Saturday, June 16, 2007

What will this new Senate agreement contain? How will it function? Over at the Corner, Kathryn Jean Lopez posts a very interesting scenario from one of her Senate sources:
Here is what we expect to happen next week, though it is far from clear yet. In short, we expect it to come up this week, and if Senators (as we expect) object to unanimous consent agreements, it will take the better part of 6-8 days to get this done. They will not get it done this week (but Reid threatens to stay in next weekend).
1. We expect Reid, in conjunction with support from McConnell, Lott and Grand Bargainers Kyl, Martinez, Graham and McCain, to introduce a brand new piece of legislation - and use Rule 14 to put the bill immediately on the Senate calendar without going thru committee - which of course, the first bill did not do as well.
* It is possible that Reid will choose a different procedural path - but we expect the effect to be the same.
2. We expect that the new bill's drafters (White House, Kennedy, Kyl, Graham, et. al.) will use close to the same language as the original substitute amendment (the first immigration bill) as amended by the 14 Democrat and 13 Republican amendments adopted the the first go round.
3. A new Rule 14 bill takes 1-2 days to ripen, and then we expect Reid to file cloture on the motion to proceed (a step he will need to take because numerous Senators are objecting to any unanimous consent agreements). The cloture motion takes time to ripen, so that adds a full day and change before the vote (60). Then, there is 30 hours of "post cloture debate" that a number of Senators will refuse to allow to be shortened.
4. When the 30 hours expire, Reid will have the vote on the motion to proceed to the bill (majority).
4. Once on the bill, Reid will again file cloture (to shut off debate - again, a number of Senators will continue to object to unanimous consent agreements) - this time on the bill itself.
5. The guessing begins at this point - but we expect Reid - with the help and support of certain Republican leadership and the Grand Bargainers - to do something that we believe has never been done in the history of the Senate... he will use an arcane Senate procedure that allows a single amendment to be divisible into many - in this case, into the 20-odd amendments the Grand Bargainers are trying to cobble together to keep 60 votes in support of the bill. Traditionally, that amendment has been used to protect minority rights - but in this case, it will be used to PREVENT the minority from getting additional amendments called up and from being able to fully debate the amendments in question. It is, to our knowledge, unprecedented.
6. Once the cloture motion ripens (again, another day and change), the cloture vote can occur (60 votes) and then, again, there is 30 hours of "post cloture debate" during which Reid will run, in order, through the panoply of amendments offered by way of the division.
7. Finally, there will be a vote on final passage.
If Reid does this, with the help of certain Republican leadership and the Grand Bargainers, they will shut off the ability of Senators with concerns of the bill to offer additional amendments and to debate the amendments in question.
In the end, this means that if they have 60 lined up to support it - there is little that can be done procedurally - so it has become far more important than ever for Senators to hear from their constituents.

Step 5 in this scenario seems a very interesting tactical move. Is this source referring to Senate Rule XV Section 3? This section reads:
If the question in debate contains several propositions, any Senator may have the same divided, except a motion to strike out and insert, which shall not be divided; but the rejection of a motion to strike out and insert one proposition shall not prevent a motion to strike out and insert a different proposition; nor shall it prevent a motion simply to strike out; nor shall the rejection of a motion to strike out prevent a motion to strike out and insert. But pending a motion to strike out and insert, the part to be stricken out and the part to be inserted shall each be regarded for the purpose of amendment as a question, and motions to amend the part to be stricken out shall have precedence.

UPDATE 6/17: A "leadership source" emails K-Lo. It is Rule XV (3):

your correspondent makes a point about an amendment procedure (often called a "clay pigeon" amendment) under Rule XV (3) of the Senate Rules that needs a bit of clarification. It is rarely used, but it has been used in the Senate as recently as last year. Sen. Coburn used the procedure last April in an attempt to strip pork from an appropriations bill.

Also, Reid won't need the help or support of any other Senator (leadership, grand bargainers or otherwise) to get this bill on the Senate calendar under Rule XIV. He can get the bill on the calendar under the rule with no help at all. To get it on the floor (under the motion to proceed) will require either unanimous consent (which it won't get) or a cloture motion. That takes 60 votes.

The Republican leadership gave Reid no assurances about cloture on the bill; the final makeup of the bill after amendments will determine whether or not cloture is invoked on the bill itself. And, unlike before the last cloture vote, the leadership was successful in getting another dozen or so Republican amendments pending to the bill. There will now be more GOP roll call votes on amendments than on last year's bill when the GOP was in charge (not counting the committee amendments).
Update 6/17: K-Lo's original staffer writes back. Says that he meant Sen. Reid's use of Rule XV would be "unprecedented" in its use of the rule to block minority debate. Otherwise quarrels with this "leadership" source's statements.

A variety of immigration-related laws passed (and not passed) in Tennessee:

*HB0600 passed. Bill would prohibit "the transportation of illegal aliens into the state, imposes a fine of $1,000 for such violation, and requires that money received from such fines be applied to the costs associated with deportation of such illegal aliens."
*HB0491 passed. Bill would require "the department of safety to negotiate an agreement with federal authorities to train certain highway patrol officers to perform certain immigration law enforcement functions; authorizes highway patrol officers certified as trained under such an agreement to enforce federal immigration and customs laws in Tennessee."
*HB0729 passed. Bill would create "the criminal offenses of recklessly employing an illegal alien, knowingly employing an illegal alien, and knowingly encouraging or inducing an illegal alien to enter the state for the purpose of employing such illegal alien." This bill has not yet been signed by the governor.
*HB0877 failed. Bill would have required "persons who hire employees on and after January 1, 2008, including contract employees, to verify immigration status prior to hiring an individual."

See also this list of other bills passed and failed in TN.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) on the current agreement for amendments: There may not be a deal! In an interview with Ed Morrissey, Sen. Ensign said the following:
That is what people are talking about. We're a long way away from that deal getting done, because every time you hear that a deal's being done, it blows up, so ... We have to make sure we see the list of amendments first that are approved. You know, they can't just be phony amendments. I talked with Lindsey Graham, one of the big supporters of the bill yesterday, and he told me that he is not going to -- that he will withdraw his support of the bill unless we have the money for interior enforcement ...
In this interview, Ensign also stressed that he believed in a "comprehensive" solution to immigration problems. Ensign also "pledged to torpedo any bill that did not have actual funds for border security and that allowed illegal aliens to receive Social Security benefits that they fraudulently acquired." So, if the bill has those conditions, will he vote for cloture?
Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), though skeptical of the "grand bargain," sounds like he will still vote for cloture. See this letter from Nelson to one of his constituents (and a helpful reader of this site)--I've italicized a telling paragraph:
Dear ------------:

Thank you for contacting me regarding Senators Kennedy and Specter's substitute
amendment #1150 to the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act, S. 1348, also
referred to as the "Grand Bargain." I was glad to receive your thoughts.

