Hip, Hip, Hoorah for Sen. Kyl

By James R. Edwards, Jr. on June 22, 2010

Arizona's junior senator, Jon Kyl, deserves credit for exposing President Obama's position on immigration legislation: hold enforcement hostage to amnesty. Further, the senator deserves praise for standing his ground against the waves of hot air rolling his direction from the bully pulpit.

The dispute surrounds a conversation the senator and president had and that Sen. Kyl recounted at a town hall meeting. According to Kyl, "The president said the problem is if we secure the border, then you all won't have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform."

"In other words, they're holding it hostage," Kyl said at the event, a video of which was circulated widely online on Monday, but not from Kyl's office. "They won't secure the border unless and until is it combined with comprehensive immigration reform."

The private conversation heard 'round the world has become much bigger a deal than it otherwise might have been. But the fact the White House has responded so vigorously in its denials can mean only one thing: Sen. Kyl is telling the truth, and the truth politically hurts this White House.

The pro-amnesty side, both legislators and special interests, have long held to an all-or-nothing strategy. They adamantly refuse to allow a reasonable, incremental legislative approach to addressing America's immigration problems. Instead, the open-borders crowd, which includes the White House, prefers intransigence.

Yet the public isn't interested in "comprehensive immigration reform," amnesty, or some other wrong-headed synonym. A strong majority demands law enforcement to secure the border and dry up the swamp of illegal immigration. Even a poll for the liberal Washington Post confirmed the public's enforcement-only posture. When will politicians get a clue? Apparently, when they start to listen to Sen. Kyl and his like-minded colleagues.