Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Numbers on the New Congress Add Up To Despair For Pro-Amnesty Forces

By Roy Beck

A bold college student politely asked me an interesting question during my presentation this morning to university students from around the country.

She said she -- like many students in the auditorium -- had worked passionately for the DREAM Act amnesty. She said they now are so discouraged and want to know what advice I could give that would offer them hope for passing the amnesty in the future.

But the numbers I provided the students about the changed composition of the House of Representatives sworn in today was not cause for much hope for amnesty supporters.

Look at the numbers I extrapolated from the assessment our NumbersUSA staff made about every one of the 435 Members sworn into the House today . . . .

226 -- If everybody had voted on the DREAM Act just before Christmas, it would have gotten 226 YES votes (actual tally was 216).

208 -- And 208 Members of that Lame Duck Congress would have voted NO (actual tally was 198).

But if the DREAM Act was brought up for a vote in the new Congress today, I think these would likely be the numbers:

174 -- Those who would vote YES.

261 -- Those who would vote NO.

Talk about discouraging to the pro-amnesty set!

And this 174-261 failed vote on the DREAM amnesty would likely to be the closest the Expansionists could get to a majority because the DREAM amnesty was by far the most publicly popular piece of the much-touted "comprehensive immigration reform" that couldn't even get the time of day in the Congress that just ended.


Keep in mind that the majority of the House is 218. That's what it takes to pass something (or kill something if everybody votes).

The hard-core Expansionists in the House have dropped from 151 to 134. These are the people who not only want a blanket amnesty for all illegal aliens but also want to increase the number of permanent foreign workers brought into the country.

The soft-core Expansionists have also dropped, from 75 to 40. These are the kind of Members that pushed the DREAM amnesty just over the line to pass in December. Most of these types aren't very excited about a mass amnesty and they definitely are not committed to importing more foreign workers. It will take some work by the constituents in their Districts, but I think many of these pro-DREAM-amnesty Representatives can be persuaded to vote for enforcement bills that will move illegal aliens out of their jobs so that unemployed Americans can have them. But the good news is that we don't actually need any of them to pass the enforcement bills because of the next numbers I'll give you.

73 Members of the new House took the NumbersUSA survey and pledged to support every enforcement measure and every reduction in legal immigration advocated by NumbersUSA.

That is up from 35 in the old Congress.

They combine with others to add up to 113 hard-core Reductionists who not only lead the way for the toughest enforcement measures but want reduction in legal immigration.

But 113 is still a long way from 218. The 113 have to provide the energy and leadership to pull another 105 with them if the House is to pass reduction/enforcement bills this year.

Fortunately, there are 148 other Members who are anti-amnesty and pro-enforcement. Nearly all of them range between strongly committed enforcement champions and lightly committed. But they have shown little sign of understanding how important it is to reduce the level of legal immigration. I don't think we have to worry about them being pulled into any kind of amnesty camp. But all of you who live in their Districts have your work cut out for you to persuade them to join our 113 hard-core Reductionists in ending the Visa Lottery, in ending Chain Migration, in ending Birthright Citizenship and in ending massive importation of specific foreign workers for jobs that unemployed Americans would like to have.


Everything is just as dismal for amnesty supporters in the Senate as in the House. But passing tough enforcement bills is not going to be easy for us.

55 -- The DREAM amnesty could get only 55 YES votes in the Senate in December, five short of the 60 needed to pass.

45 -- If all Senators had voted, there would have been 45 NO votes.

Because only one-third of Senators were up for re-election, voters were not able to change the Senate as much as they changed the House. But I think if the DREAM vote were held today in the NEW Senate, these would be the numbers:

50 -- The YES votes would fall 10 short of the 60 needed.

50 -- The NO votes would tie.

Again, remember that this would be on the most popular slice of the pro-amnesty Expansionist agenda.

What would happen if strong enforcement legislation could come to the floor of the Senate?

Majority Leader Reid (D-Nev.) wouldn't allow enforcement legislation to receive votes during the last Congress. If he had, I believe the vote might have been 52 YES and 48 NO.

In the NEW Senate, I believe we have a very good shot at passing tough enforcement legislation with 60 YES votes and only 40 NO votes.

However, all of you will have to apply immense pressure to first of all force Majority Leader Reid to allow votes on enforcement, which is unlikely to happen unless Minority Leader McConnell (R-Ky.) becomes a true champion of enforcement.

We can only win on the floor if all 47 Republicans buck the Chamber of Commerce and vote for the enforcement. A tall order. But we have seen this kind of success at times in the past when Republicans feel enough public pressure from the grassroots.

If we get the 47 Republicans, we will need 13 Democrats.

I think we have six strong Democrats right off the bat -- the six who opposed the DREAM amnesty.

But what a fight we have on our hands this year in persuading the last seven needed to reach 60 votes. I can see the scenario, but it won't be easy.

If you are pro-amnesty, the numbers in the new Congress have turned totally against you.

But the new numbers aren't guaranteeing that we can win, either.


