Frist’s trying to hold a vote on immigration this week. The bill to be voted on includes provisions for stricter border control, which as a rule is completely ineffective in preventing illegal immigration, but no provisions for amnesty or even a guest worker program.
Maneuvering toward a pre-election showdown on immigration, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist on Sunday said he would seek passage of legislation to secure the borders and predicted Democrats would resist.
Incredibly, this time the Democrats are actually resisting. It’s good that the Democrats are finally learning to resist a bill that fails to include a crucial provision that’s supported by 66% of the American people, and that takes an approach to immigration Americans oppose 63-30. Hopefully, we’ll see incremental progress, culminating in learning to oppose pernicious bills supported by the majority of Americans, like the Patriot Act.
The bill is all that is left of a comprehensive immigration proposal generally backed by President Bush that included provisions for a guest worker program and ways for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants to work toward legal status and eventual citizenship.
Frist led a bipartisan effort to pass that measure this year, but House Republicans opposed it as too lenient on immigrants in the country illegally.
Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada, accused Frist of playing politics by seeking to blame Democrats. Frist’s move is an attempt to cover up his failure to push through more comprehensive changes, Manley said.
“The Senate spent almost a month debating and then passing tough and smart immigration reform that included border security, but Republican obstructionism has prevented us from completing that bill,” Manley said in a statement.
That’s how you do it. You don’t need a majority in the Senate to sway moderates like Specter, who the article mentions as having doubts about the Frist bill. All you need is to make it clear that conservatives are supporting an immigration bill that helps no one except people interested in applying for border patrol jobs.