Sunday, July 1, 2007

We're obviously ON HIATUS until the next big, bad bill

Thanks to the cloture vote failing, all our tracking on how your representative would vote on the actual bill didn't come into play much.

We'll put this site on hiatus until the next horrible bill comes forward. It might be a bad healthcare reform bill, it might be a contentious Supreme Court nomination, who knows?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The battle is back on! Motion to reconsider passes

The senate agreed by 64-35 vote to reconsider the Immigration Reform proposal S.1639. So we're back to the task of counting votes on the bill itself.

The next MAJOR hurdle is the cloture vote required as a step prior to the vote on the bill.

Friday, June 22, 2007

S.1348 is now S.1639

The Senate "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" bill has a new number, S.1639.

A number of Senators are making their positions clear, and this will require a major spreadsheet update -- stay tuned.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

S.1348 Returns to Floor Next Week

Sources apparently have told Fox News that the Immigration Reform bill will return next week. This is a sign that the Dems and Republicans have enough votes for cloture, likely helped along by allowing certain amendments and the influence of President Bush.

The chance of this passing in the Senate is very high - why?
=There are more than 50 Senators who would vote for this bill (see our spreadsheet).
=There are enough votes for the bill that vulnerable Senators can vote against S.1348 as long as they help by voting for cloture.
="Killer Amendments" won't hurt this bill because they won't pass -- Reid is limiting amendments, McConnell is protecting the bill from the Republican side, and Kennedy is protecting the bill on the Dem side. And the "compromise gang" will vote en masse.
=A magic amendment to spend money on the border immediately is thought to provide political cover for Kyl/Isakson/Chambliss/Hutchison types.
=Lott and McConnell probably have enough muscle to get Hutchison, AK Senators, both Maine Senators, etc. to vote for cloture. McConnell and Lott themselves voted against it last time, but both favor this bill -- so as long as they get Reid to allow their favorite amendments, they're in, and this thing goes for a real vote.

Our prediction: This bill passes before Independence Day and the battle moves to the House of Representatives.

Link to spreadsheet here:

6/14 Update - Return of the Bill Soon

S. 1348, the Senate "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" bill is clearly on the way back.

Please click through to these can't-miss articles. First, from RIGHTWINGNEWS:

Yesterday, a GOP aide, who is one of my sources in the Senate, gave me the rundown on what's happening with the Senate immigration bill (this is the same person who I talked to last week about the bill).

First off, it does look like the Senate immigration bill is coming back. The conventional wisdom seems to be that it's going to be brought up right before the July 4th break, so that the Senate Republican leadership can try to use that as leverage to get votes (in other words, "vote for the bill or we'll have to waste your vacation time until you do").

This is despite the fact that the conservative leaders of the anti-amnesty movement are refusing to cooperate, and won't give Mitch McConnell a list of amendments that they want considered. My source tells me that the reason for this is that the game has now been rigged. McConnell is essentially promising to bring the amendments up in exchange for cloture votes, but he's publicly saying that they will strip any problematic amendments out in committee.


Also read Michelle Malkin today.

The $4.4 billion grand ruse

WashTimes reports that President Bush will offer his amnesty "confidence-builder" in a speech this morning:


Thursday, June 7, 2007

6/7 - Bill Off The Floor! Consideration of S.1348 Delayed Indefinitely.

Two cloture votes failed today, and Harry Reid is pulling the bill from floor consideration for the moment. This is a huge, although temporary, victory for opponents of this immigration bill.

Votes on cloture shouldn't be confused with votes on the substance of the bill. Several Republicans and Democrats who favor this bill still voted against cloture because of a dispute over the amendments which were being considered. For example, John Kyl voted against cloture tonight.

Once the amendments limiting the guest worker provision passed, Republicans wanted their amendments considered. So Mitch McConnell, even though he generally favors "comprehensive immigration reform" worked to keep many Republicans together and voting against cloture.

Senators Murkowski, Stevens, Collins and Snowe -- all who are quite likely to vote for S.1348, stuck with their leader and voted against cloture so that Republican amendments wouldn't get squashed by Reid. Delaying this bill also helps some Senators avoid the intense ire back home.

Here is the roll call the key cloture vote today.

YEAs ---45
Akaka (D-HI)
Bayh (D-IN)
Biden (D-DE)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Clinton (D-NY)
Conrad (D-ND)
Dodd (D-CT)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Graham (R-SC)
Hagel (R-NE)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Kohl (D-WI)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (ID-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Obama (D-IL)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Salazar (D-CO)
Schumer (D-NY)
Specter (R-PA)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

NAYs ---
Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Bond (R-MO)
Boxer (D-CA)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burr (R-NC)
Byrd (D-WV)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Dole (R-NC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Ensign (R-NV)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lott (R-MS)
McCaskill (D-MO)
McConnell (R-KY)

Murkowski (R-AK)
Pryor (D-AR)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Stevens (R-AK)
Sununu (R-NH)
Tester (D-MT)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Warner (R-VA)
Webb (D-VA)
Not Voting - 4
Brownback (R-KS)
Coburn (R-OK)
Enzi (R-WY)
Johnson (D-SD)

6/7 Notes

Things are moving too fast in the Senate with the debate and Amendment process to do an accurate vote update.

The main point so far is that the "coalition" of Senators are voting essentially as a bloc. Other Senators are clarifying their general position as well. Murkowski and Voinovich both are now most obviously for the "compromise bill" despite their trying to keep quiet about it.

Please follow frequent updates on the Amendments at the MICHELLE MALKIN blog.

The full spreadsheet is here:

Friday, June 1, 2007

6/1 Update


Summary: With 53 Senators currently in FIRMLY FOR or LEANS FOR, and 11 "Undecided," it looks very likely that this bill will pass in the Senate. It is possible an amendment will pass which will break up the compromise coalition, but Kennedy & Kyl have been using their influence to defeat amendments which threaten the delicate balance.

We had previously had Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton as "Undecided" beacause of their initial guarded comments. But common sense, and their interest in provisions that weaken this bill's restrictions by removing the point system illustrate that the LEAN FOR this bill at a minimum.

We moved Russ Feingold from UNCERTAIN to LEANS FOR this bill based on comments to the Appelton Post-Crescent in conjunction with his vote against the amendment which would strip the bill of the immediate provisional Z-Visas. Both Wisconsin Senators are in LEANS FOR partly because they both have mild reservations about guest worker provisions and the point system.

John Sununu is now FIRMLY AGAINST to this bill (from Leaning Against) based on the article in the Manchester Union-Leader.


Sam Graves (R-MO) is FIRMLY AGAINST the bill based on a report from a radio listener.

Ron Paul (R-TX) is FIRMLY AGAINST the bill based his recent "Texas Straight Talk."

Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) is a sponsor of the house version of "comprehensive immigration reform," so he's in "FIRMLY FOR."

The full spreadsheet is here:

On this spreadsheet, you can click to see multiple tabs. Click on the word SENATE or HR to see your representative's position. And call!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ted Stevens: Supporting the Immigration Bill

We hadn't been able to find any articles on Senator Ted Stevens view of the immigration bill. But by listening to a recent press conference he held with Alaskan journalists, he clearly explained his full support for the bill.

We find it interesting that his support for the bill has been rather quiet, it is possible that he'd prefer to keep calls from constituents at a minimum.

You can find a link to the audio file HERE.

We have transcribed the Senator's remarks here:

Question: "What's your attitude about the immigration bill."

SENATOR TED STEVENS: I am supporting the substitute, which I think is really a very good one. And I want to emphasize that it is not amnesty. There is no amnesty there. If a person wants to go towards a green card, they have to leave the country and come back in under a quota.
Now, no one seems to be picking that up. All these people are talking about amnesty. Amnesty would only be in effect if someone was here and they're allowed to say here and work towards getting a green card. That is not possible under this bill.

So I do think that people should understand -- we've got two new type of visas. We used to have H-Visas, now they're going to have Y and Z Visas. And the H-2B Visa, which is one that our tourist facilities in Alaska have used will become the Y-2B, and it will be increased in terms of National use from 66,000 to 100,000 people a year. They come in for a specific purpose. They can not become eligible for any kind of green card, they can only come in for a specific job. The employer has to show that they have advertised and no one has responded to the advertisement and they have to have these people to in order to fill their jobs and conduct their business.

