August 20, 2007

Maybe The Bill Had Something To Do With It

The Project for Excellence in Journalism conducted a study to determine why the immigration-reform bill died on the floor of the Senate -- and readers can guess who gets the credit and the blame. Their exhaustive study, apparently completed and published in six weeks, claims that conservative talk radio set off a frenzied mob by using the word "amnesty":

Opposition from key talk radio and cable TV hosts helped kill the immigration bill in Congress, a study out today concludes.

“What listeners of the conservative talk radio media were hearing, in large part, was that the legislation itself was little more than an ‘amnesty bill’ for illegal immigrants, a phrase loaded with political baggage,” it says.

The study by the nonpartisan Project for Excellence in Journalism quantifies what White House and Capitol Hill phone lines and e-mail inboxes already indicated: Talk radio focused on the immigration debate more intensely than the mainstream media did from April to June.

Conservative hosts touched off a brushfire in the Republican base that President Bush and other party leaders were helpless to contain.

The study concluded that talk-radio hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Michael Savage devoted 16% of their second-quarter airtime to immigration. Liberal talk-show hosts only devoted 5% to the topic. Using this calculation, the study concludes that the talk-radio shows overpowered liberals who supported the bill, and therefore foiled passage of the bill.

Well, maybe. However, this sounds like the study's authors confuse correlation with causation. They don't study how all of this chatter actually affected the Senate vote. We assume it did -- on that much we can agree -- but that's all this study does as well. No one studied the use of the word "amnesty", either. Did that really affect listener comprehension of the bill, and was it fair or unfair to use it when describing the bill?

The authors also fail to consider that the bill was just a poorly-written piece of legislation. Its sponsors and Harry Reid did whatever they could to jam it down the Senate's throat quickly enough to avoid scrutiny and to keep any amendments that could actually fix its myriad issues from succeeding. That backroom process angered many voters on its own, as well as a good percentage of the Senators who had to vote on it. Talk radio didn't have much to do with any of that.

Liberals weren't thrilled with this bill, either. People on both sides of the divide opposed it, although the most passionate were the conservatives. And some center-right talk-show hosts didn't oppose the bill, at least not outright, Hugh Hewitt among them. Some of the talk-show hosts wanted to work in some amendments that would make the bill palatable.

Why didn't they catch that? Their sample only included two conservative talk shows per day. They only tracked Rush Limbaugh every day, and then alternated between Sean Hannity and Michael Savage. For liberal talk radio, their sample was even smaller; they sampled one show per day, alternating between Ed Schultz and Randi Rhodes. The rest of their radio study consisted of ABC's headline service and NPR.

This study reminds me of CBS polling. It fails at the sample, and then draws a lot of unsupported conclusions.


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Comments (54)

Posted by Ray | August 20, 2007 6:10 PM

For years I have herd politicians complain that the public was not involved enough in politics and the government and now when it is apparent that they are, the same politicians complain that the public is TOO MUCH involved. I wonder if those politicians will ever be satisfied?

Remember, it wasn't Rush and the others that killed the bill, it was the constituents that demanded this bill be withdrawn. The politicians and other can complain all they want, but but all they are doing is insulting the American people. Do so at your own risk.

Posted by Stephen Macklin | August 20, 2007 6:14 PM

This survey is not about the immigration bill. It is designed and targeted as ammunition in the debate over the fairness doctrine. The left wants to shut down talk radio because for them it does not represent a significant loss, but it would be a serious blow to the right.

Posted by Keemo | August 20, 2007 6:23 PM

ditto's Ray... I didn't spend dozens of hours writing letters and making phone calls because of talk radio.. I happen to have lived in So. California for 52 years of my life; I watched the invasion; I watched the infrastructure fall apart; I witnessed the cultural damage done. Devastating is the only way I can describe the outcome of illegal immigration and our government's unwillingness to do anything about it for enough years to have the effects that I have witnessed. Both parties are "vote whores" with this issue.

I have many Democrats in my family; they also share my sentiment.. This issue crossed party lines; this issue bothers the crap out of most Americans... The polling data confirmed this.

Posted by dhunter | August 20, 2007 6:27 PM

The bill is not dead its' proponents are trying to insert bits and pieces into any bill they can hide them in : Agriculture Bill?
I wager illegal aliens have killed more American citizens than we have lost in Iraq in the last 5 years.
By the Dem methodology we should promptly move to Canada, Alaska, or Antartica lest we lose some more .
Davey Crockett must be rolling in his grave.

Posted by nottheauthorjustareader | August 20, 2007 6:36 PM

A fairer reading of the actual commentary on belies your usual ship-shape fact-checking.

This isn't a "study" of the immigration bill, but a weekly compilation of what's being talked about in the media.

And, the writers point out at the end the obvious ... correlation is not causation. They never claimed either.

I quote (from having read the the actual report, not someone else's reading of that report):

"What can be said is that talk radio made immigration a major issue--conservatives on radio made it their No. 1 issue. And the media generally made more of it than it had in earlier in the year.

"What is unknowable from this data is whether that media attention translates into political pressure—in the form of letters, emails, blogs or phone calls, etc.—which in turn changes votes in Congress."

The authors never claimed this was a broad-based study of the issue, so criticisms of their sample size would be unwarranted.

Beware of commenting on someone else's commentary.

Read it yourself.

Posted by docjim505 | August 20, 2007 6:53 PM

Let's assume that the study is correct and that nasty ol' right wing conservative bigot homophobe neocon talkshow hosts DID rile up their listeners to oppose the bill.

