appears American liberals feel no guilt bribing them to do so. OneAmerica hosted a “New Americans Ballot Initiative Party” in Seattle last Monday, offering “immigrants” a variety of enticements to vote for the Democrats. The meeting will begin with “details about the ballot initiatives facing voters this fall and…their impact on immigrant communities across the state. Free food, music and other entertainment will be provided as new Americans and their allies celebrate the democratic process by casting their ballots together.” (Emphasis added.)
The Democratic Party itself has hosted a number of “will vote for food” events on three South Dakota Indian reservations. Sharron Angle has accused Sen. Harry Reid of giving away free food at similar early voting events in Nevada. Silver State officials have decided to look the other way, although Nevada Revised Statutes 293.700 states: “A person who bribes, offers to bribe, or uses any other corrupt means, directly or indirectly, to influence any elector in giving his or her vote or to deter the elector from giving it is guilty of a category D felony.” Indeed, it seems it may be illegal not to vote for Reid. Local news reports show early voters in Boulder City, Nevada, who came to elect Angle found their ballots already marked for Harry Reid.
The OneAmerica Votes early voting event, its use of illegal aliens, and widespread reports of voter fraud raise the question of whether illegal aliens may be part of a voter fraud effort by the Democratic Party. Illegals have been known to vote in the past. On Election Day, two cities – San Francisco and Portland, Maine – will vote on proposals that would formally allow illegal immigrants to vote.
Until illegals are granted amnesty or vested with formal suffrage rights, left-wing organizations appear to be registering phantom voters, whose role on election day is played by illegals. Obama’s closest labor ally, SEIU, is working through Mi Familia Vota, an organization that has submitted thousands of disputed last minute voter registrations in Colorado and Arizona. Labor unions have undertaken the heavy lifting of Hispanic outreach, legal or otherwise:
“Without unions such as the Service Employees International Union and a network of nonprofit organizations, “there wouldn’t be a meaningful Latino voter mobilization effort,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, which is working with Latino organizations on turning out the vote.”
“The SEIU is sinking $10 million into California alone, while the other groups are spending more than $5 million, according to the organizations.”
The Democratic National Committee refuses to confirm how much it has spent on Hispanic outreach in 2010. (It spent $20 million in 2008.) However, Latino voter “enthusiasm” has risen 18 percent over the last month, according to a poll conducted by Latino Decisions. Frank Sharry had a role in the poll.
The importance of the Hispanic vote cannot be underestimated for the Democrats’ hope to maintain political power. The Washington Post noted last Tuesday, “Hispanic voters could swing key midterm races, group finds.” An SEIU/America’s Voice press release claims, “40 Competitive Races in 12 States Could Hinge on Latino Voter Turnout.”
Democrats frankly admit their hopes rise and fall on identity politics:
“The party absolutely understands the importance of the vote, as a base vote and a vote that was very decisive the last time around,” said Fernand Amandi, vice president of Bendixen & Amandi, a leading Hispanic polling firm that worked with Hillary Clinton during the presidential primary and with Obama during the general election.”
Amandi added, “It is a statistical fact that the Florida vote in 2008 was decided by the shift in the Hispanic vote.”
Obama, Labor Exploits the Hispanic Vote for a Permanent Left-Wing Majority
Much more is at stake than the 2010 elections, Democratic electoral dominance, or even the integrity of the American vote. The Left openly states it hopes to exploit Hispanic voters to create a permanent, left-wing electoral majority within the United States. SEIU International Secretary-Treasurer and honorary chair of the Democratic Socialists of America Eliseo Medina let the cat out of the bag last summer. Medina, who was also a member of Barack Obama’s National Latino Advisory Committee, told a far-Left conference if liberals “reform the immigration laws – it puts 12 million people on the path to citizenship and eventually voters. Can you imagine if you had even the same ratio, two out of three, if we get eight million new voters that care about our issue and will be voting, we will create a governing coalition for the long-term, not just for an election cycle.”
(Story continues after video.)
The video has been "removed by user" per youtube.
Barack Obama longs to legislate his belief that “Being an American is not a matter of blood or birth.” Since he lacked the votes for amnesty even with a lopsided Democratic majority, Obama has granted de facto amnesty to many illegals in anticipation of congressional action, passive aggressively creating the crisis conditions that he hopes will force lawmakers to pass “comprehensive immigration reform.” He has proven so successful, illegal immigrants who left the United States during the 2008 recession are returning.
As the media ignore the facts about Seattle, they obscure the larger picture about this election. Non-citizens are the firewall the Democrats are relying upon to maintain their vice grip on power until they can fundamentally transform America. The Obama administration dangles the enticements of the world’s greatest gift – American citizenship – and increased welfare spending while his Big Labor cronies finance, fund, bribe, or cajole them into electoral activity. Their combined efforts threaten our constitutional system of government.