Skip to comments.Brownback Joins Dems on Immigration Bill
Posted on 04/09/2006 6:57:45 AM PDT by Aetius
Saturday, April 8, 2006 10:49 p.m. EDT Brownback Joins Dems on Immigration Bill
The extent to which the immigration issue has driven a wedge between Americans -- putting conservatives at odds with conservatives and liberals contesting with liberals -- has been starkly illustrated by the sudden alliance between Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., and liberals such as Sens. Harry Reid and Ted Kennedy.
The fiercely conservative Brownback unexpectedly joined a group of Democrats and some fellow Republicans in their attempt to bring about major changes in the nation's immigration laws that would open the gates for most of the 12 million illegal aliens in the United States to obtain work permits and eventually citizenship
"This is probably the most divisive issue in America today, and I hope this compromise ends up bringing us together," Brownback told reporters as he stood with his immigration allies, including Reid, the Democratic leader from Nevada, and Kennedy, D-Mass. Their bill, which would have enabled illegal aliens attain legal status, was put on hold with the Senate going on a two-week recess.
His support of the liberalized immigration bill drew quick response from fellow conservatives who called Brownback's approach as amnesty for lawbreakers. "Essentially, this is 12 million new green cards," Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn said.
"Brownback Can Kiss '08 Run Goodbye," warned a headline in the journal Human Events, and the National Review online predicted: "Conservatives will long remember his vote for this reckless proposal."
Brownback has been described by the Washington Post as "one of the most conservative senators, a torch-bearer on anti-abortion and family causes." The Post said his "opposition to same-sex marriage and embryonic stem-cell research has made him a favorite of social conservatives, and he has emerged as a dark horse for the 2008 GOP presidential nomination."
Brownback, a devout Roman Catholic, says his approach to immigration arises out of a humanitarian perspective, and he is unmoved by his colleagues' criticism. He said that he considers the plight of illegal immigrants a form of suffering.
"One of the key measures in any society is what you do for the so-called least of these," Brownback said in a floor speech. "People who have difficulty with status, difficulty having laws applied to them, have difficulty accessing the system, are considered the least of these."
His remarks about the "least of these" were based on Jesus' admonition that "whatsover you do unto the least of my brethren, that you do unto me."
His stand is in line with that of his Catholic Church leaders, including Los Angeles Cardinal Roger Mahony, whom the Post notes have strongly backed proposals for legalization of undocumented immigrants and a guest-worker program. They see those efforts as a moral imperative that grows out of the biblical mandate to care for the stranger and show compassion for the poor.
Moreover, Mahony has warned that no Catholic politician could vote "in good faith" for the House-passed legislation that would crack down on illegal immigrants and punish those who help them. Many Jewish, Muslim and Protestant leaders have similarly backed legalization efforts.
But that has not prevented some of his GOP colleagues from calling his his view of illegal immigration simplistic and fails to take into account problems posed by a porous U.S. border with Mexico. "We ought to make sure our borders are secure first," Sen. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, told the Post. "Then we'll see what we can do to be compassionate, and solve those problems."
Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., the head of the House Immigration Caucus and a champion of the law-and-order approach embodied in the House-passed version of the legislation, accused Brownback of being "an extreme opponent of getting tough on illegal immigration."
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, whom the Post says talks frequently with Brownback, said he should address the concerns of religious conservatives, including beliefs that a large influx of undocumented workers undermines the social fabric and that many of them do not learn English or attempt to assimilate into the larger society.
Said Brownback: "I've been in a pro-immigration position for some period of time, and I believe strongly in it. (I believe) that this is a nation of immigrants and that we should be welcoming, that we should be compassionate."
According to the Post, President Reagan is Brownback's role model on immigration issues. The late president signed a law in 1986 that improved border enforcement and cracked down on employers for hiring illegal workers. But the bill also legalized 2.8 million undocumented workers.
"I think the conservative position is that we care for the individual," Brownback said. Every human being is "beautiful," as he puts it, including illegal farm workers and hotel maids. "My position is very consistent with Ronald Reagan, and that's about as conservative an icon as you can get."
Brownback is a hypocrite when it comes to refugees/asylum seekers. When some Somali Bantu were slated to be resettled in his own Kansas, Brownback blocked the plan, saying "they would not work well in Kansas." Otherwise, however, he is one of the biggest champions of placing large numbers of such refugees in other communities, whether those communities want it or not. Basically, the feelings of communities that must bear the burden of refugee resetlements typically don't register as important to Brownback, unless of course those communities consist of people who can vote Brownback out of office.
