What a week!
And, yes, the results were just as wonderful and just as scary as you might hope and fear.
Most of you are shocked by the Senate's passage of 4 strong immigration enforcement amendments that would open up hundreds of thousands of jobs to unemployed Americans over the next year alone. Maybe even millions of jobs!
Rightfully, many of you are skeptical. You are asking us: Did the Senate Democratic Leadership -- that has opposed everything that favors unemployed Americans over illegal aliens -- suddenly "allow" us to win as a kind of trap? What's the trick?
First, you really do need to take a minute to celebrate (just a little). Your pressure has caused the Democratic leadership to retreat a bit. The fact that congressional leaders believe that they have to concede some victories to us shows that your efforts are having some effect.
But, based on our information from inside Congress, we should expect that Senate Majority Leader Reid, House Speaker Pelosi and Pres. Obama have every intention of killing these amendments in a backroom maneuver when the joint Conference Committee negotiates the final bill to be sent to the President. (See below.)
NEXT 2 WEEKS OUR BEST CHANCE FOR IMPROVEMENT THIS YEAR
Friends, we spend most of our time trying to get good legislation just looked at somewhere.
We are in a totally different -- and better -- position at this moment. What we have now is amazingly good legislation already passed by the U.S. Senate -- by easy margins! The good stuff is on the table. It's on its way to law. It is ours to lose right now. We haven't been in a better position than this in a very long time. Instead of fighting for our lives to stop something really bad, we have something very good to protect and preserve.
Our Action Buffet team already has several important faxes for you to send from your corkboard to protect the 4 Amendments. But we will come back to you Monday with another task, and perhaps a number of others during the week. One of our Capitol Hill Team told me late last night that there is no reason to save energy for any other time -- NOW is the time to mobilize everything we have.
As you fight, remember that you aren't fighting just for yourself or your family but for 15 million Americans and their families who currently are desperately searching for a job but can't find one.
If you win in keeping these enforcement amendments in the DHS bill, hundreds of thousands of jobless families will once again have income, benefits and the hope of not having their houses foreclosed. Is that enough incentive?
We are highly unlikely to get a better chance to make a huge humanitarian difference the rest of the year.
(and here Roy explains why - despite repeatedly winning votes to improve border security and workplace enforcement - nothing ever seems to get done...)
YOU HAVE TO STOP A REPEAT OF THE FEBRUARY BETRAYAL BY R-O-P-E
In February, I told you about the R-O-P-E killing of really tough enforcement measures that had been passed by the House as part of the Stimulus Bill.
R-O-P-E is my short-hand for where all federal power is currently concentrated: Reid-Obama-Pelosi-Emanuel (White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel).
Although U.S. citizens elect 535 Members of Congress to represent them, the four members of the R-O-P-E team currently have almost dictatorial power when House and Senate bills go into a Conference Committee negotiating session. Many of you find it hard to believe but that is what has been happening. And this is what will happen with the Homeland Security spending bill just passed by the Senate and the one earlier passed by the House.
If the Conference process this time is like for the Stimulus Bill and most others this year, this is what will happen next week:
1. R-O-P-E and their staffers will meet in secret and decide which things to keep and which to throw out of the two bills.
2. Democratic Senators and Representatives on the Conference Committee will be told by their leaders that they have to accept the decisions and vote for the R-O-P-E package with out alteration.
3. The R-O-P-E package then will be brought back to both Senate and House where Members won't want to vote against the overall spending bill just because they oppose the removal of the workplace protections for workers against illegal aliens. Unemployed Americans will lose again.
But like the Ghost of Christmas Future told Scrooge, this is not the future that has to happen. Please open all of our Action Alerts and come back to this website daily for suggestions of ways that you can persuade R-O-P-E and the Democratic Conferees to leave the 4 Enforcement Amendments in the bill.
ROLL CALL VOTES GOT TOO SCARY -- REID PROTECTED HIS DEMOCRATIC SENATORS BY ALLOWING FINAL AMENDMENTS TO PASS EASILY BY VOICE VOTE... WITH LIKELY PROMISE TO RIP THEM OUT LATER
Viewers of C-SPAN Immediately saw Vitter's and Grassley's enforcement amendments come up, and it looked like they would enjoy the same roll call victories.
But Reid stopped the process for lunch.
When the Senators returned, the Vitter and Grassley amendments were nowhere to be seen for the rest of the day and much of Thursday. The momentum in our direction had been temporarily interrupted.
The roll call votes were very threatening to Reid's Democratic Caucus. They were forcing Senators either (a) to anger the majority of their constituents by taking the side of illegal aliens and outlaw businesses, or (b) to anger the special-interest open-borders groups by siding with unemployed Americans against illegal employment.
Most of the rest of the year, Reid solved that dilemma by using parliamentary powers to just keep any of our amendments from ever coming up for a vote. But NumbersUSA's members and many others have pounded Reid mercilessly this year for such high-handed, undemocratic efforts. For some reason, Reid decided he would allow the Vitter and Grassley enforcement amendments to come up even though they were sure to pass.
But insisting on a voice vote with no position recorded for any Senator would protect the Members of his Caucus.
Passing on voice vote was not a sign that the amendments didn't have substantial opposition among the Senators. In fact, it was just the opposite. But the open-borders Senators realized they couldn't beat them and they didn't want to be held accountable for opposing them.