Its an annual thing and its limited to how many times you can have that. My memory is you can have it for 2 years, and then another two years ... (Stevens' aside: what's the final limit, does anybody remember?) It has a limit in terms of how many times you can come in as a Y-2B Visa worker.

Question: So that would deal with issues like the roe workers...

SENATOR TED STEVENS: This is important for the fishing where the Japanese buy the roe but they only buy that's been packed by their people because of the cultural way of dealing with them. It also deals with ... I was visited by some people that operate rural hotels and they're only open from May to September. They cannot afford to pay someone year-round salaries. And under the circumstances, they also don't want to be involved in paying for retirement.

These are young people. Young, college-age people mostly, and they can come in from foreign countries and work there for a summer, but there's a limit on how many times they can come in under the new Y-2B. The old H-2B there was no limit -- there's a limit to the number of visas -- but no limit on how many times you could apply for one.

I think that immigration bill is good. A lot of people...again, it's like the FAA bill, misunderstand it. They still think we're talking about the original bill. It's a long way from the original bill. It's a good bill. I really commend Sen. Kyl and Sen. Kennedy, they have put partisanship aside, they've taken time to work with people from both sides of the aisle, and I think they've got a substantial majority and will pass that bill soon after we get back.

5/30 Update


We've moved Sam Brownback to UNDECIDED from LEANS FOR despite his former sponsorship of "comprehensive immigration reform" bills. An article in the KC Star today (linked in spreadsheet) explains how he's distanced himself from the bill and, in my opinion, sees that a vote for the bill will affect any donations he's receiving in his Presidential campaign.

John Thune is FIRMLY AGAINST this bill based on an article from the Argus Leader.

We're moving Bob Bennett to FIRMLY FOR from LEANS FOR this bill. A staffer has told The Salt Lake Tribune that he plans to vote for the bill. He also voted FOR the 2006 bill, S. 2611, so this is expected.


Deborah Pryce (R-OH) is FIRMLY AGAINST the bill.

The full spreadsheet is here:

Friday, May 25, 2007

5/25 Update


We're moving Patrick Leahy to Undecided for now based on his withdrawing from the "compromise bill" drafting group.

We're moving Baucus and Tester to LEANS AGAINST based on their opposition to cloture and comments to the Billings Gazette:
Baucus described the measure as being too "jammed together" and said he opposed two main provisions.

"One, it smacks too much of amnesty for me, and second, the guest worker program is not a good idea," Baucus said.

Tester shared some of the same concerns, spokesman Matt McKenna said. "There's no question we need immigration reform, but we need an immigration policy that does not have amnesty and is fair to taxpayers," McKenna said. "He does not believe this bill is fair to taxpayers, and he believes supporting this bill is supporting amnesty."
Moved Russ Feingold to "Undecided" because of his cautious comments on the bill. There appears to be a possibility that Democrats who are close to organized labor may possibly oppose the bill.

Harry Reid is helping this bill along through procedural efforts, so we're going to move him from "Undecided" to "Firmly For"

We're putting Claire McCaskill in "undecided" because of wide-open quotes to MISSOURINET

Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) says she wants to see a "monumental change" in what this bill is or will be before voting to move forward with it. McCaskill wants to see more secure borders. And, she has concerns about the legislation not going far enough to hold accountable those who violated America's laws. She wants to see the illegals held accountable, as well as those who hire the illegal workers. "If we don't get serious about holding the people who are hiring illegal immigrants accountable," says McCaskill, "We will never solve this problem."
We're moving Orrin Hatch to "Undecided" because of these comments to Daily Herald:
Orrin Hatch said Monday that he'll need more time to dig through the 1,000-page immigration bill introduced in the Senate before he can make an informed decision.

"I need to look at it carefully, talk to Utahns, and get their views on this complex proposal before deciding whether to oppose or support it," he said.


Moved Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) as FIRMLY FOR based on her Hannity & Colmes appearance (transcript linked in spreadsheet)

Added Eric Cantor to FIRM AGAINST based on information from Michelle Malkin.

Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) is FIRMLY AGAINST the present immigration bill per a statement on her website.

