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March 04, 2008

SAVE Act Update

This came across my desk today and reminded me that as fun as election season is, it can be a distraction from some important issues. Let's keep our eyes on the ball, folks.

House Democratic leaders are working to derail a bipartisan bill that would beef up border security, crack down on illegal aliens and employers who hire them, and reject amnesty.

Representatives Brian Bilbray (R-California) and Heath Shuler (D-North Carolina) are seeking an up-or-down vote on their bipartisan Secure America through Verification and Enforcement (SAVE) Act, which has 47 Democrat and 89 Republican co-sponsors. They need the need the signatures of 218 House members on a discharge petition for the vote to occur. The Washington Times reports that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and other House Democratic leaders want to poison the bill by attaching an amnesty amendment to it.

I first wrote about the SAVE Act in November when, to my amazement, freshman congressmen managed to pull together an immigration enforcement bill with support from big-shot congressmen Duncan Hunter, John Murtha, and Tom Tancredo. At that time neither the Republican nor the Democratic leadership were interested in the bill, which would crack down on employers, increase the size of the CBP, and give ICE greater investigative powers.

The bill is part of the "Attrition through Enforcement" movement that has been seeing success in Oklahoma and Arizona. The idea is now making slow progress in Washington, but we need to demonstrate that we expect our Senators to act sooner rather than later. A version of the SAVE Act was introduced in the Senate last year. You can send a fax to your senators through Numbers USA and ask them to support it. I have.

Now, many Republican congressfolk are on board and the House Democratic leadership is getting worried that moderate Democrats (the over-hyped Blue Dogs?) will cross over to get the bill out of committee and onto the House floor. They've introduced a "killer amendment" that would give illegals a 5-year visa and employers immunity from prosecution for using illegal labor. Also, it's possible that the bills will die quiet deaths during the election-year circus. But don't think that the two issues are unrelated:

Bilbray believes the amnesty agenda in Congress is designed to enlarge the Democratic electorate. "You've got Ms. Pelosi and the traditional Democrat groups basically wanting to see this population of 20 million illegals voting for Democrats," he states. "They want to give them residency, citizenship, and register them to vote so they can use this illegal population as a political bloc that's behooving [sic] to them because they're the one who empowered them with the votes."

Pro-enforcement Republicans are on very solid ground when it comes to immigration. In fact, a large portion of registered Democrats disagree with their party leaders. Now would be a great time press home that advantage.

Note: The first link and the quotes in this post are drawn from an article on "OneNewsNow.com", the news service extension of the American Family Association. The AFA is a Christian right group that has taken almost no positions with which I can agree; they are just plain wrong about almost everything. I chose this particular article because it was the only one with that last quote from Congressman Bilbray. Still, I couldn't let it go without mentioning that I in no way approve of the AFA.

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posted by Gabriel Malor at 04:44 AM

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