Saturday, July 08, 2006


Ralph Reed and Immigration

Published by Erick of the Peach Pundit
July 7th, 2006 in Primaries, Republicans, Lt. Governor

There are many other things I could have given as the title to this post, but that seems to be the most objective. There are many interpretations one could give to the information herein, but it seems they all come down to one thing — more than once has Ralph Reed been opposed to tightening immigration laws and it appears that this is another example of Ralph Reed following Grover Norquist and getting into trouble.
In 1996, it was actually the Democrats who were pushing to curtail immigration levels. Democratic heroine Barbara Jordan, on behalf of Bill Clinton, chaired a bipartisan commission and concluded that immigrants were taking jobs poor Americans actually would do, were doing them cheaper, and consequently were hurting the abilities of poor Americans to get gainful employment.
A bipartisan coalition gathered around the idea that illegal immigration must be stopped and legal immigration must be curtailed. A Wired Magazine article described the situation this way:
On Capitol Hill, Congress was poised to pass the most severe anti immigration legislation since the 1920s. Significantly, measures designed to crack down on illegals were paired with plans to slash legal immigration by 40 percent. Senator Alan Simpson and Representative Lamar Smith, the two leading Republican voices on immigration, were pushing the bills hard. The White House was sounding supportive, having been given cover to back the cuts by a set of similarly restrictive recommendations from a bipartisan commission chaired by the late, famously liberal Barbara Jordan. It was a powerful, if unlikely, alliance. And with no politician daring to risk being called “weak” on immigration in an election year, it seemed an unstoppable one as well.
Six months after the measure made it to Capitol Hill, Ralph Reed helped kill it.
The proposal was supported by every Republican in the Georgia delegation. Unfortunately, a lot of tech companies, including Microsoft, were opposed to the law. Grover Norquist, then on Microsoft’s payroll, set about rallying conservatives to oppose the law. Congressman Dick Chrysler was proposing an amendment to the proposal that would gut it. He wanted to split the bill into multiple components dealing with different areas of immigration — one of which would have dealt with “chain migration,” the issue of whole families immigrating together.

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