Skip to comments.Open Borders, Closed Wallets
Posted on 04/06/2004 12:04:41 PM PDT by VU4G10
Republican fundraiser learns firsthand that the GOP grassroots resent the presidents amnesty proposal.
By Phil Kent
The telephone rang and an old wealthy conservative friend answered. After the usual pleasantries, I told him I was a co-host for the upcoming Jan. 15 Bush-Cheney event at Atlantas World Congress Center and pitched him for $2,000 to attend and see the president on a rope-line. For $20,000, I explained, he could have a personal audience and photograph with the commander-in-chief. Before I could even finish my last sentence, though, I was cut off. You should know I wouldnt be writing a check after his crazy amnesty proposal.
I was not surprised, replied that I was as disgusted as he was, and pressed on with my next call. Same responsebut angrier. Why are you even helping Bush? was the question from the third conservative donor on my list. The fourth rejection was emphaticIm not giving him a dime because of that immigration announcement. The fifth person got right to the point: the president is pandering to the open borders crowd. No check. My sixth target, who said he was maxed out to the campaign, was the only one to support the president: Bush has given up on immigration, but Im not concerned. Lets deal with the Democrats on other issues.
There was more of the same on my second day dialing for dollars, so I gave up. Then I warned the Georgia Bush-Cheney chairman, Jamie Reynolds, that I was failing to receive checks because of the presidents stand on illegal immigration. His response was a polite admission that he had heard rumblings too but that we all should press on.
The problem, of course, was that earlier that weekon Jan. 6, 2004President George W. Bush proposed that Congress adjust the legal status of the 10 to 12 million illegal immigrants in our country. He insisted his proposal was not amnesty. Yet it most certainly is. It is also a blatant undermining of the rule of law, a threat to homeland security, a death blow to Social Security, and a below-the-belt punch to American workers.
Goaded for months by adviser Karl Rove, Bush proposed that an illegal immigrant could apply for temporary worker status for up to six years, getting all the benefits of citizenship ranging from a drivers license to Social Security checks. To facilitate this, the president asked Congress to raise the number of legal green cards to immigrants each year (currently 140,000)yet never specified how many millions would be needed. As one of the Georgia Bush-Cheney fundraisers whispered to me at the World Congress Center: Its all pretty dumb, isnt it?
Even more incredibly, Bush said these temporary workers could apply for citizenship in the normal way. Well, then, they wouldnt be temporary, would they? Furthermore, Bushs plan would allow these so-called temporary workers to bring their entire families with them for the duration of their work permits, no doubt producing American anchor babies in the process.
The fundraising reaction in my home state of Georgia was swift, as my usually reliable donors let me know. But more was to come.
On Jan. 31, at a packed Georgia Christian Coalition event in Atlantas Mount Vernon Baptist Church, all of the candidates vying for the states 6th Congressional district seatperhaps the most Republican enclave in the countryblasted the amnesty plan. In addition, all of the GOP U.S. Senate primary candidates took the president to task for his remarksto loud applause. But the most sustained applause was reserved for Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), the head of the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus who blistered Bush and urged attendees to put country over party when it came to fighting illegal immigration. Congressman Tancredo underscored that Bush placed no effective limit on temporary workers admitted at any time. The Bush proposal allows all businesses to post any job in the country on an Internet website (presumably at any wage and working condition), and if an American does not take the job in some vague short timespan, then the business can import a foreign worker. Employers will naturally be hiring more foreignersand the Bush proposal makes no mention of what this will do to salaries. In fact, the Washington Times quotes a White House official as saying that the fact that a job is open will be assumed to mean that the marketplace has determined the need for immigration. So the impact of more Third World immigration on joblessness and wages will be tremendousa fact that the 2004 Democrat presidential nominee, if he is smart, could underscore repeatedly.
On Feb. 5, my friend and fellow activist D.A. King organized a demonstration at the Georgia Capitol building steps to protest the Bush amnesty plan in particular and unchecked illegal immigration in general. In attendance, and supporting the cause, were the Republican leaders of the immigration caucuses in both legislative housesRep. Chip Lake and Sen. Casey Cagle. (My favorite sign held by a demonstrator at the rallyattended mainly by dozens of conservatives and blue-collar workerswas Deport Karl Rove.)