Um... Isn't that kind of what free speech and democracy are all about?

Perhaps we can get somebody else to do a "study" about how LEFTwing media types riled up THEIR base to eject the GOP from control of the Congress in the last election, using words like "corruption" that are loaded with political baggage. How about Algore and the global warming crowd's use of the term "deniers" to belittle and denigrate those of us who don't buy into their chicken little predictions?

As Rush often says, words mean things. They have power and effect. When they are used in support of causes we happen to support, we celebrate freedom of speech and give plaudits to good speakers and writers (Reagan, anyone?). When they are used against causes we support, we suddenly become just a teensy bit less enthusiastic about the First Amendment and what it stands for.

The libs are experiencing a lot of this lately. Yes, they won the Congress and may well win the White House in '08 (God help us), but they won't do it without people exercizing their God-given rights to free speech and the free expression of ideas to criticize them, and THAT, my friends, pisses totalitarian liberals off to no end.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 20, 2007 6:56 PM

I stopped listening to talk radio because of the vitriol over this bill. I was hearing things that made my skin crawl, and I am not a liberal. People can blow me off by saying I must be a dhimmicrat or whatever because I disagreed with Rush, but that is my right. I was just disgusted by what I was hearing from people who seem to think they did a great thing by killing this bill and talking trash on the air.

I do not read Malkin anymore. I rarely visit Townhall. I have been voting Republican for years and I was amazed and aghast at the nastiness and just plain insanity from certain people on this issue.

My liberal Democratic Senator {Bayh} did not vote for it because it was too hard on immigrants and the unions did not support it, my moderate Republican Senator {Lugar} did support it and needless to say he was called all manner of names by the same people who call McCain a traitor and the president Jorge Busho.

And when all was said and done what did they accomplish? Other than alienating hispanics and moderates? They did not fix anything, they did not make anything better.

So, sure, blame the people who wrote the bill. People said they had to have something done about the problem, the government tried to do something and the same people who demanded action did their best to kill the bill. So now they blame the bill and the people who wrote it

. And it will always be that way, because their goal is not to come up with effective policy, it is to demagogue the issue for what they think is political gain.

That is why you will never hear them talk about what kind of resources would actually be needed to rid the country of all illegals. That is why you will never hear them address the issue that about half the illegals did not even cross that border. They will make up all kinds of stuff about what it costs to have people come here and work, but they will not be so explicit about what to do about it. Nor will they deal with the economic impact of removing people from the ag labor market or other such industries.

All we can count on is that they will bitch bitch bitch.

When I heard Mark Steyn { a writer I used to love} said that the bill called for all LEGAL immigrants to be deported and when I read remarks about McCain having sex with HoChiMinh when he was a POW, or Jeb Bush's mex wife and wetback son, or when I heard some Congressman say that the bill allowed terrorists to run free...I knew all hope of rational debate on the subject was dead.

And then after killing a bill that would have allowed 4.6 billion up front for security, hardliners congratulated themselves for getting 3 billion.

Well, they are the same Senators who voted for the latter bill aren't they?...why people think they can be trusted to come up with the 3 billion when they were all traitors and sell outs and God knows what just a couple of weeks earlier is beyond me.

Personally I think they will come up with the funds and try to improve security, but then again I did not think that there was ever a plot to turn America into Mexico either.

So now, whenever someone points out the obvious, that some people {on and off the radio} went off the deep end...people just flutter their eyelashes..and say WHO US?

Bush is the commander in chief in a difficult war and he did not need to be treated like a traitor for maintaining the same immigration policy he had when these people voted for him in 2000 and 2004. They did not help anyone but the Democrats who will probably pick up all the support among hispanics that Republicans had gained in previous years. It was not a lot but considering the margins we have seen in recent elections it does not take a lot.

Believe it or not, not all hispanics are illegals. They vote. And the same can be said for people like me who were insulted and called traitor by people who like to talk about how mean the people are at Kos and DU.

Well I heard and read just as bad from some hardliners on this issue. And my reaction was the same.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 20, 2007 7:05 PM


Not all of those people are criminals, it is not fair to say that.

I bet more people die in a day in this country in car wrecks than we have lost in Iraq in the entire time we have been there.

I bet more young Americans will die right here in this country because some other young Americans shoot them in some drug related crimes on daily basis than we will lose in Iraq as well.

Criminals are criminals, they do not care about immigration laws and if they want to get in this country chances are they will find a way. Lock them up, if you want, put a needle in their arms, whatever, but is not fair to act as if every nanny and busboy is a killer.

Posted by syn | August 20, 2007 7:08 PM

Living in provencial NYC for the past 15 years, up until 9/11 the only thing I knew about Rush Limbaugh was what I heard from those around me, that he was a right-wing nutcase out to destroy America. That is until I actually took the time to listen to him in 2003 and discovered he's wasn't the crazy nut I was led to believe.

Having been inside the bubble and now out I can understand clearly why 'Project for Excellence in Journalism' would be frightened of Rush, he gets in the way of progressive journalism's desire to drive a well-crafted narrative. After, today's journalism professes it's their job to change the world for the better.

IWonder how mainstream 'drive-by' media is going to deal with recent talk show success Dennis Miller? It's easy for the Left to demonize Conservatives, the question is how are they going to demonize a 'tolerant, open-mined classical Liberal'?

