Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Bayh Flakes On Immigration Legislation

Sen. Evan Bayh flaked away today when the Senate took a key vote to reconsider critical immigration reform legislation to deal with the status of nearly 12 million undocumented aliens living and working in the U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar (R) voted with 64 of his colleagues in supporting today's crucial vote, while Sen. Bayh joined 35 senators in voting against the immigration legislation. In fact, Bayh was one of just 8 Democratic senators who voted against the bill. He was joined by former KKK member, Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV), Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND), Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sen. David Rockefeller (D-WV), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Sen. John Tester (D-MT).

Sen. Lugar bravely rose above the harsh political rhetoric being dished by opponents of immigration reforn on both extremes of the political spectrum. Bayh supported the immigration compromise brokered last year by Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). I'm frankly stunned by Sen. Bayh's vote today. The irony is that, if he had remained a presidential candidate, today's vote would have pretty much done in his presidential aspirations. His vote today could also effectively kill any chances he had of being chosen as a running mate for the 2008 Democratic presidential candidate. The Democratic nominee wouldn't want the drag of an anti-immigrant candidate on the ticket. Today's knee-jerk vote may signal his intention to try pacifying the wingnuts back home in anticipation of a re-election bid in four years.

Will Sen. Bayh flake out on the federal hate crimes legislation next? The American Family Association of Indiana recently sent this warning to its followers: "AFA of Indiana has received reports indicating that that *both* Richard Lugar and Evan Bayh are inclined to support this unconstitutional bill. BOTH Senators need to hear from you immediately!" Like the immigration bill, Sen. Bayh has supported past votes on hate crimes legislation in the Senate, athough he did absolutely nothing as Indiana's governor to secure passage of similar legislation.

15 comments:

Wilson46201 said...

Senator Evan Bayh personally told me he was glad to be sponsoring the Federal Hate Crimes Act. Don't worry about him!

And just where does your elder statesman Dick Lugar stand on this bill? Can't you get a coherent answer from anybody on his staff? Is he frantically trying to dodge all the Miller-crazies in the Indiana GOP?

Advance Indiana said...

Well, he told people he supported an immigration compromise as well.

Wilson46201 said...

"an immigration compromise" - very vague and not a specific Bill (unlike the Hate Crimes Bill). The devil is in the details. I dont necessarily agree with Evan Bayh on his vote today but it doesnt necessarily indicate he changed his position.

As an immigration lawyer I suppose you are not on the side of the large Tancredo/Sessions wing of your GOP? In fact, the majority of your Republican Senators voted with Evan Bayh.

You could be a more forceful advocate for immigration reform on your blog here by writing some informative and exhortatory articles based on your daily experiences and legal background.

Scott said...

I'd hazard a guess that this could actually help Bayh's VP chances (such as they are; I still don't think he has a prayer of being chosen).

Wilson46201 said...

AFP: "An influential group of Republicans in the US House of Representatives on Tuesday rejected President George W. Bush's sweeping immigration reform bill -- before even seeing the final product.

The House Republican conference voted by 114 votes to 23 in favor of a resolution expressing opposition to an immigration reform bill which is struggling to pass in the Senate, before being sent to the House."

Advance Indiana said...

And you don't think Joe Donnelly and Brad Ellsworth will be right there with them participating in the immigrant-bashing fest?

Anonymous said...

The Senate immigration bill is bad for American citizens, bad for legal immigrants, bad for taxpayers, bad for American workers. It's a costly, unworkable, unfair, jury-rigged sham and a travesty put together by special interests (La raza, cheap labor lobbies and immigration lawyers) that repeats the errors of 1986 and only continues the worst features of our broken immigration system. We have had several amnesties/legalizations before, and each time we have done them, the system becomes more broken, less fair, and less capable.

