June 28, 2007

SCORE ONE FOR ALT-MEDIA: Immigration bill fails. “The bill’s Senate supporters fell 14 votes short of the 60 needed to limit debate and clear the way for final passage of the legislation, which critics assailed as offering amnesty to illegal immigrants. The vote was 46 to 53 in favor of limiting the debate.” That’s a big margin.

I think it was the YouTube campaign that made the difference.

UPDATE: Mickey Kaus modestly foregoes credit, but observes: “Fifteen Dems (plus Sanders) vote against cloture, making it somewhat difficult for Sen. Reid to achieve what seemed to be his unadvertised dream: A failed bill he could blame on the Republicans.” Plus, why Rupert Murdoch is a loser.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Minute-by-minute coverage of what went on while I was taking the Insta-Daughter to the doctor and the mall.

MORE: Don Surber is glad the bill failed, but also offers praise for legal immigration:

God bless those legal immigrants. they went through the paperwork. They studied hard. Many had to learn a new language. They showed a commitment to a nation that most of us take for granted.

Yes. The anger over the bill was never so much over immigration, as it was over the contempt that many of the political class seemed to display regarding people who — to coin a political phrase — work hard and play by the rules. Those crafting another bill at some point in the future would do well to bear that in mind. [LATER: Prof. Joseph Olson emails: "Congressmen neither work hard nor play by the rules. There is no reason to expect them to respect those who do." Ouch. But that's not fair -- they do work pretty hard, actually.]

And here’s the Washington Post story on the bill’s failure.

More: “Today’s defeat of the Senate amnesty bill was more than a run-of-the-mill legislative victory, representing as it did a self-organizing public’s defeat of combined force of Big Business, (some of) Big Labor, Big Media, Big Religion, Big Philanthropy, Big Academia, and Big Government.” Wow. Somebody should write a book about this phenomenon.

MORE: On legal immigration, a reader emails:

I’m a professor in California and my wife holds a masters degree in accounting. We’ve already spent thousands getting work permits. We’re now in the process of applying for green cards … they’ve make it so complicated you can’t reasonably do it without legal help, and all up (legal fees plus government filing fees), it’s costing us over $9000 for my wife and I to apply for Green Cards. On July 30th, they’re increasing the filing fees. Currently it’s $940 for me and $740 for my wife. Come August, it’ll cost $2200 for the main applicant and $1725 for the spouse. On top of that, they wouldn’t let me pay tax as a married person until I’d been in the country for 10 months, so not only was there no “tax amnesty” for me, I was in fact paying more taxes than an American in the same position. I find Americans are always shocked when I tell them how much it is costing us. It seems like every few months they make it more difficult for people who want to do it legally.

Tellingly, he asks that I not use his name for fear of retaliation.

STILL MORE: Dean Barnett rounds up winners and losers.

MORE STILL: Reader Christopher Fox is worried: “Great, we dumped the immigration bill. Success! Now we have to watch out for retribution by a vengeful Congress looking to put us in our place. Don’t be surprised when all pretense of border controls are dropped, as the elites decide to show us how bad it can REALLY get if we don’t do it their way.”

That would be amazingly stupid. Which, based on past performance, suggests that it’s hardly out of the question . . . .