The full spreadsheet is here:

Thursday, May 24, 2007

"Senate Insiders" via NRO: Bill will pass Senate w/60 Votes


Likely to Win Senate Approval [Kate O'Beirne]

Maybe I've been talking to a particularly pessimistic lot, but every Senate insider I have spoken with predicts that the immigration bill will be approved by the Senate with about 60 votes. That could change depending on how amendments go. But one veteran GOP aide just noted the "extraordinary process" Majority Leader Reid is presiding over. He is "slow-walking" amendments to prevent the consideration of multiple changes. After the Memorial Day recess, the expectation is that only a very limited number of amendments will be permitted and there aren't the 41 votes necessary to insist on a more open process. There's some grousing about the Republican leadership's apparent reluctance to demand that their members be permitted to offer all their legitimate, substantive amendments.

Not very good news. But Lott supporting this bill was a huge step for the bill's passage.

One hope would have been that some amendments would be added which might erode Democrat support. But Reid seems to be managing this tightly to prevent suc as

5/24 Update


Based on a NY Times article, Trent Lott strongly supports the present state of the S.1348 bill, so we have moved him to FIRMLY FOR from LEANS AGAINST.


We've moved John Boehner (R-OH) to FIRM AGAINST based on the linked HOTLINE story.

The full spreadsheet is here:

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

5/22 Update


We're moving Jeff Sessions to FIRM AGAINST based on his leadership of the arguments against on the floor.

We're going to put Kay Bailey Hutchison as "Leans Against" from "Undecided" for now with this quote to Bloomberg along with her vote against cloture on Monday.
Well, the compromise bill has some good points, but it also has some big holes in my opinion. I think that not having any requirement that a person go home to apply before coming in legally is a gaping hole. And I’m concerned about the impact on our Social Security system of people who got quarters credited illegally being able to use those quarters to go into our Social Security system. Those are two areas where I think we must strengthen the bill.
(Hat Tip, Hugh Hewitt)

We're moving Sam Brownback to "Leans For" from "Unknown" because of the silence of his campaign combined with his vote for cloture on Monday.

Moved Jim Bunning to FIRM AGAINST from LEANS AGAINST based on comments 5/21/07
“This bill will grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, period. It’s true,” said Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky.
Since David Vitter was participating in debate on 5/21 against the bill, we're moving him to FIRM AGAINST from LEANS AGAINST.


John Carter (R-TX) is FIRM AGAINST based on a strong comment from his website.

Connie Mack (R-FL) is FIRM AGAINST with this new info:
On Monday, Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fort Myers, said he would not support the Senate legislation if it ended up in the House.
We're putting Dan Lungren (R-CA) in LEANS AGAINST based on this from the LA Times:
Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., unveiled legislation he said was "an alternative to several of the large holes in the so-called Senate compromise."
The full spreadsheet is here:


Monday, May 21, 2007

S. 1348 Cloture Roll Call

The Senate voted for cloture of the "Immigration Reform / Amnesty" bill, S.1348 today. This means that the body will move to debate on the bill in preparation for voting to pass it.

Here is the roll call of how your Senator voted.

Now -- you shouldn't believe that just because your Senator voted FOR cloture that your Senator will vote FOR the bill. But it doesn't look good. There were some who voted AGAINST cloture that just might end up voting FOR the bill. Several Democrats voted against cloture and a massive number of Republicans voted for cloture.


5/21 Update 1


Richard Lugar is definitely "Leans FOR" right now:
Andy Fisher, a spokesman for Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, said on Friday that Lugar supported the immigration bill the U.S. Senate drafted in 2006, which "follows many of the same principles as the agreement reached today."

"Throughout the debate Sen. Lugar has emphasized that immigration policy should be updated in a comprehensive way to provide some realistic resolution to the status of at least 12 million undocumented immigrants," Fisher said. "This comprehensive approach includes greater border security and some provisions for a temporary worker program."

Marilyn Musgrave (R-CO) goes in "Undecided" while she waits to read the still-not-finalized text of the bill.

Republican Sen. Wayne Allard and Rep. Marilyn Musgrave want to see the legislation before embracing or rejecting it.

Dave Weldon (R-FL) calls this a "bad bill." so he's in "FIRM AGAINST."

We're taking public calls for "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" from Mike Honda (D-CA) and putting him in "Leans For" until we have news to the contrary.

We've put Bud Cramer (D-AL) in Leans Against based on impressions of a constituent.

Joe Donnelly (D-IN) gave neutral comments and wants to review the bill, so he's in "Undecided."