Later that day, after a speech I gave to a 250-strong senior-citizens group in Roswell, Ga., the question period focused on how the Bush proposal stabbed at the very heart of the Social Security system. Under the Social Security Act, illegal aliens are eligible for benefits if the U.S. and the home country of the illegal have a totalization agreement. If Congress ever agrees with the president and grants it, one questioner asked me, Whats the end result? I responded by quoting journalist Joel Mowbray, who said in light of the number of Mexicans potentially eligible for benefits under the Bush agreement, the total expenditure for U.S. taxpayers would far surpass $1 billion annually. But whatever the estimate, if untold millions of illegal Mexicans, Middle Easterners, and others are allowed to collect full Social Security wages for themselves and their familieswithout having to work the required number of years that law-abiding citizens work to be eligiblethe system could go belly-up fast.
I also attended many Georgia Republican Party county caucuses in February and March where members openly blasted the president on immigration. A typical resolution, passed unanimously by the Rockdale County GOP, read: Be it further resolved the party supports legislation and efforts to stem the negative tide of illegal immigration into the U.S. Illegal immigration challenges the very sovereignty and lifestyle of all Americans who are legal citizens . County chairman Kellie Pharr told me, This is in direct response to our own president.
The bottom line: the Bush amnesty and so-called temporary worker scheme will not pass Congress if a majority realizes that it is fiscally irresponsible, encourages massive illegal immigration, and would further balkanize society by fostering an underclass that does not want to learn English or participate in mainstream American culture. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, (R-Ga.), sensing that Bush made a strategic error with conservatives, is now quoted by the New York Times as saying that Congress would make headway this session in other proposals guiding the hiring of foreign workers. The senator tells me Bush needs better advice on this issue the understatement of the year.
Bush will carry Georgia in November, and probably the entire old Confederacy. But his main Southern conservative base, like a parent ticked off at a wayward son, is clearly not happy.
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Try and convince your dad that if Kerry wins he has promised to give immediate citizenship to every illegal in this country.
With Bush we at least have a chance. Congressman Tom Tancredo of Colorado is working very hard to change the president's mind, and bring some sanity back to the Republican party.
I sent the following letter to Karl Rove and Andrew Card at the White House. Whether it will do any good -- who knows, but it made me feel better.
Dear Mr. Rove:
I write to address the issue of President Bushs reelection. No one is a bigger supporter of the President than I, for many reasons; however, it is my opinion that his chances for reelection could be in serious trouble.
If I may make the following observations:
Other than Attorney General John Ashcrofts opinion of many months ago that he considers the Second Amendment to be an individual right, the Bush Administration has proven to be no great friend to gun owners; moreover, the Presidents support of the Assault Weapons Ban extension has left them most displeased.
In gauging the sentiments of gun owners generally, few view him favorably. They have had their Second Amendment rights ridiculed, attacked and diminished for years and at every level of government; anything less than something very positive from the President between now and November 2 will garner neither their good will nor their votes.
So I write to urge you to find ways for President Bush to strengthen the right of Americans to possess and carry firearms. If he can do this, he will endear himself to tens of millions of registered voters; if he does not, I fear these same voters will look upon his reelection with indifference, at best.
Well I'd tell the Bush camp, tough cookies! Millions of conservatives are going to continue to support Tom Tancredo, long after Bush wins the election in 2004, God willing. (And I say God willing because the Democrats are so vile, and have a even worse amnesty program.)
Yes, I'm afraid Bill Clinton's administration taught the Republicans how to punish desent within the ranks. If any politician disagrees with their president then the party head will with hold money from that person's re-election campaign. Re: Tom Tancredo. This is one reason so many other Republicans won't speak up to save our country from foreign invasion.
Clinton used this kind of blackmail very successfully, and Karl Rove is doing the same with the Republicans who won't go along with Bush's amnesty plan.
Maybe instead of sending $35 billion to Mexico, the illegals could send a portion to the campaign.
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