Sounds like just another government elitist. Sad.
Amazing. I never realized this guy was a gibbering braindead idiot. And he wants to run for president? heh...heh-heh...hahaha...heeheehee....OMG, they really do have a twisted sense of humor in Washington.
I'm not 100% positive, but I believe that Sam Brownback is supposed to be on the Jerry Agar show on 980 KMBZ in Kansas City this Tuesday.
I would love to hear what he has to say. Jerry is one of the best talk show hosts ever, and occassionally has our own Congressman Billybob on.
Unfortunately, at this time, they do NOT stream over the Internet, although I hear that they're working on it, so I guess this is only for Kansas City area Freepers.
Brownback Joins Dems on Immigration Bill
What are the politicians so AFRAID of should they vote for a REAL BILL securing our borders, tough on the 10-20 million here, because 100,000 of the defiant illegals are demonstrating?
What's the worse that could happen?
They would return to Mexico?
They would quit their jobs?
Ewwww that's scary ;) NOT!!
Or would there be an uprising ? GOOD than arrest the ....problem solved.
There goes his Presidential chances.
Logic doesn't exist for Brownback, etc.. Where's the line in the sand, the border? Where does 'compassion' stop? (That's such a bleeding heart, phony issue...and it's insulting. Furthermore, where's his 'compassion' for Mexico, now being depopulated!) Never mind, why not let in everybody? They're headed north anyway. It makes more sense in practical and in human terms, if we simply give away our GNP to poorer nations in the hemisphere. Put money in the pocket of every Mexican/Guatemalan/Costa Rican/Brazilian/etc., who stayed put. Those countries could certainly be trusted to 'rebuild their infrastructure'. No corruption, no graft. Everything would be hunky dory. Of course, we'd be dead broke, starving. Maybe Mexico would let us in? (I didn't think so.)
Brownback may agree with Mahony but the teaching of the Church disagrees with both of them. Mahony speaks only for himself and while he may be a Cardinal he is hardly a leader of the Church. As on most issues his opinion and the teaching of the Church are diametrically opposed. He is an apostate, heterodox bordering on schism.
Illegals are all over Overland Park.
Look in his hip pocket.
It's amazing what a little bit of national attention can do to a guy. Brownback has turned RINO faster than any other formerly conservative senator in history.
"This is probably the most divisive issue in America today, and I hope this compromise ends up bringing us together,"
In other words, "This issue is difficult and we're too damned lazy to spend the time and effort to fix it. Besides, it is more important that the Senate kiss and make up then to do what is right for the American people and future generations of Americans"
Vote for George Allen!
Knowing that Brownback is a protege of Cardinal Mahony makes him unfit to be President of the USA!
Good point, but as to the votes, do they want to P'O 289 million LEGAL voters OR 10 million liberal votes?
I really belive that the hispanics and the illegal aliens are LIBERALS and will remain that way.
Maybe, maybe not. In the beef industry alone in Kansas there are 129,000 employed of those its anybody guess as to how mny illegals are employed, but from my own personal experience and knowledge and meatpackers such as IBP,Excel,National there might be as much as 50% illegal hiring rates, we are talking plants with 3000+ employees each.
A few years back in Garden City, Kansas a Monfort beef plant burned down and the city went from 4% unemployment to 10%, the plant has yet to reopen and although the unemployment rate has dropped the new jobs that enter that town are mostly service sector, Stores,FastFood, and the other beefpacker only added a few jobs and the town has been slowly losing population since the fire.
Anyways there are a few towns in Kansas whose entire economy is built around the beef industry, Dodge City,Liberal, Garden City small towns that operate feed lots and etc. Those towns would be hit hard for awhile, the nations beef supply would be hit hard until they raise wages enough to make it a worthwhile job for most Americans, and then we will have to talk about the other effects such as 10 dollar a pound hamburger.
Dont get me wrong I am not for illegal immigration, I want a tight secure border were even if a guy farted on the border the stink cant drift across. But I am realistic and know that if it isnt done right some of these agricultural jobs wont be filled overnight by willing Americans unless farmer John has the money to pay you wages enough to do his work, thus we will have ourselves a recession.
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