Posted by RBMN | August 20, 2007 7:18 PM

The immigration reform pushback was not a top-down phenomenon, not just the new media playing "pied-piper." The "amnesty" outrage was pure authentic grass-roots volcano eruption, the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. Even if the camel was a little dense.

In this case, the grass-roots just happens to be wrong and short-sighted. They have little interest in finding out who's already here anytime soon--the twelve million--as long as we're busy building fences a mile a minute. Fences that only affect about half the illegal influx. As in the compromise bill, both things should be happening at the same time--illegals applying for tamper-proof work permits and fences going up. But people don't want both. They only want one. Oh well, that's democracy. In the long run, nothing better. In the short run, sometimes misguided.

Posted by syn | August 20, 2007 7:23 PM


Forget the Conservative/Liberal labels, really what you are saying is you are against legal immigration and respecting the rule of law.

Your response reminds me of the what surprises me about the Methodist Church in Chicago , good Christian community of American citizens aiding those who are breaking American law.

After witnessing that display of a religious church commiting an anarchist act I now understand how vital is separation of Church and State.

And to your bigoted comment 'not all hispanics are illegal immigrants' I would respond 'not all illegal immigrants are hispanic'.

You speak of race which is innately racist, Rush Limbaugh and many of the other talk show hosts speak about law which is innately just.

Posted by Del Dolemonte | August 20, 2007 7:39 PM

This isn't even worth mentioning, given the fact that the "Project for Excellence in Journalism" has an impeccable left-wing pedigree:

"For its first nine years, the Project was affiliated with the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and had a twin mission of evaluating the press and helping journalists clarify their professional principles. The first task, press evaluation, was carried out through PEJ's empirical research. The second task, clarifying principles, fell to a group the Project ran, the Committee of Concerned Journalists (CCJ).

On July 1, 2006, the Project began a major new phase in its history. It formally separated from CCJ and Columbia University in order to focus on and expand its research activities. It joined the Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C, which administers six other research projects funded by the Pew Charitable Trusts. The Project also doubled its staff and set out to significantly expand its research activities. In 2007, the number of reports it produces will expand from a few a year to dozens. "

Their staff's left-wingers have impeccable credentials, too:

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 20, 2007 8:05 PM


How typical. I disagree with you, therefor I have no respect for the law. It is just that simple, there is good {you} and bad {me]. How democratic of you. So much for freedom of speech.

But then again, you are wrong. I am not a priest and I did not give anyone sanctuary in a Catholic church. In fact it was the teasonous Bush administration who sent that woman back to Mexico. Oh, but in truth they just did that so no one would be suspicious of their true agenda, right?

If you called me in a poll and asked me if I supported stronger border security, I would say yes. But then again, that can not be, because I supported comprehensive immigration reform and that means I am against legal immigration and enforcement of the law. So say you.

I wonder how many people who talk about that even know what the law is. The law says people get a hearing, you can not just load em up and ship em out. That is where it gets complicated. But the hardliners just say wave a magic wand and enforce the laws and it will all work out. Screw the details.

So no syn, I have the same right to an opinion that Rush and Hannity and Laura and Malkin do on this subject and the very fact that you would assume that anyone who does not share your views is a person who has no respect for the law and is a bigot kind of says it all.

Tell me, when I looked at some thread somewhere like Lucianne and someone came on there and said something about diseased people stinking of refried beans, did you lecture them?

When people were sending hate mail to Linda Chavez and telling her to get her ass back to Mexico, did you remind them that her family had been here in the US for centuries?

I doubt it, you were too busy calling people like me names. Republicans need to win elections, and deliberately alienating people is no way to do it. And the fact that people ignored this whole issue for years, and that includes conservatives like Gingrich, only to go totally nuts over it now makes me wonder just where this is really coming from.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 20, 2007 8:10 PM

And syn, I never said Rush talked about race. I said I heard things on talk radio that made my skin crawl and some of that was not even on Rush and it was the callers as much as anyone else.

Rush just used the topic. I am sure he thought it would be good for ratings. If he really cares about justice maybe he would like to run for office instead of just running his mouth.

Justice, that is rich.

Posted by Peter | August 20, 2007 8:14 PM

No one that was against this bill wanted to ignore the problem. Thing is, it doesn't do a heck of a lot of good to try to bale the water out of the boat when someone keeps shooting bigger holes in the bottom.
Stop the influx of illegals. Then let's figure out a way to handle the 12-20 million that are already here.
I was a young man when Black Americans were fighting to get into the construction trades. Now the construction trades are done by illegals, Black Americans don't have jobs, houses aren't any cheaper and the construction on even very expensive houses is shoddy. This same pattern is repeated in industry after industry.
Meanwhile there are neighborhoods where it is open war between Black Americans and Hispanics.
Yeak, it's all talk radio.

Posted by NahnCee | August 20, 2007 8:39 PM

Terry(with an E) - you're too verbose. I quit reading after the 2nd paragraph of your first post. Which was just a bunch of complaining about the poor misunderstood crooks who are stealing our country from us.

I don't agree with that sentiment, but mainly -- you just go on and on and on for too dadblmed long. And you're not important enough to get away with it.

Posted by GoDaddy | August 20, 2007 8:57 PM

Terry(e) are so wrong, I was one of many who wrote to my Senator, Lindsey Graham, and strongly protested this bill.

The reason I protested was simply because there is no history of enforcement of law. All the rules in the Bill about fines, returning to home country, "touching base" , etc were "feel good" rules...enforcement of existing law has to come first before writing new laws.