As you may imagine, I received a significant amount of mail on the immigration
matter. I am very aware how frustrated you are, as is the case with many
Nebraskans, with this contentious issue. I, too, have shared your frustration. On
Thursday, June 7, 2007, the Senate voted on a motion to invoke cloture on the
substitute amendment (a move to end all debate and allow for a straight up-or-down
vote). The motion failed 45-50, with 60 votes needed to invoke cloture and permit
the full Senate to consider this measure. Upon failure to reach the 60-vote
threshold, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid removed the bill from further

It is important to remember that a cloture motion is a procedural motion, not an
actual vote expressing support or opposition to a particular piece of legislation.
While I did vote for this cloture motion for the sole reason that I believe in moving
the legislative process forward, rather than stalling it through procedural tactics, I
am glad to see this legislation withdrawn. It is my hope the Senate will now focus
on the pressing needs of border security, which I feel Congress must handle first in
order to resolve the problems of illegal immigration.

Solving the immigration issue will certainly be a complex matter; but we are in a
hole, and it is time to stop digging. Properly securing our borders first is our best
means to begin resolving this situation. This past February, I witnessed firsthand
the border barrier construction and enhanced border security measures on the
Arizona-Mexico border. Increased patrols, physical barriers and "virtual fencing" -
composed of radar, sensors, and aerial and vehicle patrols in remote areas - are
already making a difference. In addition, border patrol agents have repeatedly noted
that the assistance of National Guard members deployed through "Operation
Jumpstart" has been invaluable. Each of these elements has contributed to a
reduction in border crossings in this region, from hundreds a day last fall to a
handful a month today. I will continue to push for measures promoting efforts such
as these to ensure that we properly secure America's borders and will keep your
thoughts in mind regarding any immigration proposal which may come before the
Senate in the months ahead.

Thank you again for contacting me with your comments on this important issue.
The legislative process will only work with the input of concerned citizens, and I
encourage you to continue sharing your thoughts and ideas.


Ben Nelson
U.S. Senator
A choice Sen. Nelson may have to face in the future: how much does he want to "move the legislative process forward," and how much does he wish to stop the present bill from becoming law?

UPDATE: And it may be a somewhat unorthodox legislative process that could be going forward as well.
Feeling the Squeeze in the Senate: Provocative story about the methods of proponents of the "grand bargain." Some key paragraphs:
An appearance by Bush on Capitol Hill this week to prod action on the measure — and his subsequent OK to immediately pumping a new $4.4 billion into border security — helped set the stage for its resurrection. But it was raw trolling for votes by key Republicans and Democrats that made the difference, said lawmakers and senior officials involved in the talks.
Allowing votes on the proposals "has as its goal bringing more people on board," Sen. Lindsey Graham (news, bio, voting record) of South Carolina, a lead Republican negotiator, said in an interview Friday. "They're going to get input that will make them feel better," Graham said of wavering Republicans.

"I do believe that with this new process, there will be enough votes to get to final passage, but the pressure's immense," Graham said. "I'll be going senator to senator" next week to persuade Republicans to back it.

Bush plans to keep blocks of time open next week in order to be able to jump in as needed with pointed remarks and calls or meetings with lawmakers, aides said.

Corker, Hutchison, and Alexander seem on the fence:
For some GOP holdouts, the promise of votes to make the bill more punitive toward the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants who would get lawful status might be enough to persuade them to support moving ahead.

Negotiators hope that's the case for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Texas, who wants to toughen a requirement that unlawful immigrants seeking green cards return home to apply for permanent legal residency. Under the emerging framework, Hutchison would get a vote on her proposal — co-sponsored by Tennessee Sens. Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, two other Republicans regarded as potentially persuadable — to require all illegal immigrants to go home within two years in order to receive a Z visa to live and work lawfully in the U.S.

"Grand Bargain" Opponent Jim DeMint's not optimistic:
Seemingly resigned to the bill's passage, Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., now says he plans to block a conference that would be needed to reconcile House and Senate versions before an immigration bill could be signed into law, his office said on Friday.

But this story also hints at the tenuousness of the coalition....time will tell....
Gingrich on Senate Immigration Bill: It's a "monstrosity" that is "fundamentally dishonest and impossible to implement."
Speaker Nancy Pelosi interview on the future of the immigration bill in the House:

MR. HUNT: The immigration bill is bogged down in the bitterly divided Senate. In July, will the House take up immigration no matter what the Senate does, or are you going to wait to see what the Senate does first?

REP. PELOSI: I've always said that we will wait to see what the Senate does. I have to commend President Bush. He has been very courageous on this issue. We won't have a bill though, unless he exerts more leadership in the Senate and in the House to pass the legislation.

MR. HUNT: If the bill as it stands should pass the Senate, what would be its prospects in the House?

REP. PELOSI: Well, it depends on what passes the Senate. We like the bill that passed in the last Congress. It was comprehensive; it was about securing our borders, enforcing our laws, protecting American workers, and providing a path to legalization for millions of people in our country. I don't know what form the bill will take in the Senate this year, because, as you know, the one bill was prevented from coming to the floor. So now they're at work on the next version.

MR. HUNT: But they had the basic compromise over there, the so-called grand bargain, which has pretty much stuck together with one or two exceptions. The broad outlines of the bill, can that pass the House right now?

REP. PELOSI: With some modification, but we'll work together in a bipartisan way. This bill affects too many people over a long period of time. We want it to be bipartisan and comprehensive.

MR. HUNT: And how many Republican votes would it have to get to pass the House?

REP. PELOSI: Well, I would like to see a strong bipartisan vote, but I would hope that it would be at least 50 to 70 votes on the Republican side. That doesn't mean that we would lose that many Democrats; it just means we'd like to see a show of bipartisanship.

