Thursday, February 26, 2009

Open Letter to Senators Specter, Collins & Snowe

I understand the reasons for your support of the stimulus bill. However, I don’t understand why you did not use your relative position of power more effectively on this bill to insist on e-verification as a condition of your favorable votes. Given its importance, I firmly believe that the three of you could have prevailed on this issue. Surely, no one should expect anything less from three veteran senators who were in such a commanding position.

I was not in favor of scuttling the bill altogether or failing to act in a timely manner. I am certain that had all three of you taken a position adamantly in favor of e-verification, you would have been successful and the bill would still have been passed and on the president’s desk in record time. This was an opportunity for the effective use of what little power Republicans have in the present circumstances. E-verification is the sine qua non of the effective management of our borders and those who violate them. Its omission does not bode well for maximizing the effectiveness of the stimulus bill in putting Americans back to work. It is simply amazing that there was so little regard for our citizen unemployed.

If your three votes were vital to timely passage of this bill, I just don’t believe the agreement you reached was the best one you could under the circumstances.
I see you were impressed with the position of the United States Chamber of Commerce which was for the bill very solidly because of its support for pro-growth tax initiatives and the inclusion of tax relief. Many of the spending-side provisions in the legislation will undoubtedly get Americans (and, without e-verification, many illegal aliens as well) back to work, focusing on infrastructure spending for roads, rails, public transportation, aviation, inland waterways and ports. However, much of what the illegals earn will be sent home as remittances to be spent in Mexico, (not much stimulus there!) I suspect the motives of the Chamber. Isn’t it possible that it is just interested in cheap labor at the expense of American labor? The question might better have been posed in terms of what the American people wanted rather than solely the wishes of the Chamber.

I believe it was never a case of this bill or no bill. Inclusion of e-verification should have been a simple task and an easy compromise in the interest of quick passage of a needed stimulus bill. What is your perception why the conference committee chose to ignore that part of the House version of the bill? As I see it there is little to argue for that exclusion unless it is strictly a desire to continue the flow of illegal alien cheap labor.

We all supported the idea of an economic stimulus package. The unemployment figures, the latest earnings reports and the continuing crisis in banking made it clear that failure to act would have left the United States facing a far deeper crisis in the future. This, however, did not justify complete and utter capitulation when a little more backbone could have saved at least this one provision and resulted in a bill which had at least this small element of bi-partisanship.

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