Your outpouring of phone calls and faxes these past 12 days has pushed the expected NO votes to the point that we think if the vote were held today that we'd have the 41 votes needed to kill DREAM with a fillibuster.
Hooray for you!
But the opposition is changing the bill by softening some of its most egregious aspects. You have done such a good job of pointing out loopholes that the amnesty sponsors have introduced new versions of DREAM that::
- reduce the maximum age from 35 to 30 (still far too high)
- water down the section rewarding illegal aliens with in-state tuition
Of course, there are still the primary problems that this allows for millions more work permits (including the parents of these "kids") during a Jobs Depression while doing absolutely nothing to deter future illegal foreign workers from taking jobs here.
But we don't yet know how many of the Senators who currently are whipped as being NO votes -- as well as "Unannounced" Senators -- might switch to YES if the DREAM sponsors keep narrowing the amnesty.
The other side is using its vast war chest of funds to pay for special phoning campaigns pushing YES votes.
We desperately need your phone calls today.
And keep calling throughout Wednesday.
202-224-3121 is the Senate Switchboard.
'Undecideds' are the priority
We need at least 4 of these 14 to vote NO. (The amnesty folks have a steeper hill to climb and need 11 of the 14 to vote YES.) But because there are a few wish-washy Senators among our NO list, we should aim to get at least 7 of these Undecideds. Please help.
Although many of these seem like they are leaning NO or ought to be a NO vote, there has to be a reason why they have chosen to remain publicly Undecided. The reason is unlikely to be a good one.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski -- She goes back and forth on amnesties. Did her scare in almost losing her seat make her a little more attentive on this kind of thing? Too often in the past, she has seemed to trade her vote FOR open borders to get some kind of pork barrel for the state. Will she be different this time?
Sen. Sam Brownback -- He voted YES on the DREAM amnesty back in 2007. But he remains uncommited this time in public. He was just elected governor. Help him see that a YES vote now would immediately hurt his approval ratings.
Sen. Mary Landrieu -- She has generally voted with US, especially as she faced tough re-election in 2008. She falsely was reported last week as coming out as a YES. But why is she remaining Uncommitted?
Sen. Susan Collins -- She voted YES in 2007. But her statements this week lean toward NO. You have driven her to the brink of a good decision; help her do it right.
Sen. Olympia Snowe -- She voted YES in 2007. But she is up for re-election in 2012. She has seen some other ensconced high-seniority Republicans nearly lose or lose to Primary challengers this year. A vote for amnesty now could make her a real target. It is a good sign that she hasn't declared herself a YES yet.
Sen. Debbie Stabenow -- When she was coming up for re-election in 2006, she voted with us. But after winning, she voted YES on the DREAM Amnesty in 2007. Now, she is a Democrat coming up for another election in 2012 after big Republican gains in Michigan in the 2010 election. She is obviously conflicted and afraid to reveal either way. How does she tell Michigan's unemployed in 2012 that she voted to give millions more work permits to illegal aliens?
Sen. Claire McCaskill -- She voted NO in 2007 and has been one of the more reliable pro-enforcement votes among Democrats. Missouri swung strong toward Republicans in the 2010 elections. So, why is she holding back on announcing a NO now? She was one of the original co-sponsors of Harry Reid's placeholder amnesty bill in winter of 2009. She is very close to Pres. Obama. She is conflicted. Like others on this Undecided list, she probably hopes the vote doesn't occur so she doesn't have to anger either side of the issue.
Sen. Max Baucus -- He was one of the few Democrats who voted NO last time. He has indicated he is leaning NO.
Sen. Ben Nelson -- He has been one of our more reliable Democrats but he voted YES on the DREAM amnesty in 2007. He is facing huge battle for re-election in 2012. He has just come out with a statement indicating he is leaning NO, but it is ambiguous.
Sen. Kay Hagan -- Her statements indicate leaning NO, but they aren't clear enough.
Sen. Kent Conrad -- One of few Democrats to vote NO last time and is leaning NO now. Up for re-election in 2012.
Sen. Byron Dorgan -- Our most reliable Democrat who voted NO last time. But he is retiring and perhaps has different senses of obligation. Why hasn't he clearly put himself in the NO column this time?
Sen. Lindsey Graham -- One of the most pro-amnesty Republicans. But he has said amnesties have to be linked to tough new enforcement. South Carolinians have thought he was impossible to budge, but their constant complaints to him on immigration seem to have helped him step away from pushing for a blanket amnesty earlier this year. This is a very good sign that he isn't a clear YES. Here is a place you can move him to do the right thing.
Sen. Joe Manchin -- This Democrat is replacing the always-anti-amnesty Democratic Sen. Byrd. Manchin's statements indicate he is leaning NO. Time to get a commitment to what thre people of his state overwhelmingly want. He has never been through an open-borders fight before. It is extraordinarily important that he get a good taste of strong opposition in this round.
ROY BECK is Founder & CEO of NumbersUSA
Updated: Tue, Nov 23rd 2010 @ 9:55am EST