Sen. John McCain, one of the most prominent proponents of the current "grand bargain" says that he is "guardedly optimistic" about the fate of the bill.
"Surprise" Vote in House of Representatives: This morning, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to a funding bill for Homeland Security (H.R. 2638) proposed by Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Co) that would deny federal emergency services funding for "sanctuary cities"--cities which refuse to cooperate with the enforcement a variety of immigration laws. The Tancredo amendment passed 234-189. This amendment divided both parties, though it fractured Democrats more than Republicans: while 180 Republicans voted in favor of the amendment (with 9 voting against it), the Democrats split 49 for and 180 against. See also this Rocky Mountain News story, which labels the amendment's victory a "surprise" and has a roundup of reactions to it. According to the story, this is the first amendment denying funding to "sanctuary cities" that Tancredo has proposed and the House has agreed to. Interesting paragraphs at end:

Tancredo said he thinks his amendment is an indicator that the House would crush the reform plan if it passes in the Senate.

"If I were (Speaker of the House) Nancy Pelosi, I'd be asking if she could pass a vote on amnesty on the House side," Tancredo said. "If she lost 50 Democrats on this one, and she says she needs 70 Republicans to pass the immigration plan, this is an interesting indicator of things coming down the pike, and that the times, they are a-changing."

UPDATE: Will President Bush veto this bill? See this story. Lead paragraphs:

The House passed a $37.4 billion fiscal 2008 Homeland Security spending bill Friday on a 268-150 vote in the face of a White House veto threat over its price tag that is $2.1 billion above President Bush's request.

Forty-five Republicans crossed the aisle to support the bill but not enough to override a veto if Bush follows through on his threat.

Could the passage of this amendment be a way of putting some pressure on the president--to rally enough Republicans to the bill to defend it?

An interesting ABC News story on how "Spanish language media" proponents of the current "grand bargain" bill are changing their strategies to advocate for the bill.
A "Path for Citizenship" denied to legal immigrants: From Mississippi, represented by Sen. Trent Lott:

"There is no path for us to become American citizens at all," said Alex Hynes.

When Newscenter 11 met with the couple, they were joined at their Lauderdale County home by some friends. The Hynes live in Mississippi under a work visa issued through Canada. It has to be renewed every five years for a total cost of just over $6,000 each time.

Alex had thought, once he worked hard to build up his business and began paying taxes, that would easily transition into American citizenship. Right? Wrong.

"Immigration in Jackson has told us there is no path for us to go," said Alex.

See the full story to read the Hynes' response to the current "grand compromise" bill.
As President Bush makes himself a central player in immigration debate, a newly released Rasmussen poll puts support for his handling of the immigration issue at 15%. This result comes at a time when, again according to Rasmussen, only 20% of the American public wants the Senate to return to the current "grand bargain" bill; 51% would prefer "smaller steps" in reform and 16% would like the whole process to wait another year. 69% of those polled would support an approach that "focuses exclusively on securing the border and reducing illegal immigration.”
Along with Feds, States Consider Immigration Legislation: This Christian Science Monitor story has a roundup of some immigration laws that various states are considering. Interesting statistic:
Through mid-April, legislators in all 50 states had introduced a record 1,169 bills dealing with illegal immigrants – more than twice the number put forward in all of 2006. Eighteen states had enacted 57 of those bills as of April 19, two-thirds of the number of immigration laws adopted by states last year, according to a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) in Washington.
I don't know if this is "responsible journalism" or not, but one of the nation's "largest nonpartisan seniors groups" (with 1.2 million members), TREA Senior Citizens League, has announced a "$966 Billion loophole" in the present Senate immigration bill:
The immigration bill being debated by the Senate would allow over two million illegal workers who received Social Security numbers prior to 2004 to receive more than $966 billion in Social Security benefits by 2040.

Despite a provision in the bill that would prevent individuals who performed illegal work and then obtained a Social Security number after 2007 from receiving credit for Social Security taxes paid in previous years, the legislation does nothing to prevent aliens who illegally obtained "non-work" Social Security numbers prior to 2004 from claiming benefits.

I don't know how helpful their statistics are, but they do seem like a legitimate organization...

UPDATE 6/17: I've been (sort of) responsible and followed up on this story! See here.
Lamar Alexander proposes an amendment: Have the "border governors" sign off on the fact that the border is secure before some of the provisions of this bill go into effect. The question is: which provisions? Details, details...He still seems skeptical about the current "grand bargain," but how skeptical?
Those Georgians! Brothers in arms!: From the AJC's Political Insider (again), a prediction about how Sen.'s Chambliss and Isakson will vote:

We’re betting that both Isakson and Chambliss — despite their strong roles in the negotiations — will vote against the bill, and that it will still pass.

Whatever the two senators do, they’ll do together. This particular strategy may be the salvation of Chambliss, who’s up for re-election next year.

By linking themselves arm-in-arm on this issue, they’ve sent a message to the most militant opponents of the immigration deal: To attack one, you must attack both.

But will they vote for cloture? They're still toss ups, it seems to me....

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Interesting NYT story about lobbying for bill. Two salient paragraphs:

The Republicans he [Pres. Bush] will likely be targeting include Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss, both of Georgia, who were closely involved in drafting the deal but have yet to fully commit, and perhaps John Ensign of Nevada and John Cornyn of Texas, who are undecided.


Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., said he doesn’t expect much movement from the 11 Democrats and one independent, Bernard Sanders of Vermont, who voted against the decisive third cloture motion. Even Durbin has reservations, saying he voted to end debate “purely for process reasons.”

Based on this story, it seems wise to keep the Georgians in "toss up" category; maybe make the 11 D's and 1 I who voted against cloture a little less likely to switch--just a little (assuming Durbin isn't merely lowering expectations).
NYT on New Deal for Amendments and Lott Strikes Out: According to this story, the Senate will vote on 22 amendments--11 from Republicans and 11 from Democrats. And the Republican Senate leadership seems ready to bring the hammer down on Republican dissenters:
At some point, Mr. Lott said, Senate Republican leaders may try to rein in “younger guys who are huffing and puffing against the bill.”

[6/15 CORRECTION: Changed amendment numbers]
Reid and McConnell release statement on immigration bill:

“We met this evening with several of the Senators involved in the immigration bill negotiations. Based on that discussion, the immigration bill will return to the Senate floor after completion of the energy bill.”