I don't support hunting down the illegals, waste of time and money. But I do support efforts to severely penalize employers, immediate deportation of illegals when caught (regardless of reason), and much stronger enforcement of southern border (still not sold on fence).

And I also strongly support putting pressure on Mexico to do their share as well. It's pretty bad when 10% of the Mexican population is living in the US...

"Sanctuary Cities" should have all Federal $$ immediately stopped until they follow Federal Law and the Constitution...

Posted by jaeger51 | August 20, 2007 9:22 PM

I do believe that talk radio was instrumental in stopping this bill. Talk radio is the only part of the media that does not follow the basic plot laid down by the MSM/government complex. Let's face it, blogging only reaches a comparative few people, who are already interested. Talk radio is right wing mostly, simply because everything else is MSM/leftist. It puts out the other side, and people can then make up their own minds as to what sounds reasonable to them. That's why the MSM/govt. complex would love to shut it down. Then they'd control the dialogue, and among other things, that bill would have passed.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 20, 2007 9:28 PM

Go Daddy:

This bill was a first step. The way it works is there is a Senate Bill, a House bill and a conference bill. There is not going to be any bill that everyone likes. And if people make stuff up about the bill, refuse to compromise, make impossible demands and call everyone who disagrees with them traitors there never will be a solution. I am not sure some people want a solution.

My point is that a lot of the people on the radio and the talk shows did not have better ideas, they just complained about the bill. They did not have any viable alternatives that could actually get passed. And two thirds of the country do support guest worker programs and some sort of path to citizenship. They can not all be people who do not respect the law.

For instance you say there is no enforcement,...that is not true. People are arrested, deported and detained every day. The problem is the system is simply overwhelmed by the numbers and unless there is reform and additional resources there will not be substantial improvement .

And that requires legislation not letter writing. I listen to people and I wonder if they think that the border agents are just standing around with their hands in their pants or something. And that fence will get done, but it will take time and it won't stop everyone. That is just common sense.

nahncee, sorry I talk so much,but considering the amount of nonsense, propaganda and hysteria that surrounded this issue, I barely made a dent in it.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 20, 2007 9:38 PM


Oh puhleaze, if these people can come up here from Mexico or somewhere and get those jobs you can not tell me that the people who live here could not get them if they wanted them.

Right now in the Gulf illegals are coming in to clean up places like New Orleans and the local politicians can rant and rave about the illegals all they want, but you do not see them rounding those people up and shipping them out because someone has to clean up the mess and the locals apparently do not want the jobs.

South of me there are some farms who hire migrants {and they have for years}. They are not big corporate places either. They grow melons. They even tried busing people in to work the fields but no one would do it. They use those migrants because they need to get the work done. They have even put up signs for U pick places just to try and avoid hiring illegals. But still people do not want to go out there in the hot sun and do it.

I am not saying we should ignore illegals, I am not saying we should have open borders, but certain realities need to be faced.

Posted by Mwalimu Daudi | August 20, 2007 9:40 PM

I have been amazed at the nastiness of folks like "Terrye" - not to mention their abysmal ignorance of the amnesty bill and its ramifications. Like Mark Steyn, my wife and I have been through what passes for an immigration system in this country. While that does not give us "absolute moral authority" it does give us a wee bit of insight on the whole rotten corrupt mess that you lack. The fact that you do not want to hear our testimony does not mean that it is "nasty" or "insane".

And as for your comment about Mark Steyn claiming the immigration "reform" bill would require the deportation of legal immigrants - can you offer proof of this?

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 20, 2007 9:43 PM


Rush and Laura and Malkin and Hannity etc are the MSM as much as Chris Matthews and Olberman.

They make money off of self promotion. they are looking for an audience.The idea that they are out there all alone standing up to the bad guys ignores who they are.

And I am serious, some of the stuff people were saying was just wrong. it was vile, it was insulting and paranoid and the right needs to learn to distance themselves from some of these people.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 20, 2007 9:53 PM


I am nasty? Why?

Because I supported comprehensive immigration reform and took exception with being called a traitor for it? Because I was disgusted when I went on a website and saw someone say we should sit up a free fire zone on the border and start killing people and no one seemed to have a problem with that but me? Are we honestly going to pretend that people were not saying that kind of stuff?

Is calling me a traitor not a tad bit nasty in and of itself? If I can not stand to listen to talk radio does that mean I can not vote Republican anymore?

You see, this is what annoys me, I have to either accept everything the hardliners say or I am a bad person. They do not need to back up claims, come up with better ideas or even be civil.

And one of the reasons I supported this kind of bill is that it made some attempt at reforming the legal immigration system which is so arbitrary and difficult to understand. It sit up a point system. But now we have the status quo, which you called rotten.

Killing this bill did not improve that system.

Posted by amr | August 20, 2007 9:54 PM

For me it wasn’t talk radio or any other media outlet. I saw what had happened in 1986 and the result being 12 plus million illegals in our country. The sanctuary churches from that time blossomed into sanctuary cities, counties and some states, such as New Jersey. I did my part with letters and some border surveillance with the Minutemen. The government told us border security would come after amnesty in ’86 and it never did. I follow the logic of “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me”. It was time to reverse the promise; border security first this time and amnesty to follow (maybe).

