The Senate’s pending vote for or against an anti-amnesty measure Tuesday is prompting a furious wave of last-minute advocacy by pro-amnesty Democrats and anti-amnesty advocates, including some Republicans.
“Call your Senators and tell them there is no such thing as a ‘clean’ funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security,” the Federation for American Immigration Reform urged in a web posting Monday, which also tagged several Democratic senators as possible votes against the amnesty.
The targeted senators include Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, North Dakota’s Heidi Heitkamp, Montana’s Jon Tester, Indiana’s Joe Donnelly, Virginia’s Mark Warner and Maine’s Angus King,
But Democrats are shielding the amnesty from hostile public opinion by portraying the 2:30 pm afternoon vote as a threat to national security.
“We need to fund the department [of Homeland Security], pure and simple,” President Obama declared in a speech Tuesday at DHS headquarters.
“We’ve got to put politics aside, pass a budget that funds our national security priorities at home and abroad…I’m going to keep on fighting to make sure that you get the resources you deserve,” he said.
The House-drafted bill would fully fund DHS until October, but also bar any spending to implement Obama’s legally questionable and unpopular executive amnesty and work-permit plan.
The amnesty, announced Nov. 20, would hand out five million work permits to illegal immigrants, despite record-low employment among Americans.
If at least 41 of 46 Democrats vote against the bill, 54 GOP senators won’t reach the 60-vote threshold to begin formally debating the DHS bill.
The agency won’t be able to spend federal money after Feb. 27, even though law enforcement employees will remain on duty.
If the budget bill isn’t passed, “40,000 border patrol and customs agents, 50,000 Transportation Security Administration airport screeners, 13,000 immigration officers and 40,000 Coast Guard employees — all of them considered essential employees — would have to work but not get paid once the deadline passes,” Obama said, while disavowing any role in the fight caused by his amnesty.
If the Democrats block the funding bill from debate, the GOP will face additional pressure to pass a revised DHS bill that funds the employees and doesn’t block the amnesty.
The pressure will come from Democrats, the established media, ethnic lobbies, business leaders and Wall Street donors, who see additional immigrants as an immediate wave of workers and customers, and a future wave of low-income Democratic voters.
Only seven percent of Americans want a higher rate of immigration, according to a new Gallup poll.
The GOP’s “argument — that they are happy to fund homeland security as long as it doesn’t include funds to implement Obama’s executive actions on immigration — is unlikely to prevail in public opinion against Obama’s claims that Republicans ‘jeopardize our national security,’” claimed Dana Milbank, a Washington Post columnist. “Winning this homeland-security fight with Congress is child’s play,” he said in a Feb. 3 column that ignored the unfriendly polls.
However, public opinion defeated the Senate’s 2013 amnesty and guest-worker bill, despite the near-unanimous support from D.C. lobbyists, journalists, and Democrats.
Amnesty opponents, however, are disadvantaged because the GOP caucus is split.
Nearly all GOP Senators will vote against the amnesty. But the leadership in the Senate and the House is doing little to rally public opinion against Obama’s decision to block DHS funding until the GOP rejects its supporters near-unanimous opposition to Obama’s amnesty.
Unlike active Democrats, the GOP leaders are not staging P.R. events to slam the amnesty, they’re not making emotional arguments in favor of Americans rather than foreign workers, and they’re not delaying the vote to exploit the expected early February decision by a Texas judge to rule against the amnesty. The leadership isn’t even highlighting a late January report that Obama’s amnesties have spiked crime, nor the Feb. 3 revelation that Obama has quietly handed out 5.5 million extra work-permits since 2009.
That inflow of extra foreign workers is above the normal inflow of 1 million immigrants and 650,000 non-agricultural guest workers per year. Four million Americans turn 18 each year.
To help win the Feb. 3 vote, FAIR, NumbersUSA, Americans for Legal Immigration PAC and other anti-amnesty groups are trying to pressure several Democrats to allow the Senate to debate and vote on the GOP’s anti-amnesty bill. They’re joined by Heritage Action and other conservative groups.
“There are at least seven Democratic Senators who voiced opposition to the executive amnesty after voters overwhelmingly rejected President Obama’s immigration policies in the November elections. If they uphold their word by voting YES, the DHS funding bill will advance to floor debate,” said the FAIR website.