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.
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.
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.
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.
Seems like MexDonaldsBoy is making it easy for me to make fun of him (AGAIN).
Genghis gives the details while I goof on the hate-monger.
Paul Streitz's Senate campaign is looking to win an upcoming straw poll in Middletown, partly with the help of people from out of state, according to an email message allegedly sent by his campaign.
he straw poll in Middletown will have the candidates speak, the newspapers will cover and the 11 o'clock news will have the story. Our opponent Alan Schlesinger is expected to be there.
The vote is among whoever shows up. So the more people we have concerned about immigration, the more likely we are to win.
"Immigration Control Candidate Wins Straw Poll Against Party Establishment"
If we have a victory, that is the kind of headline we could receive and it would be national news, on to all the internet sites. And send a chill up and down the spines (do they have any) of Senators and House members. If we lose, we have to make excuses.
I know that for some of you it is a good drive, but we expect some people from New Jersy and Massachusetts to be there. This is important.("Straw Poll")
Strange that he would be bringing people from New Jersey and Massachusetts to a Connecticut straw poll.
I'll take the ball from here because unlike Genghis, I'm not a really nice when it comes to expressing my opinion of this bafoon.
It's not strange that Strietz is asking people to come from out of state to vote for him in a Connecticut Straw poll just like it wan't strange that he did a "survey" on various McDonalds resturants and determined (by simply looking at people) that a majority of the people working there were Latinos (which to him means that immigrants are taking away jobs from white peop...oh, I mean Americans).
It's simple, Strietz is a nutcase and a crazy xenophobe. He has no credibility whatsoever so he is forced to find like-minded idiots from other states to travel to Connecticut and vote for him.
He's an embarrassment to this state, it's that simple. It's not worth being nice to this guy because he's simply a racist jerk.
(Hat tip goes out to Freedom Rider for the hookup).
Upset about the BRT development and the generous seven year tax abatement Mayor Boughton gave the developers? Angered over the recent remarks from Mayor Boughton? Feel like the Democrats are not fighting for your interests? Feel like the Democrats are reaching out to the community?
Go to the next meeting and let your voice be heard. If you have a grip, go down and let them have it.
This is an excellent column from Hannah Selinger which was featured in today's Raw Story. It's such a good article that I've decided to post the entire thing.
I work in an industry where the worst jobs--and I mean the worst jobs--are relegated to people who barely speak English. Whether these non-English-speakers are or are not legal immigrants is rarely, if ever, discussed. In the restaurant industry, it is taken for granted that most of the back-of-the-house, along with a healthy sampling from the front-of-the-house, consists of paperless immigrants.
Recently, immigration has become the most fashionable Republican platform, and although the issue has reared its ugly head before, this time the president seems intent on making it legislative reality. He and his right-wing friends want to criminalize the already criminal, forcing deportation on the already impoverished.
Certainly there are viable arguments for ending illegal immigration. Flag-waving Americans will tell you that there are not enough jobs to go around, that hard-working natural-born citizens have enough problems without competing for meager means. I don't know a lot of flag-waving Americans who would joyfully wash garbage off other people's plates, or who would spend nights shuffling trash from kitchen to dumpster, but perhaps that's fodder for another column. And anyway, according to recent studies, the "they're taking our jobs" claim simply isn't true. "Even the least-skilled Americans benefit from the presence of a large pool of immigrant workers," the New York Times' John M. Broder reported on Sunday. "[T]he 11 million illegal immigrants are consumers, too, creating demands for goods and services and the jobs they produce." Broder cited as sources both Jared Bernstein, of the Economic Policy Institute, as well as Steven A. Camarota, of the Center for Immigration Studies (which does not, by the way, advocate illegal immigration).