Posted by dhunter | August 20, 2007 9:56 PM

Terrye, If they got here illegally they are by definition lawbreakers. That said many are God fearing hard working folk and I happen to think they should be allowed to stay and work just figure out an ID system.
Then there are the ones who committ serious crimes, felonies and they should be gone, adios ,they have no respect for our laws after all they broke them getting here.
Should we encourage this behavior by not enforcing the law until someone ends up dead as often happens?
How much is a few Hispanic votes worth? The Dems have sold out their country in favor of defeat in Iraq, voting rights for felons , and illegal alien votes, should the Reps. sell it out for political expediency also.
Someone, somewhere has to stand on principal and that person who does that articulately may well be the next Commander-In-Chief.

Posted by filistro | August 20, 2007 9:58 PM

Apropos this topic... the following segment appeared tonight on the McNeil Lehrer Newshour.

Extremely interesting.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 20, 2007 10:08 PM


Illegal entry is not a felony. It is lawbreaking in the sense that driving without a valid license is. That is just a fact.

I am not saying it is ok, but I would rather see the government using its resources to track down MS 13 than nannies.

Posted by Mwalimu Daudi | August 20, 2007 10:09 PM

"Terrye", your growing litany of false accusations are becoming really annoying. Answer my question: When did Mark Steyn claim that the immigration "reform" bill called for all legal immigrants to be deported?

Posted by Mwalimu Daudi | August 20, 2007 10:13 PM

"Terrye", your growing litany of false accusations are becoming really annoying. Answer my question: When did Mark Steyn claim that the immigration "reform" bill called for all legal immigrants to be deported?

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 20, 2007 10:14 PM


Illegal entry is not a felony. It is lawbreaking in the sense that driving without a valid license is. That is just a fact.

I am not saying it is ok, but I would rather see the government using its resources to track down MS 13 than nannies.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 20, 2007 10:21 PM


I am becoming annoying? The point is that Steyn made that statement and then he did not back it up. So far as I know no one ever did. It was just one of those things that people threw out there and went their merry way.

I saw a reference to it on another blog, Big Lizards and the blogger ask for some confirmation that such a thing was really true, and never received it.

I also saw references on other blogs from people swearing that illegals would be given the right to vote.

I tell you what, ask Steyn.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 20, 2007 10:28 PM


This is not 1986. This was not the same kind of bill. And besides if the only reason those people are here is that bill, why did they come before the bill? Obviously there were illegals here in 1985.

I have a better question, that was 20 years ago, if it was so damn important to the conservatives, why didn't they do something about it back when Newt took over the Congress? That would have been the perfect time? Why didn't they make it an issue in their primaries when Bush was nominated? They had to know what his attitudes were. it was no secret. Why wasn't he Jorge Busho in 2000?

Posted by unclesmrgol | August 20, 2007 10:37 PM


I too would like to enforce sanctions against employers. But current US law requires that employers NOT assume that a prospective employee might be illegal -- to do otherwise risks a lawsuit for discrimination. You can't go by looks and you can't go by language proficiency. Until we have a national identification system, the employer will always have an "out" -- whether or not they knew they were hiring an illegal, they are immunized as long as the illegal offered the correct "official" documentation. Only in the case where the Government can prove that the employer colluded with the illegal in the hiring can that employer be sanctioned.

The same people who want the illegals found and deported and want employers sanctioned tend also to be those opposed to a national identification system. Amusingly, anti-government feelings on the far right go with the desire for stronger federal action on defense, just as anti-government feelings on the far left go with stronger federal action on social issues.

By the way, one of the things the US needs to fix is the concept of dual citizenship. Why should someone be able to swear allegiance to the United States of America and then carry a passport from another country? Once upon a time we didn't allow dual citizenship -- it's time to go back to that. A person must show concretely that their whole heart resides in the USA. Amongst other things, this will fix the discrimination problem in Mexico where certain American citizens are allowed to own property, and others aren't.

Posted by Mwalimu Daudi | August 20, 2007 10:40 PM

No, "Terrye" - the point is that you made this wild claim about Mark Steyn and did not back it up. If it was a typo on your part - fine. But why all the other false accusations against myself and others? Are your arguments really that weak? "Ask Steyn" indeed!

And here is another blow to the notion that we are already enforcing current immigration laws:

For all the tough talk out of Washington on immigration, illegal immigrants caught along the Mexican border have almost no reason to fear they will be prosecuted. You have to wonder about an immigration situation when even AP admits that illegals stand little chance of being caught.

There is a credible alternative to the amnesty bill that failed in the Senate. It's called enforcing the law. Your side is the using disgusting tactics and false accusations to push a fatally flawed bill that will make the problem worse.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 20, 2007 10:47 PM


Here is the link on Steyn.

And Maudi, we do deport people and arrest and detain people everyday. If you do not know that, then you do not know what you are talking about. We do stop people at the border, we do all that.

But 11 million people is almost twice the population of the state of Indiana. That is a lot of people to deal with.

Speaking of making claims, I am not the one of the people accusing the Senate and the President of being part of a plot to turn America into Mexico.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 20, 2007 10:51 PM

And Maudi, there is no prosecution for border crossing.... there is deportation. Illegal entry does not have a jail sentence, there is nothing to prosecute. People who are already here get a hearing, but if they catch them they can and do send them back. The problem is they come back.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 20, 2007 11:21 PM


My side?

I will say one more thing and then I am done. I am an American citizen. I have been voting Republican for several years now. I pay taxes, obey the law and have relatives who have served in the military in this country in every war including the American Revolution.

That is my side.

What concerns me is that I have seen and heard tactics from the far right on this issue that are very much like the tactics we see from the left. More and more they are alike.

