LatinaLista — After last week’s Senate’s defeat of allowing the immigration bill to move out of the debate phase, some readers of Latina Lista wondered why we should care that it was defeated since it was a bad bill anyway.
The answer is simple: the initial bill was not great but it was workable and a lot closer to being molded into something that could have helped undocumented immigrants â€” until a handful of key Republicans made it their mission last week to not just derail the bill but declare war on it by creating amendments that were so vicious in nature that it stripped the bill of any of its (conservative) compassion or rationality.
The actions of these few Republican senators warrants that their Hispanic constituents examine whether or not their particular senator represents ALL constituents or is playing favorites to the exclusion of others.
It wasn’t lost on anyone who was following what was happening in the Senate what was going on. The New York Times decided to call out the Republican senators responsible for prolonging the division in this country.
In a June 9, 2007 editorial titled “A Failure of Leadership,” the NYT editorial board said:
But obstruction happened. Republican amendments, designed to shred the compromise, happened.
Jeff Sessions wanted to deprive legalized immigrants â€” yes, legal residents â€” of the earned income tax credit, a path out of poverty for millions.
John Cornyn wanted to strip confidentiality protections for immigrants who apply for legal status, making them too frightened to leave the shadows.
Jim DeMint just wanted to kill the bill, so he voted for a volatile amendment whose substance he disagreed with. â€œIf it hurts the bill, Iâ€™m for it,â€ he said.
Now, it seems that at least one Republican Senator’s state party is trying to explain themselves.
Today, the Texas Republican Party released to the media a joint statement by John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison explaining why they voted against the immigration bill.
Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison
(Source: Rio Grande Guardian)
In their statement, they referred to the immigration reform bill as granting “amnesty” and they boasted of crafting “several amendments to improve the bill and highlight its deficiencies.”
Funny that not more people saw these acts as being particularly generous or wise.
In watching C-Span on that day, one senator, can’t remember which, went to the microphone to speak and admitted that this bill had been weighted down with an “inordinate number of amendments.” If I recall correctly, he said that there had been over 60 amendments proposed to this bill.
No wonder the bill became unworkable. With so many amendments added, instead of creating a fuller bill, it reversed the original intent of it â€” but that was the objective.
And always has been Cornyn’s intent.
He voted to build the fence along the Texas-Mexico border even though the majority of the people who live along the border don’t want it and his own colleague, Hutchison, voted against it.
An AP article, shed some light on the rationale of Cornyn’s and Hutchison’s strategies.
They’re obviously not thinking of their Hispanic constituents.
Cornyn faces re-election in 2008 and Hutchison is considering a possible gubernatorial run in 2010. Each needs the votes of GOP conservatives who still run the state’s Republican Party and turn out heavily in the March primaries.
Which goes to show that for all the talk of a Latino voting bloc – too many people regard it as mythical as the Loch Ness monster.
Guess they didn’t hear that Nessie was just sighted recently and this time the evidence is pretty compelling.
If Nessie can prove people wrong, no telling what Latinos can do!