Beyond the remedial, playground claim that American jobs are being taken by non-Americans, there are other, better reasons for ending illegal immigration. Much of the time, illegal immigrants are treated worse and paid less than American citizens because there is no watch group to protect the workplace interest of people who aren't supposed to be here in the first place. Unspeakably low wages and nonexistent healthcare benefit employers, not people who came to this country to establish better lives for themselves.
Last week, on a busy Saturday night, a porter at my restaurant picked up a bag of garbage that happened to contain in it one very sharp piece of a Bordeaux glass. The shard cut the porter's arm so deeply that it appeared to have severed muscle and tendons. He was bleeding profusely and in need of immediate medical attention. "We need to send you to a hospital," my sous-chef said to him. "Can we even do that? Do you have your papers?" The porter was taken to the hospital regardless, but who knows what consequences one minor injury will provoke? This is a first-world country, after all, that acts, at times, like a third-world one, eschewing knowledge in favor of faith. For all our medical advancement, for all our literacy and worldliness, we still may be unable to help one porter who has mistakenly cut his arm. And this is only one instance in a probable million.
Guaranteed most Americans wouldn't wish to trade places, even if it meant an opportunity to make a living. "It is asserted both as fact and as argument," Broder writes, that, "the United States needs a constant flow of immigrants to perform jobs that Americans would not stoop to do." Illegal immigrants make up twelve percent of the food preparation industry, twenty-four percent of the farming/fishing/forestry industry, seventeen percent of the cleaning industry, and 9 percent of the manufacturing industry. It is hard to blame people who work hard for practically nothing, and who do the behind-the-scenes work that allows us to enjoy life here in the United States.
Not to mention the fact that our country was built on the possibilities extended by immigration. Since the arrival of the Mayflower, the United States has been a country infiltrated by other peoples from other countries who have informed the vast and difficult-to-categorize American cultural landscape. To restrict and criminalize immigration would be to deny how powerfully it has impacted not only our lives, but also our history books.
Now we have on our hands 11 million people facing eviction, even though few of us can claim to be pureblooded Americans--and by pureblooded I mean being generationally from this country, which excludes practically everyone except those of us who count among our direct relatives the Native American population. To agree with the president, to force these people from an already uncertain future, is not only a humanitarian's nightmare, but it is also inherently un-American. Which is, perhaps, what we should remember when we complain about open borders and $2.50/hr dishwashing jobs that should remain solely available to the United States' so-called naturally born.
Based on the overwhelming interest from around the state (or should I say the entire country), we posted a new poll (over on the right hand section of the blog) concerning the exchange between Mayor Boughton and immigration attorney Philip Berns and would like everyone to participate in the poll after reading the article and viewing the video.
Keep the comments coming, we'll post more highlights very soon (there is a problem with importing the new video footage and it should be resolved shortly.
04.25.22 (RADIO): WSHU Latino group call on Connecticut lawmakers to open a Danbury charter school
06.03.22 (OP-ED): KUSHNER: "Career Academy ‘a great deal for Danbury"
On September 26, 2007, ten plaintiffs filed suit in response to an arrest of aday laborers at a public park in Danbury, Connecticut. Plaintiffs amended their complaint on November 26, 2007.
The amended complaint states that plaintiffs sought to remedy the continued discriminatory and unauthorized enforcement of federal immigration laws against the Latino residents of the City of Danbury by Danbury's mayor and its police department.
Plaintiffs allege that the arrests violated their Fourth Amendment rights and the Connecticut Constitution because defendants conducted the arrests without valid warrants, in the absence of exigent circumstances, and without probable cause to believe that plaintiffs were engaged in unlawful activity. In addition, plaintiffs allege that defendants improperly stopped, detained, investigated, searched and arrested plaintiffs. Plaintiffs also allege that defendants violated their Fourteenth Amendment rights when they intentionally targeted plaintiffs, and arrested and detained them on the basis of their race, ethnicity and perceived national origin. Plaintiffs raise First Amendment, Due Process and tort claims.
Plaintiffs request declaratory relief, damages and attorneys fees.