Posted by Carol Herman | August 20, 2007 11:37 PM

Doesn't "The Project for Excellence in Journalism" leave you cold? I know it does me.

As to the Immigration Bill, all I know is that it EXPLODED IN JOHN McCain's face. Took him from being one of the nominees for the GOP's 2008 presidential nod. And, it put him in the toilet.

Didn't get there on the opinions of "just a few."

While it looks that congress was involved in a shell game.

How serious was it?

Well, you're starting to see headlines of "illegals being deported." Yesterday, on Drudge, Matt kept saying the Elvira lady's deportation would start riots. Which I doubted. And, I usually don't doubt Matt Drudge when he predicts things.

I also think it's absolutely useless to get into debates with individuals; especially those of the name-calling variety. (Falls into the category of Jesus loves me more than he loves you. And, as far as I can tell we're not getting evidence from Jesus. Just different forms of brainwashing.) Works for some.

As to the libs who come here to post, the one thing they're not doing is changing minds.

Well, McCain's downfall can't teach them anything new. And, it's not my job, either.

As to congress, I think they're somewhat aware that they've spend overtime kicking Bush. And, Rove. With very little to show for it. Since their popularity numbers are in terrible decline.

You can't move legislation when people hate you.

There. That's a lesson from me. And, I'm no longer in retail, where moving merchandise meant profits.

Posted by Mwalimu Daudi | August 20, 2007 11:39 PM

"Terrye" - It took some time (since the link you provided was vague), but here is what Mark Steyn actually said.

"You know, one of the worst aspects of this bill, if it does pass, is that people who…in order to process these 12 million people with their instant probationary visas, legal applicants who’ve been in the system since May, 2005, in other words, they’ve been grinding slowly through the cogs of the system for two years, will have to go back to their own countries, and start from scratch again. You know, it’s a classic conservative position, that if you reward bad behavior, you get more of it. And if this country tells the world that you’re better to come here as an illegal immigrant than as a legal one, then it will get more illegal immigrants, and it will get less legal ones. It seems an obvious statement."

Steyn did not claim that the bill mandated that legal immigrants who entered after May 2005 would be forced to go back. Steyn said that they would have to go back because they ran out of time. This would have been the practical effect if this disaster of a bill had passed.

And on this issue Steyn is 100% accurate, while "Big Lizard" blew it. For any poor legal immigrant who entered the country two years before May 2007, the effect would be that they would be forced to leave before their paperwork got approved after 12+ (or 20+) million illegals got dumped in the dysfunctional system. My wife's first permanent resident card was good for only one year. Her current one took almost another year, and we just barely made it before she would have had to be deported. I shudder to think of what would have happened if this amnesty bill had somehow passed back in 2005.

What concerns me are the tactics of bill supporters such as yourself. This distortion is a prime example of the willingness to bend the facts to get the desired outcome. We are not "insane" (as you put it), we are calling attention to very real problems with the amnesty bill that your side refuses to face.

And "Terrye": 3% enforcement indicates lack of seriousness in enforcement.

Posted by Scrapiron | August 21, 2007 12:37 AM

It was not an immigration bill nor an amnesty bill. It was a full blown pardon of 12-20 million criminals bill. Break the law and get a reward. What kind of rule of law is that? This country will be destroyed by idiots that push this kind of BS. Yes, Bush was involved up to his neck but he is soon to be out of the picture and the lefties that lost this one will keep trying to get us all killed, if not by the criminals Mexicans that are murdering Americans daily, then by the terrorists. Just read that 13,470 people were killed in the United States by drunks (democrats) trying to drown their sorrows. Actually 17,602 were killed by alchol involved drivers if you count the below .08 fatalities. What 3700 in a five year war and the above by the good old boys and girls in the U.S. in one year. Give me a freaking break you stupid war protestors.

Posted by Gas Doc | August 21, 2007 12:42 AM


Unsure if you're talking Amnesty 2005, or Amnesty 2006. Seems to me the HH WAS amenable in 2005 (ie: McCain-Kennedy) to "Regularization" as he called it until he found serious flaws deeper in the text of the Bill that caused him to begin to call for its defeat in favor of Border Enforcement First!!

But in the re-birth of McCain-Kennedy (ie: Kennedy-Martinez-McCain) Hugh WAS Much more reserved! The Bill's TEXT was released either Thursday Night LATE or Friday, AND HUGH began a THREE Day MARATHON Reading the Bill AND POSTING Some TEN THOUSAND WORDS on his Blog Site on the Contradictions, Amnesty Provisions etc. of the Bill!!! It was Hugh that found the Little PROVISION that allowed for 24 Hours to Clear each and every Application For Temporary Visa made by an Illegal or the Temp. Visa MUST Be Granted and Then a VERY SHORT Time was granted before the TEMP.
VISA MUST be made PERMANENT! By Sat. Night or Sunday, Hugh was pointing out that there WAS NO REQUIREMENT for the Now Regularized Illegal (ie: CRIMINAL) to EVER pursue Citizenship. They Never Have To Pay ANY FINES, Learn English, Leave and Reenter the USA, etc!! These ONLY apply to Those who wish to pursue US Citizenship! The Now Permanent Visa Can NEVER Be Taken AWAY as long as they don't commit any crime that they get Caught and Convicted for. Lastly, Hugh noted sometime Sunday 3/4 through his 10,000 Word Treatise, that NO Provision was Made in The Regularization Process to DIFFERENCIATE between Illegals from Central America (and Therefore Mostly Economic Illegals) AND those From Countries Of Interest (as defined by the State Dept. and the DHS). These include counties that either Support the Jihadists or have Active Jihadist Groups in them. So, No Captain, I don't Think that HH was initially pre-disposed to support AMNESTY-Part DEUX!

