Miss Beth Joins the CAII Coalition

Cross posted from Miss Beth’s Victory Dance

I joined a new blogroll fighting this awful amnesty bill. Their main position is fighting the illegals coming here and fighting the legistlation congress and bush are trying to ram down our throats–the Kennedy/McCain Bill.

An alert went out last night, and there have been numerous articles written by my fellow bloggers lately about how destructive this bill is. Some of us living in border states see the damage firsthand

I ran a post last week and I’ll re-run it here for the purpose of stating my positions yet again.

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In a Rare Instance of Lucidity, the New York Times “Gets It”

Before I get to the article, I’d like to throw in my two cents worth on this issue.
I work for an attorney; most of you know that by now.

I have a very dear friend who is a LEGAL IMMIGRANT to this country, from Mexico. She was not given any special treatment, no language accomodations, nothing. She had to do it all the “right way”. Last July, she became a citizen. Her oldest son serves in our military. She works HARD and she’s FURIOUS at this bill. Because no “accomodations” were made for her with her language, she admits she was forced to learn English quickly–frankly, when I first met her, I had NO IDEA English was her second language–she became that proficient.

She learned “our” language, she got a job and has been in training to increase her skills since then. She is LEGAL, people, and she is FURIOUS.

My office has a particular client. This gentleman works for a very prestigious resort where I live. Again, he IS LEGAL, people. I had to do a very specific document for him in a legal matter. It required I give his hourly wage. I was furious when I saw his wage–he’s been with this particular resort just shy of twenty YEARS. But, because of all the ILLEGALS, this resort thinks they can pay him BELOW MINIMUM WAGE (and, LESS THAN $5/HOUR) because they can get away with it. And, because of the illegals, so far the resort has been proven correct in their assumption.

Yet, the illegals come here and want everything on a silver platter. Where I live, we VOTED ENGLISH as the official language in the last election. We VOTED all government documents be prepared in ENGLISH ONLY. We also VOTED NO BENEFITS FOR ILLEGALS. Why? Because our health system has collapsed due to the strain of illegals. This state gets NO REIMBURSEMENT FROM THE GOVERNMENT for the strain put on it by the illegals.

Where do I live? ARIZONA.

And it’s not just a vote by the “whites” against the “mexicans”–it’s a vote from the LEGAL IMMIGRANTS as well–you know, the ones who have assimilated, who have realized the benefits of America and become PROUD AMERICANS rather than demanded we cater to their wishes not to assimilate into OUR CULTURE, those that did it legally, learned the language, contribute to the economy, in short, have become full citizens of a country of opportunity and love this country.

Further, it’s not just mexicans coming across the border or overstaying their visas. IT’S THE FREAKIN’ TERRORISTS, DUMMIES! Do you think these guys, the ones who have made it clear in no uncertain terms their goal is to annihilate us, are stupid? Not hardly. They see our porous borders and see the way in. Money is no object to them so they can pay the “coyotes” to get them across.

This bill deserved to die for several reasons:

1) Look at how the government runs it’s other allegedly efficient institutions–the Post Office, the IRS, the Treasury, the Passport office–they can’t get their act together with institutions already in place, yet we’re supposed to believe the substructure of this bill is going to magically appear in “full efficiency” overnight?

2) There is no way to track the illegals already here.

3) There is no special provision to track “OTM’s” (Other than Mexican) from “countries of interest”–terrorist nations. There should be–particularly since MOST illegals crossing our southern border are indeed coming here to work and better themselves. However, it is also our most porous border and easiest one to cross.

4) There is no special provision to track crossers who are gang member age (think about MS13 and the trouble they’ve caused)

5) The triggers aren’t strong enough–we have a law in place right now to build the fence and yet that law is being pushed aside to accomodate the illegals. Build the damn fence first, as mandated, before anything else is even considered.

6) The illegals have already broken several laws coming here illegaly–what makes anyone with an ounce of sense think they’re going to start obeying the law now?

7) The illegals let employers pay outrageously low wages to those who came here legally and get away with it. They have essentially screwed over their own by being willing to accept less than legal wages–and the employers know it and take advantage of it.

