That is what some of the hardline Congressmen seem to be saying about immigration reform. Back when Congress attempted to make illegal entry into the US a felony they did not only send their fan club of nativists into smug self congratulatory back patting...they brought to life an immigration movement the likes of which this country has not seem in many years, if ever.
Now the Senate has passed the Hagel-Martinez bill. Big Lizards has a post up on the bill:
There is great room for negotiation on this bill, many things that can be -- and should be -- changed. But there is no chance for dropping any of the big three:
* Secure the border with a real fence;
* Allow more people to enter the country, either as guest workers or immigrants, to continue doing jobs that need doing, but that Americans won't do (the "spillway");
* Do something to regularize the millions of illegals already here.
No bill that excludes any of these three has a prayer of passing through Congress... and not to act at all would be a catastrophe of both policy and politics.
So instead of railing against those elements that are deal-breakers, let's focus on trying to make the bill better: to increase whatever part you see as beneficial to make the bill, on the whole, a deal we can live with.
UPDATE, a few minutes later: Mary Katharine Ham, guest blogging on Hugh Hewitt, reports on a teleconference between Ed Meese and a group of conservative bloggers about the immigration bill, and about Meese's New York Times op-ed today opposing it, "An Amnesty by Any Other Name ...." The conference was run by Matt Spaulding of the Heritage Foundation.
Let's see if we've grasped the essentials here: a group that opposes what it's pleased to call "amnesty" for illegals invites a speaker who opposes what he calls "amnesty" to speak to a bunch of conservative bloggers -- who oppose what they call "amnesty." And by golly, after thrashing out those differences, they finally all concur that they must oppose what they call "amnesty" for illegals!
This evening on Brit Hume's Special Report the speculation was that the House might kill the deal. No compromise, nata. Just deader than a doornail. After all this drama. After all the hysterical assertions that life as we know it is doomed if we do not get a fence, they might just blow it off. Two thirds of the American people want a bill and the longer this drags out the more likely it will be that Democrats will be the ones deciding the nature of the bill. If Republicans can not do this, someone else will do it for them.