State pols seek “reinterpretation” of US Constitution

In a move certain to escalate the legal tug of war over illegal immigration, state lawmakers from across the country announced Wednesday that they are launching an effort to deny automatic citizenship to the U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants.

Republicans from Pennsylvania, Arizona, Oklahoma, Georgia, South Carolina and other states said they were taking aim at birthright citizenship by seeking to apply the Constitution's 14th Amendment - which grants citizenship to all children born in the United States - only to children with at least one parent who is a permanent resident or citizen.

Within weeks, several state legislatures are expected to introduce bills that would lay the groundwork for such a reinterpretation of the 14th Amendment, which was passed in the wake of the Civil War in order to confer citizenship on freed African American slaves.

Proponents said their strategy is designed to draw legal challenges and get the issue before the Supreme Court.

Civil rights groups denounced the move and said it was motivated by racism against Latino immigrants. They also said that Supreme Court precedents have made clear for more than a century that the 14th Amendment applies to all children born in the United States, regardless of whether their parents were in the country legally.

About 340,000 children were born in the United States to undocumented immigrants in 2008, according to a study released in August by the Pew Hispanic Center. Thousands of children born to tourists and foreign students also could be denied citizenship if the 14th Amendment were reinterpreted.

The move is the latest example of states testing the boundaries of federal control over immigration. "This country has a malady, and it is costing her citizens dearly," said South Carolina State Sen. Danny Verdin (R). He added that the rise in number of what he called "anchor babies" - children born in the United States to undocumented immigrants - had created a huge problem.

Pennsylvania State Rep. Daryl Metcalfe (R) said that he was planning to introduce legislation within weeks and that legislators in about 40 states, including Virginia, had signed up to learn more about the proposal. Metcalfe said he expected about 20 states to introduce legislation soon, among them Pennsylvania, Arizona, Nebraska, Alabama, Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.

Corey Stewart, chairman of the Prince William County Board of County Supervisors, who has been pushing for Arizona-type legislation in Virginia, said he is disappointed that Virginia is not in the vanguard of the push to end birthright citizenship. "It has been so difficult to get bold action," he said.

In Maryland, Del. Patrick L. McDonough (R-Baltimore County), the legislature's most outspoken critic of illegal immigration, said it is possible he may introduce birthright legislation. But it is unlikely to advance very far in a state controlled by Democrats.

"It's hard to imagine a more quintessentially anti-American proposal than one that would judge a person by their parents or grandparents or great-grandparents," said Lucas Guttentag, who directs the Immigrant Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union. Guttentag said that the ACLU would counter any effort to challenge the 14th Amendment.

Proponents of the new strategy said they would adopt a two-pronged approach. The first is to introduce bills in state legislatures that revive the concept of "state citizenship." Only children with at least one parent who is a U.S. permanent resident or citizen would be granted state citizenship, though it wouldn't prevent the federal government from granting U.S. citizenship to the children of undocumented immigrants.

The second prong of the strategy involves a more direct challenge to the authority of the federal government by using what is known as a state compact to draw a distinction between the children of undocumented immigrants and those of legal permanent residents and U.S. citizens.

A compact is a legal term that describes a measure, passed by states, that requires congressional approval. If Congress approves a state compact, it can become federal law without requiring the signature of the president, said Kris Kobach, professor of law at the University of Missouri at Kansas City and the Kansas secretary of state-elect.

The states involved in the compact would issue different birth certificates to children of permanent residents and U.S. citizens from those of undocumented immigrants, tourists and foreign students. The birth certificates would draw a distinction between those children whose parents are "subject to the jurisdiction of the United States" - a phrase from the 14th Amendment - and other children whose parents are not.

Kobach and other proponents said that because undocumented immigrants are in the country illegally, they are not under the jurisdiction of the United States.

Effectively, states would be throwing down the gauntlet to Congress to deny citizenship to children who do not have at least one parent who is a permanent resident or a citizen.

Walter Dellinger, who was assistant attorney general and acting solicitor general in President Bill Clinton's administration, predicted that the Supreme Court would dismiss the challenge to the 14th Amendment because of past decisions that ruled children born in the United States were citizens.

In 1898, the Supreme Court ruled that children born to Chinese migrants - who were themselves barred by exclusionary racial laws from becoming citizens - were U.S. citizens since they were born on U.S. soil.

The clause in the 14th Amendment that restricted birthright citizenship to those "under the jurisdiction of the United States," he added, merely excluded the children of foreign diplomats from becoming citizens.

Repeated challenges to the 14th Amendment, several civil rights experts said, had questioned the legitimacy of African American, Chinese American and Japanese American citizens. Each time, the challenge was refuted.

"This matter has been raised in every instance in a racial context," Dellinger said. "That's why we wanted a simple rule: Every new girl or boy born in this country is simply, indisputably, an American."


1 comment:

  1. I wish with the swing in party numbers of the House that they propose new legislation prohibiting any kind of future amnesty bill from even being offered.