Tim Walberg (R-MI) opposes per a constituent who contacted his office.

We've moved Heath Shuler (D-NC) to Leans Against because of immigration comments made shortly prior to the bill's release about the rumored content of the bill.

The full spreadsheet is here:

Saturday, May 19, 2007

5/19 Update 3


Lamar Alexander has a totally neutral statement on his website, so we're moving him to "Undecided" from "Leans Against."

Added link to Jim Bunning's statement to spreadsheet; he stays as "Leans Against."

Jack Reed is "Leans For" with his cautiously positive statements to Providence Journal.

Sheldon Whitehouse is "Undecided" because he gave Providence Journal a neutral statement.

Mark Pryor is "Leans For" and Blanche Lincoln is "Leans For" based on these quotes to the Northwest Arkansas Morning News:
Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., said the plan represents an advance in solving the issues created by illegal immigration.

"I applaud the cooperation between the Senate and White House to put forth a plan that strengthens border security, creates an extensive path to citizenship and addresses those who are here illegally," he said.

Sen. Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., called the Senate plan a starting point for debate.

"We need comprehensive reform that strengthens border security, creates tough and smart workplace enforcement and brings millions of people out of the shadows," Lincoln said. "Undocumented immigrants will have to get in the back of the line and earn their way to legalization. As the process moves forward, I remain committed to improving our border security and finding a realistic approach to addressing the undocumented immigrants living in our communities."


Richard Baker (R-LA) has made a strong statement against the bill.

Joe Baca (D-CA) has lobbied President Bush for "Comprehensive Immigration Reform," so we're going to deduce that he "Leans For" this bill until we hear something to the contrary.

Grace Napolitano's (D-CA) Immigration statement on her web site leads us to deduce that she "Leans For" this bill until we hear something to the contrary.

Moved Mary Bono (R-CA) to "Uncertain" because she has not taken a position until she reviews the bill.

John Campbell (R-CA) is also "reserving judgement" until he sees the bill, so he's in "Uncertain" although he did express some concerns with what he's already heard.

James Langevin (D-RI) called the compromise bill a “good step forward” so he's "Leans For."

Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) called it a "good starting point" so he's "Leans For."

John Boozman (R-AR) is "Firm Against" based on this quote to Northwest Arkansas Morning News:

Third District Rep. John Boozman, R-Rogers, sided with other conservatives who said the bill was flawed because of its provisions to give illegal immigrants a route to citizenship.

"My concerns are it's an amnesty bill that rewards the behavior that we don't want," Boozman said. "You don't solve the problems of illegal immigration by making everyone legal."

He said he would vote against the bill if it makes it to the House in its current form.

The full spreadsheet is here:

5/19 Update 2


We moved Corker to a "Firm Against" for now. He leaves some room to change his mind after reviewing the bill, but commits to voting "no" on proceeding to the bill on Monday.


Sam Johnson (R-TX) is against this bill from a statement on his web site (linked in spreadsheet).

John Culberson (R-TX) is against this bill from a statement on his web site (linked in spreadsheet).

We're putting Wally Herger (R-CA) as "leans against" based on the statement from his website (linked in spreadsheet).

We're putting John Doolittle (R-CA) as "leans against" based on his overall illegal immigration position statement from his website (linked in spreadsheet).

The full spreadsheet is here:

Saxby Chambliss Solidly "For"

Saxby Chambliss seems more solid than I'd thought in favor of this bill, because he showed no signs of backing down after getting booed at his own party's state convention today. See link here.

He helped author this bill -- but Georgians should still be calling him:
-Ask him to vote for a lengthy debate on this bill and not push this through without a fair review.
-Ask him to commit to voting against this bill if any amendment weakens his own enforcement provisions.
-Add Blogger comment with his office's response, please!

Opinion -- On Barnes' New Worldview

This is an opinion article -- if you just want the vote count update, scroll down.

Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard has a good summary of the Republican favorable view on the Senate "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" plan.

It is absolutely worth a read, so go to this link and then come back.

My response:

I like Fred Barnes a lot, and I trust his opinion enough to give this article a fair read.

But the core problem is that the underlying premise of this view is the antithesis of Reagan Conservatism: it contains an implicit trust of Government efficiency and execution of complex law.