Teerye(??): Where to Begin?? "Criminals will be Criminals"!! Yes! But we have More Than enough American Criminals to deal with. Why Allow Other Countries "Bad Guys" in and Allow them to STAY? Why should Some Illegal Peruvian Assisted by more MS-13 ILLEGALS be allowed to Repeatedly WALK from Arrests and Then EXECUTE 4 Kids on one of our Campuses? This AFTER The ILLEGAL Peruvian has been Arrested for SERIAL RAPE of a FIVE YEAR OLD!! AND let OUT ON BAIL???? so that He could Murder The Four College age Kids!!! Why should Six Illegals with 75 Arrests or Traffic Violations, still be here to plot the MURDER of Our Heroes at Fort Dix??? Control of the BORDERS in Time of WAR is THE ONLY RATIONAL POLICY!!!

Posted by Pandora | August 21, 2007 12:43 AM

"Terrye" is a commenter who posts on multiple blogs, always singing the same rancid tune of "comprehensive immigration reform".

She claims that an individual citizen hiring indiviual illegal aliens violates no law, nor do illegal aliens violate a law until they are caught and prosecuted.

She's admitted that illegal aliens in her neighborhood are paid under the table, and that's a fine system because there is little to no law enforcement and because the illegals provide services Americans are too lazy to do.

Posted by The Yell | August 21, 2007 2:02 AM

First off: what "bill"? Recall that they were asked to vote on something that hadn't been typed...

"And when all was said and done what did they accomplish? Other than alienating hispanics and moderates? They did not fix anything, they did not make anything better."

Putting out a forest fire doesn't improve anything really, it just saves what you have from total destruction. That's the value of the operation.

"And then after killing a bill that would have allowed 4.6 billion up front for security, hardliners congratulated themselves for getting 3 billion."

Another $1.6 billion wasn't worth the horrible rewrite of immigration law.

"Bush is the commander in chief in a difficult war and he did not need to be treated like a traitor for maintaining the same immigration policy he had when these people voted for him in 2000 and 2004...Why didn't they make it an issue in their primaries when Bush was nominated? They had to know what his attitudes were. it was no secret. Why wasn't he Jorge Busho in 2000?"

Because he floated a trial balloon in 2004 and it was resoundingly shot down that March. The House delegation made abundantly clear it was DOA. So he dropped it, and was re-elected. To our surprise and dismay it was revived in 2005. By its third incarnation we added anger to the dismay. Our valiant wartime President has behaved like a cheap used-car salesman, slipping the same Underbody Paint charge into the deal after we repeatedly reject it.

"Nor will they deal with the economic impact of removing people from the ag labor market or other such industries...South of me there are some farms who hire migrants {and they have for years}. They are not big corporate places either. They grow melons. They even tried busing people in to work the fields but no one would do it. They use those migrants because they need to get the work done. They have even put up signs for U pick places just to try and avoid hiring illegals. But still people do not want to go out there in the hot sun and do it."

Coal mining and timber and cattle ranching used to be backyard industries too. It may be that it isn't possible to be a small family farmer in the USA and compete effectively. So be it, the WORST that befalls those people is they sell out to a combine. If the price of averting the march of progress means open borders, it definitely is not worth it.

Terrye you are indeed right that the Right resembles the Left. We are trying to draft policy that matches our (opposite) idea of the BEST WE CAN DO. You want to insist that we settle for whatever halfass scheme can get 51% of Congress to sign onto it. We've tried that, that's why EVERYBODY says we need "reform" of some sort.

"And if people make stuff up about the bill, refuse to compromise, make impossible demands and call everyone who disagrees with them traitors there never will be a solution...They did not have any viable alternatives that could actually get passed."

By that logic we should still be a collection of British colonies. The Founding Fathers never presented a summation of the costs of revolt, or tried viable alternatives that King George would tolerate. They figured on the BEST OUTCOME and went for broke. It is that act of discrimination that you resent.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 21, 2007 6:02 AM

rancid tune, Pandora, that is nice.

You know I am a center right Independent who votes Republican because the Democrats are so scary on national defence issues. Now the right has chosen to not only go after hispanics, they are going after anyone who dares disagree with them on this issue. It is black and white, good and evil and anyone who says otherwise is the enemy.

But without that center right you can not win elections or keep a party together. That is just a fact.

So go google John McSwine and see what you come up with. Think of the years that man spent in a cage and tell me how calling him those kinds of names does anything but demean the right.

Daudi, no Dafydd did not blow it. He simply repeated what Steyn said and Steyn was taking something out of context and misreporting it. Right now if people run out of time, they are illegal. That is their status. In fact about half of the illegals in this country entered the country legally. It is not something someone made up. But for Steyn to say that if that bill passes those people will be forced to leave is simply not true.

So fine, you killed the bill and put unAmerican, rancid lying traitors like me in our place...other than making a lot of people in the country turn off the radio in disgust and leave them with the impression that not all the loons are on the left..what did you accomplish?

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 21, 2007 6:10 AM


I think what you are missing is that I have no problem with people doing what they believe in. I have no problem with them trying to create legislation that they believe deals effectively with the issue.