8) Any bill sponsored by Kennedy is suspect. The man has no credibility since he murdered an intern in a dui (you know, Mary Jo Kopechne) and talked his way (as well as bought his way) out of serving a life sentence for his murder.

9) The bill was created in secret, with no public hearings or input, and the attempt was made to ram it down the public’s throat without full disclosure. This was done by both Democrats and Republicans–the people we elect to represent US, the constituency. However, they don’t want to represent US–they want to hang onto their cushy jobs in Washington.

So, I don’t want to hear any of you mealy mouthed liberals barking at me about racism. These are FACTS, idiots, and until you can dispute them logically, shut up.
Now for the article (it can also be read here).
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June 10, 2007
Grass Roots Roared and Immigration Plan Collapsed
By JULIA PRESTON

WASHINGTON, Mich., June 8 — The undoing of the immigration bill in the Senate this week had many players, but none more effective than angry voters like Monique Thibodeaux, who joined a nationwide campaign to derail it.

Mrs. Thibodeaux, an office manager at a towing company here in suburban Detroit, became politically active as she never had before. Guided by conservative Internet organizations, she made calls and sent e-mail messages to senators across the country and pushed her friends to do the same.

“These people came in the wrong way, so they don’t belong here, period,” Mrs. Thibodeaux, a Republican, said of some 12 million illegal immigrants who would have been granted a path to citizenship under the Senate bill.

“In my heart I knew it was wrong for our country,” she said of the measure.

Supporters of the legislation defended it as an imperfect but pragmatic solution to the difficult problem of illegal immigration. Public opinion polls, including a New York Times/CBS News Poll conducted last month, showed broad support among Americans for the bill’s major provisions.

But the legislation sparked a furious rebellion among many Republican and even some Democratic voters, who were linked by the Internet and encouraged by radio talk show hosts. Their outrage and activism surged to full force after Senator Jon Kyl, the Arizona Republican who was an author of the bill, suggested early this week that support for the measure seemed to be growing. The assault on lawmakers in Washington was relentless. In a crucial vote Thursday night, the bill’s supporters, including President Bush, fell short by 15 votes. While there is a possibility the legislation could be revived later this year, there was a glow of victory among opponents on Friday.

“Technologically enhanced grass-roots activism is what turned this around, people empowered by the Internet and talk radio,” said Colin A. Hanna, president of Let Freedom Ring, a conservative group.

Mr. Hanna suggested the passion and commitment were on the side of the opponents.

“The opposition to the amnesty plan is so much more intense than the intensity of the supporters,” said Mr. Hanna, speaking of the bill’s provisions to grant legal status to qualifying illegal immigrants, which the authors of the legislation insisted was not amnesty.

In the end, supporters conceded that they were outmaneuvered by opponents who boiled down their complaints to that single hot-button word, repeated often and viscerally on talk radio programs and blogs.

“It’s a lot easier to yell one word, ‘amnesty,’ and it takes a little more to explain, ‘No, it’s not, and if you don’t do anything you have a silent amnesty,’ ” said Gov. Janet Napolitano of Arizona, a Democrat who backed the measure.

Christopher Sabatini, senior director of policy at the Americas Society/Council of the Americas, which follows Hispanic immigration, described the bill as “born an orphan in terms of popular support.”

You got the sense of a deafening silence from the supporters, and the roar of the opposition,” Mr. Sabatini said.

For Mrs. Thibodeaux and others on her side, the immigration debate was a battle for the soul of the nation because it seemed to divert taxpayer-financed resources to cater to foreigners who had not come to this country by legal means.

“This hit home with me because I knew it was taking away from our people,” said Mrs. Thibodeaux, 50, who works at Ruehle’s Auto Transport. “What happened to taking care of our own people first?”

Rosemary Jenks, a policy advocate at NumbersUSA, which calls for curbing immigration, said that 7,000 new members signed up for the organization in a single day last week. Other groups reported a similar outpouring as proponents of the Senate bill claimed to be gaining momentum.

We had way more response than we could handle,” said Stephen Elliott, president of Grassfire.org, a conservative Internet group that called for volunteers for a petition drive and instructed people how to barrage lawmakers with telephone calls and e-mail.

