Last week Senator Elizabeth Dole successfully helped scuttle the so called grand bargain immigration reform bill that would have given amnesty to over 12 to 20 million million illegal immigrants -- while doing virtually nothing to secure our borders.
Backed by President Bush, who is looking to enhance his legacy, Ted Kennedy and Senator John Kyl -- this bill was accurately described by former NY City Mayor Rudy Giuliani as mess.
The last straw for consevatives was when Bush attacked his own conservative base for a lack of patriotism.
If you don't want to do what's right for America," he said of opponents of the Bush-Kennedy immigration bill, "if you want to scare the American people, what you say is the bill's an amnesty bill. That's empty political rhetoric, trying to frighten our citizens."
But if the 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens are instantly legalized, what other phrase describes that other than amnesty?
The Heritage Foundation made the following points:
Congress should set aside this "grand bargain" and begin a new the serious work of crafting sensible immigration reforms that will:
- enhance rather than compromise national security,
- affirm rather than undermine rule of law,
- facilitate economic growth in a fiscally responsible fashion,
- create a temporary worker program that is balanced, market driven and enforceable, and
- Enrich the fabric of our culture while truly uniting us as a people.
Senator Dole understood, as did many conservatives out side of Washington DC, that none of the above would be accomplished by passing the so called grand bargain.
Marc Rotterman worked on the national campaign of Reagan for President in 1980, served on the presidential transition team in 1980, worked in the Reagan Administration from 1981-1984, is a senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation in Raleigh, NC and a former member of the board of the American Conservative Union.
Be the first to read Marc Rotternman's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.