Passing on voice vote did indicate that nearly everybody in the Senate recognized that most Americans would not understand how somebody representing the U.S. national community could vote against those amendments.
Often in these kind of circumstances, the Majority Leader assures opponents of a measure that allowing it to pass will not matter because it will be ripped out of a bill in the Conference Committee.
That is why we are at such a dangerous point. All can be lost easily over the next few days. But so much can also be won if we pull away the curtains that hide the shameful pandering to special interests and shine the light of day on all the proceedings.
Take action now. And please open all emails I send you these next two weeks.
WHAT THE AMENDMENTS WOULD GIVE US
The 4 Enforcement Amendments we are trying to save would do far more than give unemployed Americans a much better shot at jobs than they have had.
They would also reverse what will otherwise be an even worse shot at jobs because of decisions being made this month by Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano. She is systematically gutting the moderate level of enforcement at the end of the Bush Administration and providing a de facto amnesty to most illegal aliens.
If the 4 Amendments are not kept in the bill, the result of Napolitano's new orders will be that far more returning veterans and other Americans will be unemployed as far more illegal aliens get to keep and obtain U.S. jobs.
Here is what is at stake:
- Authorizes E-Verify permanently. It would not be a program that is constantly under threat. Congress could always decide at some point that it wants to terminate the program, but it wouldn't be automatically on the chopping block every few months as is now the case.
Napolitano wants the program to be threatened with elimination again in two years.
- Mandates that if a company has a federal contract, every new person hired within the entire company would have to be checked through E-Verify.
Napolitano's new proposal would require E-Verify only for new hires for the federal contract itself. The company could still hire illegal aliens for its other operations. Then if the company transferred the illegal alien into the contract project, he/she would NOT have to go through E-Verify. This creates a huge loophole.
- Mandates that ALL people working on the government contract would have to be put through E-Verify, even those who have previously worked for the company for years.
Napolitano makes no provision for rooting out previously hired illegal foreign workers (click here to watch Sen. Sessions speaking about his amendment on the Senate floor).
- Requires the completion of the 700-mile fence along the Mexican border by the end of 2010.
- Activates a no-match notification system that not only informs employers of all their workers with bad Social Security numbers but tells them to fire the ones who can't correct the problem.
Napolitano this week issued a decree that she was ending this no-match system that was started by the Bush Administration but which was stopped before it was implemented because of law suits by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and leftist open-borders organizations.
The Vitter amendment would potentially alert businesses, non-profits and governments about several million of the 8 million illegal aliens estimated to currently hold a job. Advocates for illegal workers are hysterical about this provision and fear it could drive a large segment of the illegal population out of the country. Every one of those jobs would then be open to unemployed Americans.
Currently, if you are an illegal alien who has been working at a job since before an employer started using E-Verify, the law forbids an employer from running you through E-Verify.
- Allows any business, non-profit or government to voluntarily run all their existing employees through E-Verify.
Large numbers of the 110,000 employers now using E-Verify would love to get all illegal aliens out of their work force. But the law forbids them to check on existing employees. They can only use E-Verify on new hires.
Grassley would allow patriotic employers to make sure that all their jobs are available to returning veterans and other American citizens and legal immigrants.
Can you believe that any Senator really would like to face voters and explain why they would be opposed to any of those four measures?
Some will try to claim that E-Verify is unreliable. That is nothing but nonsense. E-Verify has a higher accuracy rate than almost any program of government. And no U.S. citizen or legal immigrant has ever been reported as fired on order of the E-Verify system.
The only reason to oppose these measures is because a Senator wants 8 million illegal aliens to keep their jobs -- and is willing for 8 million returning veterans and other Americans to be without a job as a result.
Your message to every Senator should be similar to the message we need to deliver to Pres. Obama:
President Obama, I expect you to instruct your staff to keep all immigration enforcement in the DHS Appropriations bill during the Conference Committee process.
In February, your people conspired with Speaker Pelosi and Leader Reid to kill the House E-Verify provisions. And you did it behind closed doors, without explanation. That isn't going to work again this time. The nation's eyes will be on whether you condemn hundreds of thousands of unemployed Americans to continued joblessness because you overturn the Senate's enforcement amendments and favor the hiring of illegal foreign workers.
If you have never before raised your voice to your elected representatives and told them to STOP favoring illegal workers over American citizens, to STOP aiding and abetting the wholesale violation of our borders and our sovereignty, then NOW IS THE TIME TO START.
Go to Numbers USA's Action Buffet, register, and fax your representatives for free using their system. You can alter the suggested wording and add your own comments (resist the urge to use profanity, please!).
The pressure that millions of Americans just like you has put on these officials is the ONLY reason why we don't have a full amnesty and completely open borders right now!
And here's another thing to consider... if it were just a matter of obstructionism by a Republican minority, we would also be under an amnesty. The fact that we don't have an amnesty is thanks in part to the many DEMOCRATS who - under tremendous pressure from their constituents - could not swallow that final pill, and went against the elite's wishes and voted (sometimes reluctantly) to support Americans over illegal aliens.
I'm going to tell you something that not many people believe anymore... your voice DOES matter and it DOES make a difference.
My years following this issue has shown me that, contrary to what so many people in this country want to believe, Democracy is NOT dead. If it were, we wouldn't be talking about this. The fact that we still have immigration law - despite almost all of elitist opinion being 100% against it - is proof that the people's voice still matters.