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Sweet Column: GOP House leaders stall immigration bill. Death by hearings. Hastert slap to Bush.


House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert and GOP House leaders virtually killed chances wide-ranging immigration legislation -- supported by President Bush -- will be considered this election year.

In a highly unusual move, Hastert (R-Ill.) said Tuesday there will be hearings this July and August in Washington and across the nation on the immigration bill passed by the Senate. Conservatives favor the tough enforcement-only House version, which subjects illegal immigrants and those who help them to felony charges.

"I think the action by the House of Representatives to reopen a series of hearings on comprehensive immigration reform is a cynical effort to delay or kill a comprehensive immigration bill,'' said Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.).

Kennedy and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) were key players in drafting the Senate legislation, developed with a group of GOP and Democratic senators. The Senate bill has two provisions embraced by Bush and objected to by conservatives: a temporary worker program and a path to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants already in the United States.

California win emboldened speaker

Hastert spokesman Ron Bonjean deliberately referred to the Senate measure as the "Kennedy'' bill, instead of the Kennedy-McCain bill, signaling the polarizing political dimensions of the road ahead. Invoking the name of the liberal lion (and dropping mention of the popular McCain) plays to the GOP conservative base. Hastert has no "timeline,'' wants to get it done "right,'' and intends by this exercise to strengthen the House hand if an immigration bill ever moves.

At this stage in the legislative process, the usual route would be for Hastert and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist to appoint members to what is called a "conference committee.'' The charge of this temporary panel is to reconcile differences between the two bills. If leaders want to bury a bill, usually they delay appointing conferees or let them negotiate indefinitely.

Frist is a possible 2008 presidential contender who needs conservative support. Hastert was emboldened to call for the high-profile hearings after a San Diego Republican, Brian Bilbray, won a special House election earlier this month campaigning for construction of a fence along the California-Mexico border and distancing himself from what Bush calls his "comprehensive'' approach.

It's not often Hastert splits from Bush -- and this is quite a public slap -- but the speaker is looking to preserve his majority, which can be lost if Democrats pick up only 15 seats in November. Bonjean said Hastert personally told Bush about the decision. That means that on Monday night, when Bush was making a plea for a broad immigration bill during a speech at a giant GOP fund-raiser, he already knew that he would not have a bill on his desk to sign anytime soon.

Lynn Sweet is the Washington bureau chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.


Miracles do happen!!! Someone in Congress has the common sense and decency to respect the wishes of the voters and protect America from this invasion. Thank you Congressman Hastert for doing what the Senate didn't have the guts to do.

I have news for you: there are three independent branches of the federal government. It is not the House's role to rubber stamp whatever the Bush-Democrat coalition puts before them.

Thank God for the House. Without them, the country would be headed down the road toward Third World status.

The Senate immigration reform bill is bad for American workers, and I use the term ‘American’ in the broadest sense. It is bad for working people throughout the Western Hemisphere. The average per capita GDP adjusted for purchase power parity (ppp) of the entire western hemisphere is $20,892 (see attached doc). That is roughly equal to the average for all European nations ($20,712). It is 3 to 4 times higher than the global average and 20 to 25 times higher than the poorest nations.

Although we have some illegal immigrants from the Old World, they are neither numerous nor poor. It takes more resources to get to the New World than poor people have. Geography enforces our immigration laws with regard to the Old World. If S.2611 is enacted that will change. Poorer more desperate workers from the Old World will replace Mexican nationals and other Latin Americans working in the US.

Farm workers in California make $10/hour because Latin America is drying up as a source of cheap labor. Mexican labor is expensive by global standards. Furthermore, Latin American fertility rates are falling fast. In the largest Latin American nation, Brazil, fertility has been below replacement level for years. The same is true in Puerto Rico and most Caribbean islands. Mexico is already absorbing some Central American migrants and Haitian migrants can be found working in other more prosperous Caribbean states. The New World is in the earlier stages of a hemispheric labor shortage.

That is good for workers and for our society as a whole. Labor scarcity forces industry to do more with less; that is to increase productivity. Increased productivity through technology and improved processes is the only way to increase real wealth. It creates opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors in high tech industries. In addition, our social aspirations of radically reducing poverty are now within reach. S.2611 will thwart those social aspirations by increasing the ranks of the working poor as well as the unemployed and maintaining them at high levels for most of this century.


Douglas M Forbes
808 Whispering Trail
Greenfield IN 46140
(812) 330-2252

"I think the action by the House of Representatives to reopen a series of hearings on comprehensive immigration reform is a cynical effort to delay or kill a comprehensive immigration bill,'' said Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.).

Maybe Ted, but from your high and mighty Senate position you have over looked the fact that our country is based on Democratic principles. In a democracy, voters have the ultimate say on how the country is run.