Wakey-wakey: Senate leaders have agreed to bring back "grand bargain bill." Forbes has some of the details.
The Hill on the deal in the works: Sen. Martinez (R-FL) raises the prospect of some "scary amendments." But he won't say what they are....
Well, it looks like Reid has set the alarm clock...naptime could be almost over: Fox says:

Details of the immigration compromise remain to be finalized, but top Democratic sources say Reid has closely monitored the behind-the-scenes dickering over policy changes and a finite list of amendments due for consideration. Based on the latest updates on the policy and amendments, Reid will approve the compromise and move late Thursday to put the bill back on the calendar for Senate consideration in the middle of next week.
And this time it might not have to go back to bed:
GOP sources tell FOX News that the new bill has enough support from Republicans for Reid to prevail on a procedural vote to get the bill to final passage.
So does Isakson want to leap to "immigration reform"? Interesting words today by Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA) [via the AJC's Political Insider]:

“I told the president what I said in the letter and what I say about the Congress. There is a low confidence level in the Congress and the president in terms of this issue because of what happened in 1986.

“And until that confidence level is restored to a level it needs to be, we’re going to continue to have trouble on anything dealing with this bill.

“And what does restore the confidence is not a promise to secure the border, but the funding being delivered and that work actually taking place — which is why we recommended they send an emergency supplemental [bill] appropriating the money, get the work done, and decouple the issue of reform with security.”


“You can’t walk with putting both feet forward at the same time. You fall over. That’s called hopping.”

So does he ultimately want to walk or hop--or leap? Would passing this emergency supplemental mean he would support the current immigration bill?

DeMint Responds: One of the more vocal Senate critics of the present immigration bill, Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC) responds to $4.4 billion enforcement proposal:
I appreciate the effort to fund border security, but there’s simply no reason why we should be forced to tie amnesty to it. If the administration was serious about fulfilling the border security promises, then this funding should have been supported all along, not offered at the last minute to attract votes to a bad bill.
President Bush proposes $4.4 billion emergency supplemental funding for enforcement. Some, however, remain skeptical about this offer.
Keeping the Wrangling Behind Closed Doors: Malkin has a good roundup of some back-room dealings for immigration bill and includes a very intriguing letter from Steve Elliot of the (anti-coalition)

President Bush and the Amnesty Republicans are attempting to convince about a dozen Republicans to support "cloture" on Bush-Kennedy in exchange for a commitment that a set list of amendments will be considered -- thus, "amendments for amnesty."

Also, Bush and the amnesty leaders are strong-arming conservatives into accepting the "amendments for amnesty" deal or face being banished into Senate oblivion.

Amnesty Republicans have already submitted their list of amendments to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Once the "amendments for amnesty" deal is finalized between Reid and the Republicans, the bill will be quickly brought back to the floor. The amendments will be defeated and amnesty passed...

...this is the FOURTH TIME our leaders have gone behind closed doors to work out some secret scheme to get this bill passed. Despite unprecedented and overwhelming grassroots opposition, they think they can still pull off their legislative, slight-of-hand trickery!

Malkin also links to this report of John Hawkins about his conversation with a GOP Senate aide. Snippet:

First off, it does look like the Senate immigration bill is coming back. The conventional wisdom seems to be that it's going to be brought up right before the July 4th break, so that the Senate Republican leadership can try to use that as leverage to get votes (In other words, "vote for the bill or we'll have to waste your vacation time until you do").

This is despite the fact that the conservative leaders of the anti-amnesty movement are refusing to cooperate, and won't give Mitch McConnell a list of amendments that they want considered. My source tells me that the reason for this is that the game has now been rigged. McConnell is essentially promising to bring the amendments up in exchange for cloture votes, but Trent Lott is publicly saying that they will strip any problematic amendments out in committee.

In other words, if the bill gets through the Senate and the House, the Democrats and the open borders Republicans will work together when the bills have to be reconciled in committee to strip out any amendments that the "grand bargainers" don't like. Therefore, at this point, it doesn't matter what amendments pass, because any tough enforcement provisions that slip through will be rendered toothless when the bills are reconciled.

My source also noted that the cloture vote to end debate will be the "real" vote on the bill because if debate is closed off, the bill is sure to pass. Then, what will happen is that the votes for the bill will be counted, and a few senators who are afraid that their election prospects will be jeopardized by a "yes" vote, will be allowed to vote against the bill. This enables those senators to tell their constituents that they voted against the bill, but it will still allow them to collect campaign contributions from lobbyists who have a better understanding of how things work, and know that the bill couldn't have been passed without their support. Put another way, they get to reap the rewards of supporting amnesty while telling the voters in their home states that they opposed the bill.

My source also let me know that the White House and the Senate leadership, and Trent Lott in particular, are pushing very hard for this bill.

Hawkins's Senate aide currently gives the bill a 50-50 chance of passing (though he also says that proponents of the bill currently have the momentum)...

Cloture Vote Guesses--The Hunt for 60

Disclaimer:First of all, don't trust this list; these senators can be very tricky, especially on this issue. These are only guesses and hunches--some more informed than others. Have some news/arguments for me to change the list? Tell me about it! This page may be updated a lot depending on the news...
Also, this list focuses on those who voted against cloture last time and may switch to vote in favor of it next time, the assumption being that senators who voted for it last time will be unlikely to switch. However, if you have any news about pro-cloture senators who have announced that they may switch to vote against it, tell me about it, and I can revise this list....
UPDATE: At the moment, this list is mainly tracking who will switch for the first cloture vote to bring the bill to the floor--not necessarily the second cloture vote to end debate on the bill (and allow for a vote on the bill's passage)--though there is, I think, some overlap...see my analysis of this vote list after the vote
6/26 UPDATE: Bingaman and Cochran declare that they will switch; Coleman seems to declare for cloture; move to "Very Likely"
6/25 UPDATE: Cloture update. See revised vote list. Boxer moves to "Very Likely"
6/25 UPDATE: Is Webb going to vote no?

6/25 UPDATE: Voinovich may switch against cloture; Gregg declares for cloture; the perception game, especially for Bennett and Coleman
: Smith against cloture (sort of)--moves from "Likely" to "Somewhat Unlikely"; see other updates down the list and this post.
6/22 UPDATE: Alexander declares against; moves from "Could Very Well" to "Very Unlikely"
Corker declares against; Burr wavers; could Brown switch pro-cloture to anti?
6/21 UPDATE: McCaskill declares against cloture--moves to Very Unlikely
Cornyn declares against cloture; moves to Very Unlikely

6/21 UPDATE: Based on continued reports of indecision, Hatch moves down to "Could Very Well Switch"
6/21 UPDATE: Crapo and Roberts declare against cloture; Sununu declares against
6/21 UPDATE: Hutchison declares against cloture--moves to Very Unlikely; Thune moves to Very Unlikely; constituent caller was told that he would vote against cloture
: Chambliss and Isakson declare against cloture. Move to Very Unlikely
6/20 UPDATE: Has a deal been struck--amendments for cloture votes? If that theory's true, we could see Boxer, Hutchison, Thune, Tester, Baucus, McCaskill, Grassley, Coleman, Sanders, Webb, Bond, and Ensign switch from that deal alone. See this synthesis of both amendments-for-cloture and 17R's switch theories. UPDATE: Maybe there isn't such a deal after all (or at least not a universal one)....
6/20 UPDATE: Webb, Tester, McCaskill under pressure; will 17 R's switch?--a lot of R's become more likely to switch; see revised list below. The amendment process could be crucial...
6/19 UPDATE: Coleman and Ensign keep their options open; Webb says he will not vote in favor of a wide-ranging legalization--count Webb a little less likely to switch (if the legalization is not more limited...)
6/17 UPDATE: See this post on the GOP leadership giving "Reid no assurances about cloture on the bill"--is the hunt still on?
6/15 UPDATE: Story on "vote trolling" in the Senate; pressure keeps being applied. Story lists Hutchison (R-TX), Corker (R-TN) and Alexander (R-TN) are "regarded as potentially persuadable." See this post. Corker moves up to "Could Very Well Not Switch" from "Somewhat Unlikely to Switch"
6/14 Update: See this post on D Sen.'s and indecision of Chambliss, Isakson, Ensign, and Cornyn.

List of those who voted against cloture last time and how likely they are to switch to vote in favor of cloture next time (assuming there is a next time for this bill)...The bill needs 15 more cloture votes to continue...(assuming no pro-cloture voters switch to anti-cloture: add 1 to 15 for every pro-to-anti switch: e.g. if one sen. switches to be against cloture, the bill then needs 16 switches in favor of cloture...)

Switch from pro-cloture to anti-cloture?
Sherrod Brown (D-OH):Is he on the fence? Brown, a purported ally of labor, voted in favor of cloture last time, but I am hearing (thanks to some readers) that he has concerns and "serious reservations" about elements of the bill, especially the "guest worker" program and that he is undecided about cloture next time. So could he switch to vote against cloture? Especially now that the AFL-CIO is against the bill? Anyone have any more info?

Ben Nelson (D-NE) voted for cloture last time but has been pretty skeptical about this bill, and he voted against last year's bill. Even if he ultimately votes against this year's bill, he may still vote for cloture. Last year, he voted against S.2611 but for cloture on it. He says he's still against "amnesty" based on reports I'm getting--but does anyone have any info. about how he'll go for cloture on this bill? 6/15 Update: See this letter to one of his constituents; Nelson says he wants to "move the legislative process forward," so it sounds like he will probably still vote for cloture. 6/22 UPDATE: Could he still be on the fence? 6/25 update.: It sounds like he'll still vote yes on cloture

Stabenow (D-MI): Could she really switch to vote against cloture?
Levin (D-MI): Is he on the fence for cloture?
Conrad (D-ND): Is he on the fence for cloture?
Voinovich (R-OH): may switch against cloture?

Very Likely to Switch
Kyl (R-AZ)-coalition member
Lott (R-MS)--pushing hard for bill; willing to "reign in" dissenters
McConnell (R-KY)-pushing hard for bill
Craig (R-ID)--has said he will
Gregg (R-NH)--voted in favor of bill last year; update; declares for cloture
Boxer (D-CA)--voted in favor of bill last year; amendments for cloture votes? on the fence?;update; news story says she backs cloture for now...
Bond (R-MO)--voted against cloture last year; amendments for cloture votes?; on the fence?; sounds like he's voting for the first cloture...
Murkowski (R-AK)--voted in favor of bill last year; declares for cloture
Cochran (R-MS)--voted in favor of cloture last year; update; update--he could switch; has declared in favor of cloture
Bingaman (D-NM)--voted in favor of bill last year--but has been a little more critical now; on the fence? update. declared for
Coleman (R-MN)--up for re-election; voted for bill last time, but has been more critical now; amendments for cloture votes?; the perception game,; seems to have declared for

Likely to Switch
Collins (R-ME)--voted in favor of bill last year
Snowe (R-ME)--voted in favor of bill last year
Domenici (R-NM)--voted in favor of bill last year; update
Stevens (R-AK)--voted in favor of bill last year
Warner (R-VA)--up for re-election; voted for bill last time, but, w/Webb, he might not switch; or maybe he will switch
Bennett (R-UT)--voted in favor of bill last year; the perception game,
Burr (R-NC)----voted against cloture last year; consistent bill skeptic---BUT he's wavering.

Could very well switch
Hatch (R-UT)--voted in favor of cloture last year; but maybe remains undecided, still

Webb (D-VA)--new but has been somewhat skeptical; amendments for cloture votes?; on the fence? voting no?
Ensign (R-NV)--seemed at one point slightly favorable to bill, but it's hard to say....see this post; amendments for cloture votes? on the fence?
Sanders (I-VT)--who knows! He's independent!; amendments for cloture votes; could he be against?
Baucus (D-MT)--up for re-election; also seems skeptical (even though he voted for bill last time); amendments for cloture votes?; some count him anti-cloture
Tester (D-MT)--seems skeptical....; amendments for cloture votes?; some count him anti-cloture

Could Very Well not Switch
Grassley (R-IA)----voted against cloture last year; consistent bill skeptic; amendments for cloture votes?
Pryor (D-AR)--up for re-election; voted in favor of bill last year, but more critical now; some count him anti-cloture

Somewhat Unlikely to Switch
Landrieu (D-LA)--up for re-election; some count her against cloture
Dorgan (D-ND)--voted against cloture last year; consistent bill skeptic--but amendments for cloture votes?
Rockefeller (D-WV)--has been a skeptic with Byrd
Smith (R-OR)--voted for bill last year, but could be up for a tough re-election; against cloture (sort of)