The group gathered more than 700,000 signatures on petitions opposing the bill, delivering them this week to senators in Washington and in their home states.

Organizers described a new Internet-linked national constituency that emerged among Republicans, much like the one that Democrats pioneered during the presidential candidacy in 2004 of Howard Dean. But many of these Republicans are enraged at their party leaders, including Mr. Kyl and Senator Trent Lott of Mississippi, who supported the bill, and they feel betrayed by Mr. Bush.

Opposition to the Senate bill brought together many Americans in states where immigration was not traditionally a fervor-inspiring issue, but where illegal immigration has become more visible in recent years.

“Every state is now a border state,” said Susan Tully, the national field director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which has long supported a crackdown on illegal immigration. The bill’s opponents also objected to how it was handled, with the huge measure negotiated behind closed doors between White House and Senate lawmakers, without any hearings or other public input.

“Ordinary people like me rose up and put a stop to it,” said William Murphy, a retired policeman from Evansville, Wis., one of the Grassfire.org volunteers who delivered petitions to his senators. On Thursday before the vote, he said, he put in new calls to 15 senators.

Mr. Murphy said he felt strongly about the bill because he believed it would degrade the value of American citizenship.

“If I come from Mexico, I can jump the fence and get all those American benefits,” he said. “It’s outrageous when you can buy your citizenship for $5,000,” he said, referring to the fines that illegal immigrants would pay under the bill to become legal permanent residents.

When asked about Mr. Bush’s support for the bill, Mr. Murphy, a longtime Republican, had to pause to temper his words.

“I was stunned, really,” he said. Mr. Bush “has always been a person who stood for some basic human values, and now he’s going to give away the country?”

In Virginia, Allen Price, another Grassfire.org member who was formerly a talk show host in Richmond, decried the Senate bill as an attempt by corporate business to secure cheap labor.

I called up everybody I knew and told them to make calls,” said Mr. Price, also a Republican. He delivered 15,000 petitions to the offices of his senators, John W. Warner, a Republican, and Jim Webb, a first-term Democrat, both of whom voted against closing debate on the bill on Thursday night.

In California, a challenge was started by “The John & Ken Show,” a popular talk radio show critical of the bill, for 30,000 opposition calls to Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, who supported the measure. All of Ms. Feinstein’s phone lines were clogged, with calls from opponents of the bill and from supporters seeking to undermine the challenge.

Here in Michigan, speaking at her neatly maintained home under hickory trees in Washington, a town north of Detroit that has been battered by auto company layoffs, Mrs. Thibodeaux said the immigration bill worried her like no other political issue. She believed it would reward undeserving immigrants who do not speak English and would soon become a burden on public services that Americans need in a time of economic uncertainty.

A lot of our American people in Detroit are hurting,” Mrs. Thibodeaux said, noting that she has often done volunteer work in poor neighborhoods here. “It’s just not right.”

Her strong feelings about the immigration issue came gradually, she said. A nephew who works as a house painter had trouble finding high-paying work because of competition from illegal immigrants. Some Mexican teenagers hassled her on the street, seeming to mock her because she walks with a cane. She spotted immigrants shopping with food stamps at the grocery store.

Mrs. Thibodeaux said she favored orderly legal immigration, but did not think illegal immigrants should benefit from American generosity.

“I have a very hard time with illegal,” she said. She proposes that all illegal immigrants be given a 90-day period to leave voluntarily. After that, immigration agents, local police and the National Guard, if necessary, should be mobilized to deport them, she said.

Republican voters and organizers said they were ready for a long fight on the immigration issue, even if the debate is reopened in Congress.

“This bill represented something so big that people noticed,” said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a research group. He said the Senate debate was not “just stirring up the hornet’s nest, but is actually changing the dynamics of this issue for the future.”

Mrs. Thibodeaux agreed. If the immigration issue comes before Congress again, she said, “I’m going to get a microphone and start yelling.”

Randal C. Archibold contributed reporting from Los Angeles.
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**This was a production of The Coalition Against Illegal Immigration (CAII). If you would like to participate, please go to the above link to learn more. Afterwards, email stiknstein-at-gmail-dot-com and let us know at what level you would like to participate

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