Just when it seemed the U.S. Senate was becoming more rational about immigration, Congressman Jeff Flake announces today that he is running to replace retiring Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) in 2012 -- and Flake is immediately and widely declared the front-runner to take the seat!
When it comes to immigration, Flake is the best Republican friend of Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), the leader of the nation's most radical open-borders activists.
During his six terms in the U.S. House, Rep. Flake has co-sponsored five amnesties, including being the chief original sponsor with Rep. Gutierrez for the infamous STRIVE amnesty.
There is no question that Rep. Flake is courageous; he has stood virtually alone against nearly all House Republicans in his support for giving illegal aliens permanent work permits and permanent residency.
Would Arizona voters do this to the rest of the country? That is, would Arizona send Luis Guitierrez' BFF to the U.S. Senate?
Arizona voters have pushed their state legislators to pass the toughest anti-illegal-immigration laws in the country. But they also sent Sen. McCain to Washington where he was the top Republican in the Senate from 2000 through 2007 in leading efforts to pass an amnesty and giant increase in foreign labor importation. In order to obtain the GOP nomination for President in 2008, McCain abandoned his amnesty leadership and then distanced himself more from it in order to win re-election to the Senate in 2010.
But Rep. Flake has not recanted any of his boosterism for amnesties.
FOX News reports that Rep. Flake has great support from the National Taxpayers' Union and National Right to Life because of his agreement with them on their issues.
That will, no doubt, gain him a lot of support from conservatives in the Arizona primary. But Arizona voters need to start right now requiring him to explain himself when it comes to his immigration positions.
THE RESTRICTIONIST FLAKE
Despite my linking Rep. Flake with Rep. Gutierrez above, Flake diverges quite a bit from the Chicago political flamethrower. I believe a lot of Flake's good actions are the result of the pull of his Party in the House. But these may be openings for Arizona voters to guide him into a much better overall policy.
- Rep. Flake supported elimination of the visa lottery in 2004-05 (but has done nothing about it since then).
- On the all-important issue of removing the jobs magnet from illegal immigration, Rep. Flake usually votes on the right side, earning a "B+" Grade from NumbersUSA on that.
- True to his fiscal conservatism, Rep. Flake also nearly always votes against benefits for illegal aliens, including providing access to drivers licenses and other forms of ID.
THE OPEN-BORDERS FLAKE
Here is the record that should concern Arizonans who feel their federal government has allowed their state to be flooded by foreign workers (including illegal ones):
- Rep. Flake has the 8th WORST career overall immigration-reduction grade among House Republicans, according to the NumbersUSA grading system.
- He earns an F-minus grade for his support of increasing Chain Migration. He has never done anything to reduce it.
- Rep. Flake earns another F-minus grade for 11 actions he has taken in support of allowing unnecessary foreign workers into occupations with Americans who have trouble finding jobs or who are experiencing wage depression.
- And he earns an F-minus grade in the amnesty category.
Rep. Flake is running to replace the retiring Sen. Kyl whose overall immigration record with NumbersUSA is a "B" over his career. It would be much higher except for one episode in which Pres. Bush talked him into putting together the compromise amnesty in 2007 that the American people beat. Since then, though, Sen. Kyl has refrained from doing anything harmful on immigration.
Arizona voters should take every opportunity beginning today to obtain answers from Rep. Flake about what he would do about amnesties (he'll call them legalizations), chain migration, the lottery and unnecessary foreign workers.
One sign that Mr. Flake is a little worried about his immigration profile in Arizona is the fact that he voted AGAINST the DREAM Act amnesty when it passed the House in December (but failed in the Senate). Which Flake will be running for the Senate?
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA