Another Warning on Amnesty

By Mark Krikorian on September 25, 2009

There was an important vote on a minor procedural matter Wednesday on the floor of the House. Arizona's Rep. Raul Grijalva, a leftist open-borders guy (and I don't mean liberal — MEChA member, 100% rating from the ACLU, etc.) sponsored a bill to create new national-park area along the border. Republicans in committee smelled a rat and attempted to insert an amendment that stipulated that the Border Patrol would be permitted to operate in the new area, but were rebuffed; the amendment's needed because the Department of Interior has reportedly interfered with efforts to patrol border lands under its jurisdiction. Well, Republicans decided to try to pull a procedural motion in the full House to force the issue, assuming they'd lose but at least be able to make a political point.

Instead, once it became clear to the Democrats the trouble that Grijalva could be getting them into, they started running like lemmings. As Roy Beck tells it ("yes" is the pro-enforcement vote):

Suddenly just before the end of the voting, we saw that two or three Democrats who had voted NO were switching their votes to YES.

* Then, all but three of the rest of the Republicans arrived and cast YES votes.

* The Democratic tally went up to 40.

* And then the dam burst, with the rest of the Democrats finally casting their votes, with most of them voting YES!

* Many more Democrats who had voted NO earlier now saw that the amendment was going to pass anyway and switched to YES because they knew their constituents would prefer a YES.

In those final frenzied minutes of voting, the tally went from around 205-205 to 259-167.

A total of 38 Democrats changed from NO to YES.

The number of Democrats voting for pro-border-enforcement went from 37 to 85.

Now, the specific issue was a minor one, but coming on the heels of so many Democrats, including the president, running from the immigration issue on health care, I expect the pro-amnesty hardliners have got to be pretty discouraged. Also, the fact that every single Republican voting was on the right side — even the three Florida Cubans, who have grades of F on immigration — is a warning to the House leadership and the White House that they're not going to take an amnesty push lying down.