My view:

We should not expect the Government to execute the provisions of this bill effectively. Do Federal Government bureaucracies generally operate efficiently and correctly?

We've been told this week that patrol at border gates aren't fully processing all IDs because the sheer number of them would cause a massive delay at entry. So now we need to believe that our Government can cope with processing 12 to 23 Million new workers, and do a REAL due diligence background check?

We're told that the government can't enforce existing law and deport illegal workers back to their home countries in Europe, North America, Asia, South America, et al. But now we should believe that the government can force these same people to "touch base" in their home country? Does that make sense?

So rather than pick apart the specifics of a bill not released to us "regular people," I'll at least address the odd faith in big governement that some Reaganites are displaying in this.

Some more points on the specifics of the article:

From Barnes:

The most striking gain is the "trigger" proposed by Republican senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia. It requires that all measures to secure the border be in place and functioning before any other immigration reforms are implemented, such as bringing in 400,000 temporary foreign workers and issuing visas to illegals. Chertoff said it might take 18 months to get all the security improvements in place, but that's wildly optimistic.

The trigger idea is nice. But most Conservatives just don't believe it. It'll be easier to waive triggers or pass a small modification to loosen this requirement in the future where public awareness is less. So that's why fighting this bill NOW makes sense.

Regarding temps, Kyl emphasized that their stints in the United States will be "literally temporary." They must leave after two years, stay away for a year before returning, and won't be eligible for citizenship. Hispanic groups are angry about this.

The Government isn't able to force those who have overstayed their visa to leave the country, including recently highly publicized terrorists. So we're to trust that the government can all of a sudden get "temporary workers" to leave? If we can't enforce the current number of Visas, there's NO WAY we can enforce the larger number of temporary worker permits. Trusting the government on this point seems out of character for Barnes.

And while the bill offers the possibility of citizenship for illegal immigrants, it's hardly guaranteed. Once the border is certifiably secure, an illegal must qualify for a four-year visa and later renew it for another four years. Then the immigrant must return to his home country to get a green card, which allows him to return and opens the path to citizenship. Meanwhile, there's a $5,000 fine to pay, plus the requirement to learn English. When those and other conditions are met, the person is permitted to go to the back of the legal immigrant line and wait.

All this sounds better than past bills -- but again most Conservatives don't trust that this will actually happen. We expect Democrats (and apparently now, Republicans) to loosen restrictions and allow "hardship" waivers. Those fines will end up being waived. The English requirement will be allowed to "slip" by sympathetic bureaucrats.

The immediate response of immigration critics was Pavlovian. It's an amnesty bill, they said. But allowing those who are here illegally and aren't being deported to stay is, at worst, a kind of temporary amnesty. They must qualify for visas or, a White House official says, "they'll be deported."

Wait a second -- proponents of this bill keep telling us that deporting people who are currently here illegally, including those violating the terms of visas is not practical. So now we need to believe that all of a sudden, we are going to take this at face value? We're going to believe that deportations will actually be near 100% applied to those who don't qualify to stay? Riiiiight. Is this April 1st?

5/19 Update


James Inhofe has a statement on his web site now about what is expected to be in this bill -- and its strong enough that we're putting him in "FIRM AGAINST."


Darrell Issa (R-CA) appears to be leaning against this bill.

Steve King (R-IA) is strongly against this bill.

The full spreadsheet is here:

Friday, May 18, 2007

Massive Update w/Senate Leans

We've made a major update on the SENATE list. For Senators who have not made statements as to their position on this bill, we've put them as "leans" toward the position they took on the 2006 Senate "Comprehensive Immigration Reform" bill.

This bill is being fast-tracked to limit public awareness and exposure. The Senate calendar is planning 3 hours of discussion on Monday with a cloture vote Monday afternoon. The hunt to find 41 Senators who would oppose cloture on Monday looks bleak. Use the spreadsheet to work hard on "leans" and "undecided / unknowns."

The full spreadsheet is here:

5/18 Update 4


Pete Domenici is strongly FOR according to the ABQ Tribune: "Sen. Pete Domenici is enthusiastically backing a new compromise on immigration reform"

Same article says Sen. Jeff Bingaman says he is holding off until he sees the entire 380-page bill, so he goes in "Undecided"


Virgil Goode (R-VA) is on record opposing the bill.

