The latest issue of the Immigration Report newsletter, distributed every two months to its members by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), arrived in the mail the other day. The headline article reported on the White House summit on immigration reform, held on June 25th. I found the article especially interesting in light of my recent post on the dramatic drop in the rate of U.S. population growth, in which I speculated that while the administration is publicly supporting immigration reform and amnesty, it is (for whatever reason) quietly putting the brakes on immigration. Here are some excerpts from the article:
President Committed to Amnesty but Chief of Staff says “The Votes Aren’t There”
The much anticipated and oft-delayed White House summit on immigration reform finally took place on June 25. President Obama hosted about 20 members of Congress for a closed door meeting about how to deal with an “immigration system that is broken and needs fixing.”
… White House chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, made a point of dampening expectations that amnesty legislation is imminent. “The votes aren’t there,” Emanual admitted in an interview with the Christian Science Monitor. President Obama reiterated that point in a post-summit statement, saying, “there is not by any means consensus across the table.”
… A further indication of how unpopular the idea of an illegal alien amnesty is with the American people was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) revealing post-summit statement. While reaffirming her “absolute commitment” to an illegal alien amnesty, Speaker Pelosi made it clear that it would be up to the Senate to pass a bill before the House would act.
Whether or not you agree with the approaches taken, you have to admit that Obama has been dauntless in tackling issues important to him – things like global warming, salvaging the domestic auto industry and, more recently, health care reform – regardless of a lack of public support. So it seems quite uncharacteristic for the administration to simply throw up its hands on the issue of immigration reform with the excuse that “the votes aren’t there.” Perhaps their hearts were never really in it.
It seems that opponents of amnesty and immigration “reform,” led by groups like FAIR and NumbersUSA, have clearly gained the upper hand in the immigration debate and that it’s unlikely any amnesty legislation will even make it to the floor of Congress any time soon. But, as FAIR emphasized in their newsletter, this is no time to lower our guard. We need to hold the government’s feet to the fire on securing the border and on halting the importation of foreign labor.