Very Unlikely to Switch
McCaskill (D-MO)--new but still seems skeptical; amendments for cloture votes?; declares against cloture
Cornyn (R-TX)--up for re-election; voted against bill last time; declared against cloture
Hutchison (R-TX)--voted for cloture last year (but also against bill); amendments for cloture votes? NOW declared against cloture
Corker (R-TN)--new but still seems skeptical: see this story ; has declared against
Alexander (R-TN)--voted for cloture last time; declared against
Isakson (R-GA)-- declared against cloture
Chambliss (R-GA)-- declared against cloture
Roberts (R-KS)--voted against cloture last year; declared against
Crapo (R-ID)----voted against cloture last year; consistent bill skeptic; declared against cloture
Sununu (R-NH)----voted against cloture last year; consistent bill skeptic; has declared against
DeMint (R-SC) signed enforcement letter to president; declared against
Thune (R-SD)----voted against cloture last year; consistent bill skeptic; amendments for cloture votes?--probably not; caller to office was told he would vote against cloture
Byrd (D-WV)----voted against cloture last year; consistent bill skeptic
Sessions (R-AL)----voted against cloture last year; consistent bill skeptic
Shelby (R-AL)----voted against cloture last year; consistent bill skeptic
Dole (R-NC)----voted against cloture last year; consistent bill skeptic
Vitter (R-LA)----voted against cloture last year; consistent bill skeptic
Allard (R-CO)--voted against cloture last year
Inhofe (R-OK)--voted against cloture last year
Bunning (R-KY)----voted against cloture last year; consistent bill skeptic

Missed Last Cloture
Enzi (R-WY)--often misses votes on clotures for immigration bills--has missed votes for last year's cloture and this year's...sounds against cloture
Brownback (R-KS)--sends a lot of mixed signals, but seems--sometimes--in favor of bill...
Coburn (R-OK)--probably against cloture; sounds against cloture
Johnson (D-SD)--unlikely to vote at all (ill health)

Here's the official Senate vote list on cloture for last week:
YEAs ---45
Akaka (D-HI)
Bayh (D-IN)
Biden (D-DE)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Clinton (D-NY)
Conrad (D-ND)
Dodd (D-CT)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Graham (R-SC)
Hagel (R-NE)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Obama (D-IL)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Salazar (D-CO)
Schumer (D-NY)
Specter (R-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

NAYs ---50
Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Bond (R-MO)
Boxer (D-CA)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Byrd (D-WV)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Dole (R-NC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Ensign (R-NV)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lott (R-MS)
McCaskill (D-MO)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Pryor (D-AR)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Stevens (R-AK)
Sununu (R-NH)
Tester (D-MT)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Warner (R-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Not Voting - 4
Brownback (R-KS)
Coburn (R-OK)
Enzi (R-WY)
Johnson (D-SD)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Also according to the Roll Call story mentioned below, Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) says that he no longer supports the filibuster against the bill:
“They’ve had ample opportunity,” Craig said of the Republican dissenters who successfully rallied a majority of their Conference to block the bill last week. Craig added that he supports McConnell’s efforts to goad the conservatives into capitulating, saying that over the years “when I was in a minority position I was given fair fun, but I was never given carte blanche to kill something.”
This Robert Novak column offers a glimpse of how Newt Gingrich is involving himself in the present immigration debate (the "poison" is Dorgan's amendment that would "sunset" the guest worker program after five years:
Removing the poison will not be easy, but a start was made this week with unusual effort from President Bush. When Bush attended the weekly luncheon of Republican senators for the second time in his presidency, former House speaker Newt Gingrich e-mailed Senate staffers that "the Bush administration is determined to force [the immigration bill] through with raw power." Gingrich sent confrontational talking points for the aides to give their senators when they met the president. There is no sign that any of them were used Tuesday during a civil encounter that perhaps promises a better performance ahead by the Senate.

Whether this public civility is a sign of, from Novak's perspective (which is one that seems in basic support of the "grand bargain"), a "better performance" in the future or not, this paragraph does hint at the level of Gingrich's involvement. One wonders what those "confrontational talking points" were...
Wranglin' Gets Rough! From Roll Call (via Kaus):
Senate conservatives have been warned by Republican leaders that they must either accept a series of largely symbolic floor votes on a handful of amendments to the immigration reform legislation or see themselves shut out of the process altogether when the chamber resumes work on the bill later this year, GOP lawmakers and aides said Tuesday.
Meanwhile, many immigrants--here both with and without legal approval--lobby in support of the Senate bill.
The Latest Form of Bargaining: Votes-for-Vacations? At the Corner, Kate O'Beirne outlines a new tactic that members of the "grand coalition" may be planning:

Standing in the way of a planned recess causes radioactive unpopularity because such recalcitrant Senators threaten to upset the vacation/travel plans of their colleagues AND THEIR WIVES (okay, spouses).

There is Senate speculation that there will be a resurrection of the immigration reform bill during the last week of June to increase pressure on dissenting Senators who would risk the wrath of colleagues by delaying the July 4th recess.

Wranglin' the Votes: US News has a roundup of some recent Senate news for the immigration bill. Reports are floating around that the members of the coalition for the "grand bargain" are back again meeting and may unveil a proposal as early as today. Though some members of the coalition express optimism that the bill will go through, other reports suggest that some supporters are at least troubled about the bill's ultimate fate (H/T Kaus). Meanwhile, the Bush administration is going full bore in its advocacy of this bill, the Politico reports, waging an extensive media campaign (taking on talk radio and bloggers as well as more "traditional" media outlets) in its attempt to win public support for a bill with uncertain public support. The Politico story also mentions the attempt of the administration to rally its "corporate allies" to support the bill. The Politico publishes this statement by managing editor Erick-Woods Erickson:
"In my four years of active participation in blogs, I have never seen anything like this on any issue, including the president's reelection," Erickson said in an e-mail. "Had the White House been as aggressive on the war, Social Security reform, health care reform, etc., it might be winning on those issues. Somehow, though, it chose to pick the one issue least popular with the base to claim as their hill to die on."
In any case, President Bush, still struggling with low poll numbers, is pushing. Time will tell how much he moves.
In Arizona, a bill (SB1265) is pending that would deny bail to "illegal immigrants" who have been charged with certain felonies. It awaits a final vote in the Arizona House. This bill is based on Proposition 100, which was passed by voters in 2006 (with 78% of the vote) and which amended the Arizona Constitution. See also this Arizona Daily Star story.