You can see the full spreadsheet here:

5/18 Update 3


We're putting Ben Cardin in "leans against," though we think he's just posturing to set the stage for labor-friendly amendments.

We moved Byron Dorgan to "leans against" because he's also making complaints about certain elements of the bill, but our guess is this is just tilling the soil for amendments.


Moved Becerra (D-CA) to "leans against" because of his "grave concerns." He appears to believe this bill is too strict on illegal immigrants.

You can see the full spreadsheet here:

Silence from Mississippi Senators

The websites of Thad Cochran and Trent Lott are quiet on the "immigration reform" proposal, and no quotes are found in Google News.

So get on those phones, Mississippians and give your views to your Senators! And if you get a response, please email me or comment on this post.

Sen. Lott is the Republican "whip," so if he's FOR this bill, he's going to be a key Senator to persuade / muscle other Senators to vote FOR.

You can see the full spreadsheet here:

5/18 Update 2


With the new category system, we're putting Mitch McConnell in "leans for."


No Changes

You can see the full spreadsheet here:

Spreadsheet Changes + Interpreting Senate-Speak

In the next few hours, there are going to be some changes to the spreadsheet. We're going to have to make columns for "firmly against," "leans against," "firmly for," and "leans for" because its hard to get a position out of many politicians.

To be fair -- none of these representatives have read the bill yet. I doubt ANYONE other than the aides doing the writing has read it yet.

But the other reason? Your representatives aren't speaking clearly on this issue.

When you get a response from a Senator that he/she "opposes amnesty." What does that mean? Very little. You need to know whether the Senator thinks this bill is amnesty. Even some of the bill's sponsors yesterday said the "I oppose amnesty" line.

One constituent of Sen. Sessions was pointed by an office worker to this link:

Now, does this entire release really say much? The one thing we know Sen. Sessions stands for is sufficient time to read the bill. What a brave stand, akin to Nathan Hale! /sarcasm. This is classic "Senate-Speak" for "I've left wiggle room to go either way on this bill, and some awfully powerful people like President Bush and Senator Kyl are pushing this on me, so unless my constituents go crazy, I can be persuaded."

So go make those calls and send those emails.

5/18 Update 1


We're going to make an educated guess and put Hagel in "For" now based on these paragraphs from today's Lincoln Journal Star:

"The Nebraska Republican has been a leader in proposing comprehensive reforms that include a pathway to earned legal status for illegal immigrants already settled in the United States."

"Hagel told a telephone news conference he believes senators and the White House may be “pretty close” to reaching a compromise on immigration legislation."

There are a LOT of Senators who are sill silent on this bill. Websites have updates from 5/17 about the budget, about water, etc. but are ignoring this issue. I see this as a window of opportunity for their constituents to make their views known. These next few days are absolutely vital -- you CAN make an impact.


Ted Poe (R-TX) is "against."

Tom Price (R-GA) is "against."

You can see the full spreadsheet here:

05/18 Current Tally

Several of these updates are found in a (surprisingly) rich LA Times article here:,0,723589.story?coll=la-home-center


Chuck Grassley is "against" based on clear statement here:

Craig Thomas is "against" and says the immigration deal was "badly bungled" and "gives far too much blanket amnesty." Here:


We are putting David Dreier (R-CA) in "against" because he writes: "I am strongly opposed to any plan that grants amnesty, which is why I voted no on the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986. I will not support any legislation that grants amnesty." There seems to be some "wiggle room" there, but we'll take him at his word for now.

Elton Gallegly, (R-CA) is a firm "againts" with calling this bill "amnesty, amnesty and amnesty."

George Radanovich, (R-CA) appears to be a "for" with this description in LA Times: "Rep. George P. Radanovich (R-Mariposa), who has pushed for a guest worker program that would benefit his agricultural-rich district, predicted the measure would pass." (link in spreadsheet)

Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.) is described as a "for" in the same LA Times article.

Jeff Flake (R-AZ) is quoted in the LA Times and another source predicting a good chance of passage, which suggests to me he is a "for."

We're putting Heath Shuler (D-N.C.)as an "Undecided" because of this loophole-rich quote by his spokesman: "I can tell you that if it has anything resembling amnesty, it's going to be a no-go for the congressman," said Andrew Whalen.

