President Bush, Harry Reid, Ted Kennedy, John McCain, John Kyl, and other pro amnesty senators would be smart to heed what the American people think about the immigration bill before trying to revive it. Rasmussen has a piece that explains exactly why the bill failed:
The reality is much simpler and has nothing to do with legislative tactics. The immigration bill failed because a broad cross-section of the American people are opposed to it. Republicans, Democrats, and unaffiliated voters are opposed. Men are opposed. So are women. The young don’t like it; neither do the no-longer-young. White Americans are opposed. Americans of color are opposed.
The last Rasmussen Reports national telephone poll found that just 23% of Americans supported the legislation. When a bill has less popular support than the War in Iraq, it deserves to be defeated.
There is no mystery to why the public opposed the bill. In the minds of most Americans, immigration means reducing illegal immigration and enforcing the border. Only 16% believed the Senate bill would accomplish that goal.
In other words, the American people are fully aware that the US government will not enforce any new laws, just as it hasn’t enforced the laws that are currently on the books. Just let the current immigration bill go. It’s done. The American people don’t like it, and if you try to bring it back with just a few cosmetic changes and call it brand new, they will be furious. Instead, pick up the task of immigration reform in pieces, and begin with enforcing the border first. If you stem the flow of people illegally crossing our borders, maybe then the American people will actually believe you are serious about immigration reform.
Update: The New York Times writes in an editorial today that those who fought the amnesty bill are the “anti-immigration hard core” who insist that there will be “no amnesty today, no amnesty tomorrow, no amnesty ever,” an obvious reference to George Wallace’s “segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever” speech. If the Times’ editors bothered to look at Rasmussen’s report, they would realize that the “anti-immigration hard core” they are calling racists and bigots is the vast majority of the American people. They would also learn that it is they, the pro-amnesty crowd, who are in the minority on this issue.
Mark Finkelstein at NewsBusters also comments on the insults the Times hurls at the American people.