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November 15, 2006

Shock: Immigration Policy Drove Borderline Voters To Democrats

The voters hated the GOP's official amnesty policy.

So how do we get back into power? More of the same.

Americans aren't anti-immigrant; they are pro-assimilation.

In Arizona, more than 70 percent of people voted for four state ballot initiatives on immigration: English as the official language, stripping illegal aliens of the right to bail, denying illegal aliens state-subsidized benefits (adult education programs and child care, among others), and denying punitive damages in lawsuits. Yet according to exit polls, when asked how they prefer to treat illegal immigrants, Arizonans picked "a path to legal status" over "deport them" 57 percent to 38 percent.

But they hate it when people get away with breaking the rules. In the Weekly Standard, Frank Luntz reports: "Among the Americans who swung from the GOP to the Democrats (Republican Rejecters), 'unethical and illegal behavior going unpunished' was number two on the list (behind illegal immigration)." Let me rephrase what Luntz is saying here: Among voters who switched from the GOP to the Dems this election, illegal immigration was the No. 1 issue.

And yet the House Republicans were the only people standing in the way of amnesty.

The Dems are thinking very seriously about repealing the border fence -- and only a Senate filibuster or Bush's veto can stop them.

Don't count on the latter.

The incoming U.S. Congress will review the law mandating 700 miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, and may seek to scrap the plan altogether.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., told reporters this week that he expected to "re-visit" the issue when he becomes chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee in the 110th Congress, which has a Democratic Party majority.

He said that the high technology Secure Border Initiative, or SBI Net -- essentially a set of monitors, cameras and other integrated surveillance systems to monitor the border -- was a viable alternative.

"We might do away with it, or look at (integrating it into) SBI Net," he said, "A virtual fence rather than a real one."

The Secure Fence Act, one of the laws passed by the GOP-controlled Congress in a pre-election flurry of border security legislation, mandates 700 miles of fencing in five sections, and defines where on the 1,951-mile southern border they should go.

As a result, some administration officials view it as an example of congressional micro-management, and might welcome changes that gave them more flexibility.

Ummm, it's not an either/or situation, assholes. One can have an actual physical barrier supplemeted by this "seamless high-tech virtual fence" as well.

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posted by Ace at 02:03 PM

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