The Senate sidetracked sweeping immigration legislation Friday amid partisan recriminations, leaving in doubt prospects for passage of a measure that offered the hope of citizenship to millions of men, women and children living in the United States illegally.Politics as usual. The House Republicans' bill was outrageous at the least and didn't have a chance in becomming law. In fact, the only thing the House Republican's bill did was upset 500,000 Latinos in Los Angeles as well as tens of thousands who came out and protested in the streets (which scared the hell out of everyone). The Senate's bill was so pathetic, it couldn't even get enough votes to go forward.
The bill gained only 38 votes on a key procedural test, far short of the 60 needed to advance.
The vote marked a turnabout from Thursday, when the Senate's two leaders had both hailed a last-minute compromise as a breakthrough in the campaign to enact the most far-reaching changes in immigration law in two decades.
But Republicans soon accused Democrats of trying to squelch their amendments, while Democrats accused the GOP of trying to kill their own bill by filibuster.
"It's not gone forward because there's a political advantage for Democrats not to have an immigration bill," said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter, R-Pa.
Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid countered, "The amendments were being offered by people who didn't want the bill."
The vote fell nearly along party lines, with Democrats in favor of advancing the bill and Republicans opposed.
Republicans said Democrats perceive a benefit in having only a GOP-written House bill that would make being an illegal immigrant a felony. That bill has prompted massive protests across the country, including a march by 500,000 people in Los Angeles last month.
Democrats blamed Republicans for insisting on amendments that would weaken a compromise that Senate leaders in both parties had celebrated Thursday.
"This opportunity is slipping through our hands like grains of sand," said assistant Senate Democratic leader Dick Durbin of Illinois.
So where are we now, right back where we started. The politicans don't want to touch this issue because for the Republicans, immigration reform is like touching the third rail and they're in enough trouble now with the Democrats in prime position to take over both chambers of Congress. Democrats on the other hand, are happy to keep this issue in the spotlight because this is a battle between the radical conservatives (lock all the illegals up; make illegal immigration a felony) and traditional /moderate conservatives (illegal immigrants are good for business as cheap labor is good for the economy) and all the Democrats have to do is step back and watch the Republicans self-destruct.
I say again, look who's in control of Congress and direct you anger in their direction. Add the failed leadership of the Bush administraion and in the end, your right back to where you started.
So what did we learn today:
1.) Congress could care less about illegal immigration.
2.) No one is serious about fixing the immigration process (funny how overhauling the immigration process wasn't really present in the House's bill).
3). No one cares about what the radical conservatives think simply because they have no power (look at how fast the religious conservatives got that Terri Schiavo passed...it's because the religious right has the money and power).
Lastly, this immigration battle is about border states and if you think that Congress gives a rats ass about little ol' Danbury Connecticut, you're simply fooling yourself. No power, no money, and Congress could care less about Danbury. Where do we go from here? No where but more fighting between the pro and anti immigrant groups, silly illegal immigration forums, radical groups like FAIR coming to town looking for handouts, and people in the country thinking that Danbury is the craziest, most hate-filled city in Connecticut.
Makes me want to holler and throw up my hands.