UPDATE: The Arizona House has passed SB1265 by 34-22. The bill now goes to the state Senate. See also this story.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The New York Times profiles Steve Levy, a popular (and at times controversial) New York Democrat who keeps to "a black-and-white assertion: Illegal immigration is illegal, and should be punished." This story also mentions suburban responses to "illegal immigration"--and the way some Democrats have been able to use suburban unease with "illegal immigration" in order to win over more conventionally "conservative" districts and regions.
In North Carolina, lawmakers debate a bill that would place a 5% excise tax the wire transfers of "illegal immigrants."
Michelle Malkin has a roundup of some speculation about the wrangling going on behind the scenes to muster support for Senate immigration bill. She reports that a list of new amendments for the bill seems to be in the works; this list could even be given to Majority Leader Reid tonight. She offers this list of senators that lobbying may focus on:

(*Senators up for re-election in 2008)

* Alexander (R-TN)
Bennett (R-UT)
* Cochran (R-MS)
* Coleman (R-MN)
* Collins (R-ME)
* Cornyn (R-TX)
* Craig (R-ID)
* Domenici (R-NM)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lott (R-MS)
* McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
* Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Stevens (R-AK)
* Warner (R-VA)

Over at the Corner, Kate O'Beirne reports on the meeting of the Republican senators with President Bush. She says that the suggestion for an emergency supplemental bill for immigration enforcement is "catching on." She also brings out the way in which this supplemental funding could itself become a political tool:
The immigration bill's most enthusiatic supporters will want it to move on a parallel track with their grand compromise as a testament to their good intentions on enforcement promises, while the bill's opponents would support the neccesary additional funding while they wait to see border security and secure I.D.s realized. So, the next round: Will an emergency supplemental spending bill be used to grease the skids for the grand compromise OR to stall on any consideration of amnesty?
Staying Engaged: President Bush's remarks about lunch with Republican senators.
Senate Pushback Continues: In addition to the letter of Chambliss and Isakson, nine Republican senators have sent a letter to President Bush stressing that he enforce the current immigration law regardless of the fate of the present "comprehensive" bill; they say that current law already has a number of mechanisms for enforcement. The letter was signed by U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R – South Carolina), Tom Coburn (R – Oklahoma), Mike Enzi (R – Wyoming), David Vitter (R – Louisiana), Jim Inhofe (R – Oklahoma), Jim Bunning (R – Kentucky), Charles Grassley (R – Iowa), John Ensign (R – Nevada) and Jeff Sessions (R – Alabama).

Text of Letter:
Dear Mr. President:

We respectfully ask that your Administration enforce the border security laws that have already been authorized by Congress regardless of whether the Senate passes the immigration reform bill. The bill assumes that several critical border security benchmarks can be achieved within 18 months. These security triggers are already authorized under current law and can be completed without the immigration bill. We believe these enforcement measures are vital and should not wait until Congress passes additional immigration reforms.

Securing the border is the best way to restore trust with the American people and facilitate future improvements of our immigration policy.


U.S. Senators Jim DeMint (R – South Carolina), Tom Coburn (R – Oklahoma), Mike Enzi (R – Wyoming), David Vitter (R – Louisiana), Jim Inhofe (R – Oklahoma), Jim Bunning (R – Kentucky), Charles Grassley (R – Iowa), John Ensign (R – Nevada) and Jeff Sessions (R – Alabama).


The Senate immigration bill calls for the following security benchmarks to be completed as a “trigger” before other parts of the bill go into effect. Bill proponents claim these provisions can be implemented within 18 months. All of them can be implemented under current law:
• Bill Trigger #1 – 18,000 agents border patrol agents;
--- This is already scheduled under current law: Customs and Border Patrol Press Release 8/4/2006: “In May, President Bush announced his commitment to hire an additional 6,000 agents by the end of 2008, bringing the Border Patrol’s total strength to 18,000 agents.”

• Bill Trigger #2 – 200 miles of vehicle barriers, 370 miles of fencing, and 70 ground-based radar and camera towers, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicles;
--- This requires less than is already required under current law. The Secure Fence Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush in 2006, already requires 700 miles of two-layered reinforced fencing along Southwest border, mandates DHS achieve operational control over entire border through “virtual fence” that deploys cameras, ground sensors, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles, and integrated surveillance technology.

• Bill Trigger #3 – End “catch and release” and provide ICE 27,500 beds for immigration detainees;
--- According to DHS, both of these triggers have already been accomplished. DHS Press Release 10/30/2006: “Ended ‘Catch-and-Release’ Along the Borders: In 2006, the Department of Homeland Security and ICE re-engineered the detention and removal process to end this practice along the border… ICE also increased its detention bed space by 6,300 during the fiscal year 2006, bringing the current number of funded beds to 27,500 immigration detainees.”

• Bill Trigger #4 – Secure identification documents with photo and biometric information and operational employment verification system to determine work eligibility
--- The REAL ID Act, passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush in 2005, already requires secure identification documents with photo and biometric information.
--- The Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2007, passed by Congress and signed into law in 2006, already provides $113 million to fully expand the Basic Pilot / Employment Eligibility Verification (EEV) system to be a national employment database.

Other Border Security Provisions of Current Law
• Achieve and maintain operational control over the entire international land and maritime borders of the United States as required under the Secure Fence Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-367)

• Fully integrate all databases maintained by DHS which contain information on aliens as required by section 202 of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 (8 U.S.C. 1722).

• Fully implement US-VISIT program to record the departure of every alien departing the United States and match records of departure with the records of arrivals in the United States as required by section 110 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1221 note).

• Enforce the provision of law that prevents States and localities from adopting ``sanctuary'' policies or that prevents State and local employees from communicating with DHS as required by section 642 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 (8 U.S.C. 1373).

• Fully operational equipment at each port of entry and uses such equipment in a manner that allows unique biometric identifiers to be compared and visas, travel documents, passports, and other documents authenticated in accordance with section 303 of the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act of 2002 (8 U.S.C. 1732).

• An alien with a border crossing card is prevented from entering the United States until the biometric identifier on the border crossing card is matched against the alien as required by section 101(a)(6) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(6)).

• Any alien who is likely to become a public charge is denied entry into the United States pursuant to section 212(a)(4) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(a)(4)).

