Good news: all three wasteful border amendments voted on in the Senate today were defeated, thanks in part to the tens of thousands of emails, phonecalls, and faxes made by concerned constituents.
First up was an amendment introduced by Senator McCain. The amendment would have sent 6,000 National Guardsmen to the southern border. This would have come a day after the White House agreed to send 1,200 troops to the border, but do nothing towards reforming our broken system. Federal law enforcement agencies are the real experts on border security and we should allow them to do their job, not the National Guard.
Next was an amendment introduced by Senator Kyl. Rather than deal with the real issues of immigration, Kyl offered an amendment to expand the failed program Operation Streamline, throwing more money at a program that diverts crucial and limited federal judicial resources away from counter-drug and smuggling prosecutions.
Last, was an amendment introduced by Senator Cornyn. Instead of supporting real solutions like comprehensive immigration reform, Sen. Cornyn offered an amendment to provide a mind-blowing $ 1,985,540,000 total in additional funding for enforcement-only operations that have been proven to be both ineffective and avoid any real solutions on the issue.
There were over 30,000 phone calls and faxes asking Senators to vote “NO” on these misguided amendments. Thanks to this pressure, there was no more additional money wasted on bad policies that do nothing to advance our fight for immigration reform.
Some of the more interesting votes:
On the Senator McCain’s amendment (4214), there was one Republican who voted down the bill: Senator Voinovich (R-OH).
The list of Democrats who went for McCain’s policy are: Senator Boxer (D-CA), Senator Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Nelson (D-NE), Senator Webb (D-VA), McCaskill (D-MO), Senator Bayh (D-IN), Senator Lincoln (D-AR), Senator Pryor (D-AR), Senator Bennet (D-CO), Senator Nelson (D-FL), Senator Byrd (D-WV)
On Senator Kyl’s amendment (4228), no Republicans unanimously supported.
These Democrats voted in favor: Senator Boxer (D-CA), Senator Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Landrieu (D-LA), Senator Nelson (D-NE), Senator Webb (D-VA), Senator Wyden (D-OR), Senator Merkeley (D-OR), McCaskill (D-MO), Senator Bayh (D-IN), Senator Lincoln (D-AR), Senator Pryor (D-AR), Senator Begich (D-AK).
On Senator Cornyn’s amendment (4202), Republicans unanimously supported.
These Democrats voted in favor: Senator Bayh (D-IN), Seantor Feinstein (D-CA), Senator Boxer (D-CA), Senator Nelson (D-NE), Senator Pryor (D-AR), Senator Webb (D-VA), Senator Baucus (D-MT), Sentaor Lincoln (D-AR), Senator McCaskill (D-MO), Senator Klobuchar (D-MI), Sentor Udall (D-CO), Senator Lieberman (D-CT), Senator Kohl (D-WI).
Kudos to Senator Voinovich for having the guts to stand against border-only immigration policy that would have done nothing to fix our immigration crisis and wasted billions of taxpayer dollars. Shame on the other 99% of Republican Senators and all of the Democrats listed above.
As Senator John McCain himself said in 2007, “our nation’s immigration system is broken and is badly in need of repair, but without comprehensive immigration reform, it is a fact that our nation’s security will remain vulnerable,” and, “The most effective border protection tool we have is establishing a legal channel for workers to enter the United States after they have passed background checks and have secured employment.”