Did you think Senators might be too smart this year -- or too moral or at least too embarrassed -- to push for more foreign workers while millions of Americans are losing their jobs?
Such modest faith in U.S. Senators was dashed yesterday by the Senate Judiciary Committee in a first hearing of its immigration panel.
Senators made it clear that they are hopeful that the American people will let them pass the amnesty this year that was blocked in 2007.
And the Senators made it clear that the only thing that will stop the Senate from passing an amnesty for illegal foreign workers this year is if regular citizens like you mount immediate and sustained protests.
They said they really think Americans have become resigned to an amnesty.
Perhaps the saddest part of the hearing yesterday was that the Senators didn't even acknowledge that 13 million unemployed U.S. workers should be part of the consideration of what to do about immigration.
All but one of the witnesses spoke of immigration without any reference to America's jobless.
We could have expected as much from the new immigration chairman -- Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). He helped pass the first amnesty in 1986 and has never stopped working against the interests of vulnerable U.S. workers.
But especially disheartening was the mostly agreement from the ranking Republican on the immigration panel, Sen. Cornyn of Texas. He and Schumer said they are agreed on most aspects of what needs to be done. Cornyn is a constantly frustrating figure. His immigration grade is pretty good because the citizens of Texas pound him before every vote and generally get him to do the right thing. But in between he gives all sorts of comfort to the enemies of American workers and communities.
What every Senator needs to hear is that it would be politically stupid and morally bankrupt for the Senate to even consider giving permanent work permits to 8 million illegal foreign workers this year while 13 million jobless American workers would like to have their jobs.
Schumer named his hearing: "Comprehensive Immigration Reform in 2009, Can We Do It and How?"
It revealed that he has no interest in whether it would be a good idea or what the effects would be. No, the title says that Schumer sees this as just another of his political conquests. Huge special interests want this amnesty and Schumer is going to find out how he can pass it.
The hearing was a depressing spectacle: a labor leader with no regard for unemployed U.S. workers; a religious leader with no regard for obedience to the law or for suffering unemployed American families; a black civil rights leader with no regard for the incredible unemployment suffered by black Americans because of skyrocketed immigration numbers; a business leader with no regard for all the businesses in dire straits because of competitors who break immigration laws.
It was if Schumer wanted to make sure that everybody knows that the elite leaders of every segment of America have utter disdain for the common members of their constituencies.
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA
Updated: Fri, May 1st 2009 @ 11:24am EDT