Senate resistance to Bush's involvement: Two prominent Senate opponents of the present immigration bill are publicly pushing back against President Bush's public effort to push senators to support this bill. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) tells the president to "back off." And (H/T Malkin) Sen. Jim DeMint (R-NC) says, "This idea we can get 10 more amendments, and we're going to jam it through, if that's the plan, I'm going to do everything I can to stop it."
Via the AJC, Georgia Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson (who both seem--sometimes quiet--supporters--at least for the moment--of the current "grand compromise") have sent President Bush a letter advising that he call for an emergency supplemental funding bill for pending border enforcement initiatives. Text of letter:

Dear Mr. President:

Although the Senate’s effort to reform our nation’s immigration laws through the Secure Borders, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Reform Act of 2007 is stalled, illegal immigration remains our nation’s number one domestic issue. We therefore believe it is incumbent upon us and our colleagues to tackle this issue and not leave this problem for future generations to solve.

As we travel around Georgia and continue to hear from our constituents, the message from a majority of Georgians is that they have no trust that the United States Government will enforce the laws contained in this new legislation and secure the border first.

This lack of trust is rooted in the mistakes made in 1986 and the continued chaos surrounding our immigration laws. Understandably, the lack of credibility the federal government has on this issue gives merit to the skepticism of many about future immigration reform.

We believe the way to build greater support for immigration reform in the United States Senate and among the American public is to regain the trust in the ability of the federal government to responsibly administer immigration programs and enforce immigration laws.

There is bipartisan agreement that we need to secure our borders first, and we believe this approach will serve as a platform towards addressing the other issues surrounding immigration reform.

To that end, we believe that you and your administration could alleviate many of the fears of our constituents by calling for an emergency supplemental bill to fully fund the border and interior security initiatives contained in legislation currently pending in the Senate, as well as any outstanding existing authorizations.

Such a move would show your commitment to securing the border first and to stopping the flow of illegal immigrants and drugs into our nation. It will also work towards restoring the credibility of the federal government on this critical issue.

We urge you to carefully consider this request, and thank you for the opportunity to express the views of the people of Georgia on this matter.

Sincerely, Saxby Chambliss

United States Senator

Johnny Isakson

United States Senator

Monday, June 11, 2007

Kentucky Divisions: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell continues to stress his ultimate support for the present Senate immigration bill. He wants bill to return to the floor and believes in this present bill:

“I think the status quo is indefensible,” McConnell said. “The status quo is what’s produced 11 or 12 million illegal immigrants in the country with no real plan—a de facto amnesty if you will for those who are already here.”
Meanwhile, fellow Republican Senator Jim Bunning attacks the present bill:

In a statement late last week, Bunning said the bill was worse than the status quo and would not have stopped the flow of illegal immigrants.

“Not only did the bill provide amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, but it also gave them their own V.I.P. line to citizenship and stuck the taxpayers with the bill for their health care, education, welfare and Social Security,” Bunning said.

In Mamaroneck, NY, day laborers have won an agreement (stemming from a lawsuit in 2004 about the village closing down a day laborer site) that would prevent village police from checking the immigration status of day laborers and would require the village to pay the lawyers of the day laborers who sued $500,000. Signed off on by federal Judge Colleen McMahon, this agreement must still by ratified by the village Board of Trustees.
UPDATE: See also this Washington Post story on the decision.
UPDATE 2 (6/12): The village ratified the agreement 3-1 last night. Also today, the new "day laborer" center for the village opened. According to this Newsday story:
The workers will be invited to assemble inside a chapel of the Strait Gate Church, and a lottery system will be used to assign them to contractors who drive into the parking lot looking for laborers.

Classes in English, job safety and health also will be available.

"We believe this will be a great day to begin a lifelong process of coming together and sharing our different cultures," said Bishop Wayne Powell of the Strait Gate Church.
Via Hotair: Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) predicts Senate bill will pass Senate by July 4. Says he will vote for cloture--indeed, says he's now ready to vote to limit debate. Sen. Kyl says that this bill may be a political "loser" for Republicans but wants to push ahead because he believes it will solve a "big problem."
Three National Guardsmen are arrested on charges of running an immigrant smuggling ring.
Reid: You want to end naptime? I'll set the alarm clock. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has again announced his willingness to cooperate with the White House on pushing through immigration reform bill. By this story:

“If and when Republicans can agree on a limited number of amendments and agree on the need to get this bill passed, Senator Reid is committed to finding room on the Senate schedule as soon as possible,” said Jim Manley, the spokesman, who said President Bush needed to play a role as well. “The hope is that he can apply enough pressure to provide the votes we need to get the bill out of the Senate.”

And, based on his public statements thus far, President Bush seems quite willing to apply some pressure. And Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says that he, at least, is willing to vote in favor of bill if enough senators get to propose amendments. The negotiations continue...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

On Face the Nation, Rep. Peter King (R-NY) and Ken Salazar (D-CO) debate on immigration bill. Bob Schieffer editorializes. King says that he has gotten one phone call (out of 500-600) in favor of bill. Salazar predicts that bill will pass Senate and House. According to the Washington Post, both Press Secretary Tony Snow and Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez predict bill will pass.
An International Perspective: This Reuters story explores some of the effects of the recent Senate bill failure on Mexican President Felipe Calderon.
Backlash Building?: As President Bush continues to suffer low poll numbers and Majority Leader Reid's approval numbers plummet, public supporters of the current Senate "grand compromise" are suffering various public challenges. One of the most outspoken proponents of the Senate bill, Lindsey Graham (R-SC), now faces--at least online--forces mobilizing against him. Support for RNC Chairman (and Senator) Mel Martinez of Florida also falls to all-time low (driven in part by public distrust of the Senate bill). Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NE), a persistent advocate for "comprehensive reform" (usually including legalization of the undocumented) and one of the few Republicans to vote in favor of cloture this week, faces a primary challenger, who, at the moment, seems to be leading Hagel in a poll of likely Nebraska Republican voters. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (KY), who (though he voted against cloture this week) seems to remain ultimately supportive of passing some variant of this "grand compromise," also faces calls for a primary challenge. One prominent "conservative" website has even proposed trying to oust McConnell from his position of Minority Leader. Graham, Hagel, and McConnell are all up for re-election in 2008.
(H/T Mickey Kaus and Michelle Malkin)
NYT story on local activism against Senate immigration bill.