We'll throw Jim Marshall (D-GA) in "against" with this spokesperson line: Douglas Moore, a spokesman for Marshall, said, "We are not in favor of any kind of amnesty for illegal immigrants."

Ed Royce (R-CA) is "against." His quote: "This is wrong for the U.S. economy."

Dana Rohrbacher (R-CA) is "against," saying this "will make a bad situation worse."

Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) is probably "for," saying "The bill has right elements of security, and solving the problem of those already here and those who want to come here to work."

Nancy Pelosi, (D-CA) is in "undecided," stating: "While the bipartisan Senate agreement starts the process, I have serious concerns about some elements of this proposal -- the bill must be improved in the Senate," she said.

Note: These "we oppose amnesty" lines leave room for interpretation. Even proponents of this bill say that same line -- they just state that this bill isn't amnesty. So press your representatives to specifically oppose this bill rather than taking that line as a sure-thing.

You can see the full spreadsheet here:

Thursday, May 17, 2007

5/17 Update 4

Brief notes here, hotlinks to sources are found in the spreadsheet.


Moved Byrd to "Against" based on a direct statement

Moved Dole to "Against" based on general website statement (not specific to 2007 measure)

Moved Craig to "For" based on clear website statement here:

Put Kyl as "For" because he was at the press conference, but there may be a small chance he abandons the measure

Put McConnell in "Undecided" but his statement is leaning toward support.

Put Dorgan in "Undecided" because he wants to eliminate the "guest worker" provisions.

Hutchison posts the perfectly neutral release on her website -- so she's in "Undecided." Heavy efforts by her constituents just might move her against the bill. Check it out:


Moved Bilbray and Hunter to "Against" based on interviews

Put Becerra in "Undecided" because he's concerned the bill is too strict on immigration

Lamar Smith and Peter King are "against" from clear statement quoted in a news article

You can see the full spreadsheet here:

I need reports about your congressional representatives! The House of Reps is where this battle will be very close -- keeping this list accurate will keep them accountable!!

5/17 Update 3

If any of you are getting responses from your representatives, please forward them to me at


Brief notes here, hotlinks to sources are found in the spreadsheet.

Assigned Boxer to "Undecided" based on her statement that she has concerns and would favor amendments.
Assigned Shelby to "Against" based on strong statement at his website.
Assigned Sessions to "Undecided" based on vague statement from last week
Put Mel Martinez "For" based on his participation in Senate press conference today.
Put Saxby Chambliss "For" based on his participation in Senate press conference today.
Assigned Menendez to "Undecided" based on "strong reservations" from source
Assigned Reid to "Undecided" based on "refrained from endorsing" from source
Obama and Schumer are "Undecided" right now because of expressed concerns with the bill as-is.

Brown-Waite added to "Against" based on critical comments
Sensenbrenner added to "Against" based on critical comments
Putnam added to "Undecided" based on comments to The Hill

You can see the full spreadsheet here:

5/17 Update 2

Added Ken Salazar to "For" based on 5/17 Press Conference
Added Lindsey Graham to "For" based on 5/17 Press Conference
Added Dianne Feinstein to "For" based on 5/17 Press Conference
Added Johnny Isakson to "For" based on 5/17 Press Conference

You can see the full spreadsheet here:

5/17 Minor Update

Moved DeMint to "Against" because he leans that way, see spreadsheet for source.
Moved Cornyn to "Against" because he leans that way, see spreadsheet for source.
Moved Coburn to "Against" see spreadsheet for source.

Moved Pence to "Against," see spreadsheet for source
Moved Lucas to "Against," see spreadsheet for source

I have not assigned any Democrats except Kennedy. A great number of democrats will generally favor this bill, and many will keep it quiet. So we're going to apply strong guesses based on prior voting records on this spreadsheet soon.

You can see the full spreadsheet here:

Current Tally

Here's the current tally -- its early folks. This should really start shaping up in the next few days.

Open access spreadsheet here:

Site Introduction

With today's unveiling of the bipartisan Senate deal on "Comprehensive Immigration Reform," it has immediately become the one of the hottest legislative issues of 2007.

This site is a resource for activists on Immigration issues to track the position of their representatives and to follow the "scoreboard" to best determine the chances of victory or defeat of this measure.

We'll post a scoreboard update each day and keep a link to our Google Spreadsheet.