Thursday, 12/16/2010, 9:20 p.m. Mountain Time
I’ve just learned from two sources that Senate Majority Leader Reid filed for cloture this evening on the DREAM Act amnesty bill and that there will be an up-or-down vote on the bill Saturday.
My sources: An email from Susan Tully, National Field Director of the Federation for American Immigration Reform [FAIR] and the entry at this link from Michelle Malkin’s website.
Malkin says that no amendments will be allowed on the bill. Doesn’t matter … we need to kill it outright. And that means defeating the cloture vote. From what Roy Beck of NumbersUSA sent out yesterday, there will be only one cloture vote on DREAM, since it’s a bill coming over intact from the House.
(In a prior alert, I said there would be two cloture votes. In this case there’s only one, a cloture vote that would end debate. If the amnesty proponents don’t win the cloture vote, then debate on the bill would continue except, as a practical matter, Reid would then give up and set it aside, so the Senate can go on to something else.)
For us to win on cloture, we have to keep the bill’s supporters from getting 60, or more, votes. i.e. If there are 59 or fewer “YES” votes for cloture, the bill dies and we win.
The stakes? To lose this would be a disaster of great magnitude to the cause of immigration-sanity, immigration in the national interest. But if we win, we probably won’t have to worry about amnesty again for a LONG time. And I think our winning would be a great blow to the amnesty pushers’ morale, maybe induce some of the illegal-alien legions to head back home on their own.
So .. please be watching for the alert I expect Roy Beck will be sending us overnight. He’ll undoubtedly give us the lists of senators we need to help persuade with the weight of our last minute phone calls. Only phone calls made tomorrow (Friday, December 17) can make a difference now, as senators’ DC offices presumably won’t be well-staffed on Saturday.
From direct experience, I can tell you what the DREAM Act supporters are up to. They apparently have massive phone banks making calls to the offices of the same fence-straddling senators we’re trying to convince, including flooding the state offices of these senators with calls.
How do I know? I phoned Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) office in Fairbanks in order to have more of a conversation with the staffer than is usually possible when one calls the hyper-frantic DC offices. I wanted to make a particular point that took a little time. We had a good conversation that turned out to be very informative for me when the staffer, without prompting, told me she (up there in Fairbanks!!) had received 85 pro-DREAM calls that day and only 2 against, mine being the second!!
The staffer explained that all Murkowski’s offices throughout the state (Anchorage, Wasilla, Kenai, Ketchikan, and Fairbanks) were being hammered the same way, and it’s been that way for days. She also explained that these are “robo calls,” saying that often the callers can’t speak English and/or can’t respond to questions she’ll ask. So, that’s a measure of how desperate the other side is and how many resources they’re throwing into the fight. Presumably, this is happening in the state offices of other fence-straddling senators, too.
Jim Robb of NumbersUSA tells me that the congressional staffs hate robo-calls.
But you and I are actual, informed citizens who understand what’s at stake and are making genuine calls from the grassroots. So let’s pour it on tomorrow.
Roy Beck will undoubtedly supply you with some talking points in his overnight email. Here I’ll provide the ones I used, mix&match, in making calls to about ten senatorial offices today, both DC and state offices, none of them to Baucus or Tester:
1. The national commander of the American Legion put out a very strong statement last Thursday (12/9) urging the Senate to kill the DREAM Act. He was reinforcing the Legion’s long-standing position that “The American Legion opposes legislation that would result in the granting of amnesty and legal residency, in any form or by any name, to illegal immigrants currently in the United States.”
2. We’ve done seven illegal-alien amnesties starting in 1986, yet we have more illegal aliens here than ever. So why would we do it again? And the DREAM Act bill has ZERO defenses against fraudulent applications, so there will be plenty of those … plus encouragement for more illegal immigration. Never again for an amnesty.
3. [For senators whose terms end in 2012—see prior posting from Roy Beck] Voting YES on an illegal-alien amnesty isn’t an obscure, free vote anymore. Citizens are watching, and it won’t be forgotten. In fact, it’ll be a big sore thumb, a flashing red light at re-election time in 2012.
I’ll paste below a brief, excellent analysis of the DREAM Act by Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute. It may help inform your calls.
Please, don’t go AWOL from this crucial effort on Friday. Your country’s livable future is at stake, for you and your descendants.
Best to all,