Voters are telling Republicans in the house that your bill is Amnesty for people who have broken the law.

Voters are telling Republicans that it shouldn't take congressional action for laws already on the books to be enforced.

Voters are telling Republicans that they will be conviently absent in November if Republicans compromise on this bill.

Voters don't want new laws installed when you have refused to enforce existing laws

Thank God Hastert has made such a blunder. By splitting the GOP on this "important" issue, he has virtually assured that the House will go the Dems and we can finally return to some semblance of equanimity in governance, instead of demagoguery ad nauseum.

The "Conservative" base is happy. The moderate wing, the part of the GOP that they need to stay in power nationally, is humiliated and defeated. And defeated also is the head "conservative". Hastert has killed two birds with one stone. And two birds that deserve stoning.

Why is President Bush hell-bent to make over 100 million illegal alien's U.S. citizens?

CFR is the Answer!

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) document spells out a five-year plan for the "establishment by 2010 of a North American economic and security community" with a common "outer security perimeter."

"Community" means integrating the United States with the corruption, socialism, poverty and population of Mexico and Canada. "

"Common perimeter" means wide-open U.S. borders between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.

"Community" is sometimes called "space" but the CFR goal is clear: "a common economic space ... for all people in the region, a space in which trade, capital, and people flow freely."

The CFR's "integrated" strategy calls for "a more open border for the movement of goods and people." The "common security perimeter" will require us to "harmonize visa and asylum regulations" with Mexico and Canada, "harmonize entry screening," and "fully share data about the exit and entry of foreign nationals."

This CFR document, called "Building a North American Community," asserts that George W. Bush, Mexican President Vicente Fox, and Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin "committed their governments" to this goal when they met at Bush's ranch and at Waco, Texas on March 23, 2005. The three adopted the "Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America" and assigned "working groups" to fill in the details.

It was at this meeting, grandly called the North American Summit, that President Bush called the volunteers guarding our Arizona border as "vigilantes".

The document calls for creating a "North American preference" so that employers can recruit low-paid workers from anywhere in North America.

No longer will illegal aliens have to be smuggled across the border; employers can openly recruit foreigners willing to work for a fraction of U.S. wages. Just to make sure that bringing cheap labor from Mexico is an essential part of the plan, the CFR document calls for "a seamless North American market" and for "the extension of full labor mobility to Mexico."

To no one's surprise, the CFR plan calls for massive U.S. foreign aid to the other countries. So they want the U.S. citizens to finance the overthrow of America... you've got to hand it to them...they now American's are oblivious to what is happening.

The European Union and the World Trade Organization makes it clear that a common market requires a court system, so the CFR document calls for "a permanent tribunal for North American dispute resolution." Get ready for decisions from non-American judges who make up their rules ad hoc and probably hate the United States.

The CFR document calls for allowing Mexican trucks "unlimited access" to the United States, including the hauling of local loads between U.S. cities.

The document demands that we implement "the Social Security Totalization Agreement negotiated between the United States and Mexico." That's code language for putting illegal aliens into the U.S. Social Security system, which is bound to bankrupt the system.

Here's another handout included in the plan. U.S. taxpayers are supposed to create a major fund to finance 60,000 Mexican students to study in U.S. colleges.

To ensure that the U.S. government carries out this plan so that it is "achievable" within five years, the CFR calls for supervision by a North American Advisory Council of "eminent persons from outside government. (see side panel)

Ask your Senators and Representatives which side they are on: the CFR's integrated North American Community or U.S. sovereignty guarded at our own borders.

JOIN US … help us make a difference! Use the links on the left of this page to sign up to become part of our organization and/or to be added to our mailing list.



I heard a great deal of the debate in the Senate. I cannot believe what I heard!
Seanate against the people.
When Bush made surprise visit to Iraq he complemented the new government that responding to peoples wishes is how
democracy works. I was hoping he would remember those words upon his return.

No matter what Bush does, he
will not get consevative support until he stops the alien invasion. We can live
with terrorists.

I think that the L.A Times Editorial said it best:

HOW CAN YOU TELL WHEN a governing party is running out of steam? When it controls all branches of government yet abandons even the pretense of addressing an issue most members claim is a "crisis."

I am not a citizen/permanent resident of the US (yet) and i am against giving "amnesty" to illegals.
I have been in this country for 9 years, studied here and been working here.I applied for permanent residency 5 years back and am no where near to becoming a permanent resident (note not citizen, citizinship takes another 5 years after being a permanent resident) than i was 5 years ago. The legal immigration system needs some re-evaluation to say the least.I have broken no laws ,played by the rules, have paid my taxes, social security etc and will continue to do so.
Should i become an illegal so that i can become a citizen faster and with less hassle (i also can get away not paying taxes for a while if im illegal)?