I have a problem with the crazy conspiracy theories, the outrageous charges of treason and treachery, the racism that is not challenged, the sanctimonious self appointed tone of people who assume that anyone who disagrees with them is a bad bad person. I have a problem with making unfounded charges, assuming that all people of a class or a race are somehow suspect. I have a problem with the demagoguery and the use of this issue for political reasons.

Like I said, no one who claims that our law enforcement people just need to enforce the laws have begun to deal with what the law actually is and what it would take to do that.

Instead they call people like me rancid...and that was when I began to respond on blogs. The response to this has been hostile and mindless.

Posted by Tom McDonald | August 21, 2007 7:09 AM

The debate is now about closing the border and getting the illegals out. Close your eyes and picture the political ads beating on the democrats about this issue. 2008 is anything but a lock for the little people.

Posted by syn | August 21, 2007 7:13 AM

Sorry to disappoint you Terrye but the American Centrist is not an open borders anarchist supporter such a yourself

When an actress/director (a profession not at all full of hardrighties) was murder here in NYC last year by an illegal immigrant all her firends and associates demanded why the government allowed an illegal immigrant to stay in the country only to to end up committing the crime of murdering their freind and associate.

By the way, the American people were told right after 9/11 that the borders will be secured. It is now six year later and the problem is worst than ever.

Not doubt you can understand why the majority of Americans are asking for border security first then let's talk about what to do with 20 million illegal residents, the government kept saying they were securing the borders but did nothing and instead continued on with sanctuary city protections for those who are not citizens of the United States.

The other point I would like to make contrary to your assumption that all hispanics are nannies and busboys and Americans are evil because in your mind they want to deport all the nannies and busboys is that 'not all illegal immigrants are nannies or busboys'

What you do not understand about the recent comprehensive immigration act is that it did not allow room to determine who had already committed crimes (like raping a five year old girl) so that they ould be deported before they commit additional crimes (like forcing three college-age Americans to get on bended knees then executed point-blank range in the back of the head) Had the guy been deported the first time he raped the five year old girl he would never have had the chance to execute three young American college kids.

The recent immigration reform offered neither border security nor reform just amnesty for somewhere between 11 and 20 million illegals in the country without distinguishing between crimnals and up-standing law-abiding guests.

Posted by docjim505 | August 21, 2007 7:36 AM

My, my, my... Terrye, you certainly seem to have struck a nerve!

The immigration bill aroused quite a lot of passion on the right. Yes, talk radio led the charge... in much the same way that writers like Thomas Paine led the charge against British rule 230 years ago. Yes, there were misunderstanding, misinformation, hyperbole and vitriol on both sides (those of us who opposed the bill were labeled "racists" among other things).

For myself, part of the problem with the bill really lay in a distinct lack of trust in DC. I had (and have) absolutely NO confidence that they will enforce any provisions of the bill simply because they haven't enforced existing law in anything but a spotty and desultory manner. They could have promised $100 billions for "enforcement" and it wouldn't have changed my mind.

Another part of the problem is that the bill was a "comprehensive" bill. Anytime Congress labels anything as "comprehensive", there's trouble brewing. Quite aside from making things far more confusing than they need to be, "comprehensive" bills give every member of Congress tremendous opportunities for pork and outright mischief. Witness the Congress' recent effort at "comprehensive" reform of the FISA system; they (apparently) blew it... and blew it in a spectacularly bad manner.

And, o' course, watching amnesty advocates waving Mexican flags on US territory was kind of an irritant, too...

Posted by BoWowBoy | August 21, 2007 8:01 AM

Funny thing is ............... at first Rush Limbaugh was loathe to talk about the illegal alien issue.

Like most of the talk radio crowd ................... he was running and screaming from it .......and .......had to be dragged to this issue by his listeners.

Posted by filistro | August 21, 2007 9:48 AM

So how's that "Big Tent" thing working out, guys?

Honest, well-intentioned and thoughtful members of your own party disagree on a political issue and it's not enough just to take out them out back and hang them.

You all aren't satisfied until (in the immortal words of Larry McMurty) you've managed to "Hang 'em, then shoot 'em, then set their corpses on fire!"

Kepe this up and the Republican party will be reduced to handful of crazed extremists muttering over a smoky campfire in the corner of a pup tent.

Posted by Paul A'Barge | August 21, 2007 11:33 AM

Project for Excellence in Journalism

You're kidding? Excellence in Journalism?

Wow. No F'ing way these folks are serious about this, right?

Journalism is the exact opposite of excellence.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 21, 2007 3:54 PM


Just because I disagree with you does not mean I do not support border security. You can say that all you want. I know when the Anchoress disagreed with the hardliners people were wishing death on her children. But what the hell, she had it coming.

In fact the average American centrist would probably think you were a loon.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 21, 2007 3:59 PM

And you know something syn? The crimes you were talking about were committed under the current system. A system that the hardliners fought tooth and nail to keep. The truth is the bill would have made it easier to deal with criminals than the current system does. Some of these people do not deserve to be deported, they deserve a needle in the arm. So do not talk to me about deporting rapists.

BTW, I was a victim of rape myself when I was 18. The guy was rich and white and never did a day in jail.

Posted by Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] | August 21, 2007 4:05 PM

And you know something syn? The crimes you were talking about were committed under the current system. A system that the hardliners fought tooth and nail to keep. The truth is the bill would have made it easier to deal with criminals than the current system does. Some of these people do not deserve to be deported, they deserve a needle in the arm. So do not talk to me about deporting rapists.

BTW, I was a victim of rape myself when I was 18. The guy was rich and white and never did a day in jail.

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