Americans reject the bill by 2 to 1, for the simple reason that they do not trust Washington to do the right thing. Nor should they. For 6 years, the Bush White House failed to secure the border and properly enforce the law. Now they hold both hostage to a 'grand compromise' whose bottom line is to turn 12 million illegal immigrants into eventual citizens. The upshot and irony is that this terrible and egregious bill probably will result in such a huge Tsunami of reaction that *LEGAL IMMIGRATION AS WE HAVE KNOWN IT IS AT SERIOUS RISK*.

If being for this POS bill is a requirement to be considered a Democratic Presidential candidate, then the Democrats are unfit to govern - anywhere, anyplace, any time.

Anonymous said...

Wilson...nice to see you on W's side and opposing Bayh on this issue!! It must hurt! My sides are splitting laughing so hard.Your desperate attempts to make this all about wing-nut Republicans makes it even funnier!!!

Anonymous said...

The invasion is destroying our economy and increasing violent crime. It is also costing us with increased insurance premiums, since the invaders are reckless drivers without insurance.

We need a strong policy and strict enforcement on immigration laws.

Anonymous said...

Everyone wants to talk about "the invasion" and how it is "bad" for America. Have you all forgotten that your ancesters invaded America? I am Native American, and the lives of my ancesters were destroyed by immigrants. Why should we close the door to America now? Because you don't want YOUR lives effected?

Anonymous said...

Look, is it possible that this bill has real problems? I mean, what immigrant family can raise $5000 per member as required under this measure? Then after 2 years-- go BACK to their country of origin and get in line to come back here? What idiot thought this will work? Or are the ones voting for it-- esp Bush's support-- just doing something to be doing something?

Maybe I am whacked out, but this doesn't even seem that immgrant friendly a bill...

Anonymous said...

Your headline is interesting. Sen. Bayh "Flaked out" ? How so? His position on this issue has not changed. Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan also opposed it. They collectively view this as a threat to working men and women. I disgaree, but they're entitled, and it's hardly "flaking out."

The $5,000 provision was always a stealth cover, designed as red meat for the hard-right crowd that demands a pound of flesh. Except on smart Iraqi War decisions, of course. It might as well be $100,000 for all the good it'd do. It's stupid.

The previous post by the native American made me ashamed that I'd not looked into this issue enough. (S)he is 100% right, of course.

This is all a bout the President trying to salvage something--ANYthing--from his presidency. There are almost no other shining moments. History will not be kind.
Hell, 2007 is pretty damning of W without waiting on history.

The Scribe said...

Gary, I must say that anytime you agree with Wilson on something, that's a good opportunity to reconsider your position.

I also must add that I'm extremely disappointed to see that you've painted people such as myself as being anti-immigrant. As the grandchild of immigrants (legal, I might add) I resent that implication.

Why did my family have to play by the rules? Because they didn't come over the border to pick tomatoes?

Also, as one who has enough American Indian blood to open a casino, I have to add that there's little parallel. That argument has as much merit as blacks who demand reparations for something that happened 140+ years ago.

Jeff Pruitt said...

No Democrat should support that bill and especially not one from Indiana. The guest worker, and skilled worker visa programs make it DOA as far as I'm concerned.

These programs only help to suppress wages while creating a second class citizenry. Companies do whatever they can to disqualify American workers so they can claim "no American will do the job". It's nonsense - they simply want to pay half the prevailing wage to imported labor.

And let's not forget that many of the current stock of illegal immigrants didn't sneak across the border - they came here legally. So what do you think is going to happen when their temporary worker visa runs out? They are going to stay and we'll be right back where we started...

Anonymous said...

My family is Mexican-American and we vote Democratic. However, given Evan Bayh's inartful waffling on the immigration issue, my family has decided we willnot ever again vote for Evan Bayh.

As you will recall, he initially voted for the immigration bill offered a few months ago. He then voted against it because of the "terrible" amendments that were being offered. The amendments were defeated and he still voted against the bill, this time claiming it did not do enough for internal security and split immigrant families.

The Democratic party realizes the importance of the Latino vote, which is why we will not see Evan Bayh on a national ticket - thank goodness!