Like i said before im against amnesty for illegals but would like some kind of solution to the LEGAL immigration system which is broken.

Boy are people falling for the Wedge issue tatics there will be no vote until after Nov.

I have been in this country for 11 yaers, came here legaly from Europe on turist visa,which allowed me to stay 6 months. I was 20 yaers old and had no idea what I want to do or where I want to go in my life. 6 months passed and my visa expired and that was my only mistake that I have ever made in US. If I leave now I will not be able to come back. So I work, I pay taxes since day one, I speak fluent english, my criminal record is 100% clean and my biggest offence ever was may be parking ticket. My wife and I own a house and we are expecting baby in 2 months. We love this country very much and we contribute to society. We spend our money here (we don't send it to Europe), we support charities,pay all taxes and soccial security (even though under current law we would never be able to benefit from it).We have never received free medical care, because we pay our own health insurance. In other words we are trying to be model citizens in hope that some day some law will get changed and we will be able to become US citizens. And most illegal people from Europe are exactly in the same situation. Over the years we spent thousends of dollars for immigration lawyers trying to legalize. Most opponents of the senat bill say "we are not against legal imigration, but those people need to go to the end of the line and wait". If there was any line I would be more then happy to stand there, but there is no line for poeple like us, there is no legal way to imigrate once your visa expired.
We have worked really hard in this country ,we have been very good citizens.
So do you conservative republicans think that it would be fair to mark us as fellons and deport us? After all these years we have payed taxes and in to social security fond ? Would you deport us back to Europe, where we would have to start from zero after more then a third of our life spent in US ? Can you look at the issue as a human ?
Don't you think we deserve some chance?

The push to bring all people to a world government as equals is a failed concept. If one looks at the former Soviet Union, FDR's exploding welfare system, and others, it is easy to see that governments prefer docile, low-IQ constituents that can be controlled by the aristocracy. If there are not enough peons, as it appears to the U.S. aristocracy, this same elitest group chooses to import them against the overwhelming will of the majority!

On another note, if we are the haven for all those who can escape despotic or economically disadvantaged fiefdoms, who is left to establish civilization in those regimes. It is easy to see how criminals and pirates have taken much of the earth in the name of fanatical religion or to protest imperialsm that ended in the nineteenth century. It is easy to see why Star Trek's oft-mentioned Federation has not approached us for membership - We haven't evolved enough!

As a vetran of this country, you are exactly like my granparents when they came here, and a big difference from the welfare wanting, Mexican flag waving people we don't want here. What moron waves a flag for a country that wont give him/her an opportunity in the country that will? Exactly. Learn english,be successfull work hard, LOVE AMERICA!

"Can you look at the issue as a human?"

Looking at this as a human and a Texan. Last month I watch a man in your situation who had been here for several years; a wife and baby on the way; clean record; hard working; get arrested and convicted of being one of the worst sexual predators North Texas has seen in a decade.

You might be the exception to the rule, but growing up in Texas I see illegals every day. I see crime, I see gangs, and hear about more illegal predators in my region daily.

I also see local police ticketing citizens for Jay walking, while 150ft away day laborers (mostly illegal) stand exempt from the law.

I am bitter, but I can see that some like yourself are good people seeking a better life.

You asked if I would deport you.

Yes, I would.

One of the things the President conviently left out of his speech on immigration last month was the remaining verse of the Pledge of Allegiance. "One nation under God" -Bush the remaining verse: Indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all.

Illegal immigrants are divisble if they are granted Amnesty for breaking the law, that citizens are not exempt from.

You deserve a chance, but not by way of exemption. You should "in my opinion" have to leave this country before you would be allowed back in.

Hey There,

My name is Karen Shacham and I work with CNN Pipeline in Atlanta.
I thought you might be interested to know that CNN Pipeline will be featuring House Speaker Dennis Hastert outlining his plan for the upcoming July hearings on immigration. This news conference will be LIVE on CNN Pipeline today at 2:15PM.
CNN Pipeline is an online, commercial-free, multiple live-news feed. It showcases four simultaneous news feeds from around the world and an on-demand function that allows you to select from a variety of news stories.

Please let your members know that they can go to and click on the CNN Pipeline link to watch it *live* and get a two week free trial.


Does anyone even watch Cnn anymore? I read that foxnews has more viewers than cnn and msnbc together, CNN only had a 20 year head start.


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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on June 21, 2006 6:42 AM.

Clout list: Hey Longo...a lot more people than your guys are qualified. Life in clout city. Your reaction? was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet Column: Hastert should have revealed secret land trust is the next entry in this blog.

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