The Wobbling Immigration Compromise…

…and can someone with some insight into the Democratc mind explain Sheldon Whitehouse’s voting pattern to me?
The Associated Press is reporting that the Senate’s version of a comprehensive immigration reform bill is in trouble because of an amendment passed late last night

A fragile compromise that would legalize millions of unlawful immigrants risks coming unraveled after the Senate voted early Thursday to place a five-year limit on a program meant to provide U.S. employers with 200,000 temporary foreign workers annually.
The 49-48 vote came two weeks after the Senate, also by a one-vote margin, rejected the same amendment by Sen. Byron Dorgan. The North Dakota Democrat says immigrants take many jobs Americans could fill.
The reversal dismayed backers of the immigration bill, which is supported by President Bush but loathed by many conservatives. Business interests and their congressional allies were already angry that the temporary worker program had been cut in half from its original 400,000-person-a-year target.
The amendment is potentially a poison pill because it alters the fundamental balance of the immigration compromise between our nation’s business and political elites. The deal is supposed to be that business gets cheap labor in return for Democrats getting new voters. However, the business lobby and their Republican clients (or is it the Republicans and their business lobby clients?) will be less inclined to support this bill if the Senate reduces the amount of cheap labor made available without reducing the number of potential new voters eligible to traverse a “path to citizenship”.
Senator Arlen Specter has indicated that the amendment may be amended in some way to restore the previous compromise, so this is far from over.
On the local front, Senator Jack Reed voted with most Democrats in favor of the five-year limit on the guest worker program, i.e. to create new voters for his party without giving business the expanded cheap labor pool that it wants. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse was one of the 11 Democrats who voted against the amendment. The always-alert Mickey Kaus notes that Senator Whitehouse’s vote on this is a flip-flop, as he voted in favor of virtually the same amendment on May 24. (A cynic would ask what the Kennedy machine offered Senator Whitehouse in order to get him to change his vote.)
Finally, both Democratic Presidential frontrunners in the Senate voted in favor of the amendment, bolstering the theory that this may be intended by some Dems to kill a bill that is tremendously unpopular in the country
A Rasmussen Reports poll conducted Monday and Tuesday night found that just 23% of voters now support the bill while 50% are opposed,
…without taking direct responsibility for it. Seeking ways to take action without taking responsibility does seem to be standard Democratic party operating procedure in this session of Congress.


Text of amendment that Senator Whitehouse voted for on May 24…

At the end of section 401, add the following:
(d) Sunset of Y-1 Visa Program
(1) SUNSET–Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, or any amendment made by this Act, no alien may be issued a new visa as a Y-1 nonimmigrant (as defined in section 218B of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as added by section 403) after the date that is 5 years after the date that the first such visa is issued.
(2) CONSTRUCTION–Nothing in paragraph (1) may be construed to affect issuance of visas to Y-2B nonimmigrants (as defined in such section 218B), under the AgJOBS Act of 2007, as added by subtitle C, or any visa program other than the Y-1 visa program.
Text of amendment that Senator Whitehouse voted against on June 6…
At the end of section 401, add the following:
(d) Sunset of Y-1 Visa Program
(1) SUNSET–Notwithstanding any other provision of this Act, or any amendment made by this Act, no alien may be issued a new visa as a Y-1 nonimmigrant (as defined in section 218B of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as added by section 403) on the date that is 5 years after the date that the first such visa is issued.
(2) CONSTRUCTION–Nothing in paragraph (1) may be construed to affect issuance of visas to Y-2B nonimmigrants (as defined in such section 218B), under the AgJOBS Act of 2007, as added by subtitle C, under the H-2A visa program, or any visa program other than the Y-1 visa program.
See the important differences!

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
5 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Josh
Josh
14 years ago

What is the significance of the H-2A visa program?

SusanD
SusanD
14 years ago

It’s important to work in some redundancy to the amnesty net, Andrew.
(Thank you to all those US Senators who did not vote for cloture today.)

Mike
Mike
14 years ago

It’s dead. Good riddance! 12 Democrats voted to kill it.
Now we need to STOP the “anchor baby” scam. If it takes a const. amend. so be it. Let the Democrats be on record supporting illegals as citizens.

free
free
14 years ago

I am tired of the sellout of American workers. I am tired of the lies,such as “these are jobs Americans won’t do.” It is even inaccurate to say that Americans would do these jobs if the wages were raised.
How do I know these are lies? I speak from personal experience. When my husband joined the Air Force and was stationed in Florida he did not make a living wage. I tried to get a job but my experience in RI factories wasn’t helpful,even though I had taken college courses and been on the Dean’s list.
We needed money so we picked oranges.
I finally did get a job in a pickle factory for minimum wage.
I am tired of the lies and insults thrust upon American workers.
The lies don’t deceive me. I’ve lived the truth.

Show your support for Anchor Rising with a 25-cent-per-day subscription.