In the immediate aftermath of the 2018 midterm elections it is still difficult to weigh how much the balances of power have shifted on the immigration issues we all hold so dear. This is what we do know so far.
The Senate will be much improved for our goals of less immigration and more enforcement.
The House will be led by a party that has been almost fanatically committed to more immigration and less enforcement. However, a Democratic Speaker Pelosi will not likely be able to be any more harmful to our cause than Republican Speaker Ryan has been. And the Republican conference will be rid of a bunch of expansionists, while the Democratic conference will have to contend with many new Members who indicated to their voters that they would be more moderate than their party.
We will have much more detailed analysis for you later once all the races are settled. Here are my intial thoughts.
Here is what I sent to the media late Tuesday night:
The American people voted out of office a large number of low-enforcement, high-immigration politicians of both parties who earned an "F" grade from NumbersUSA.
This included the defeat of four more Senators who supported the Gang of Eight Amnesty, while other Gang of Eight Senators retired and were replaced by pro-enforcement, less-immigration victors.
We look forward to working with the newly elected Senators and Representatives to implement immigration policies that a lopsided majority of voters support -- less overall immigration, less foreign worker importation and mandatory E-Verify.
Since then, it looks like another Gang of Eighter has been defeated.
GANG OF EIGHT INCUMBENTS WHO VOTERS HAVE TURNED OUT OF OFFICE
Voters yesterday retired five Senators who voted for that Gang of Eight atrocity at the beginning of their terms that are ending next month:
Sen. Donnelly (D-Ind.)
Sen. Heitkamp (D-N.D.)
Sen. Heller (R-Nev.)
Sen. McCaskill (D-MO)
Sen. Nelson (D-Fla.)
In the 2014 and 2016 elections, seven other of the supporters of the Gang of Eight were tossed out of office by voters:
Sen. Ayotte (R-N.H.)
Sen. Begich (D-Alaska)
Sen. Hagan (D-N.C.)
Sen. Kirk (R-Ill.)
Sen. Landrieu (D-La.)
Sen. Pryor (D-Ark.)
Sen. Udall (D-Colo.)
I'm not suggesting that their 2013 "gang" votes against struggling American workers and communities are the cause of their defeats, but those votes certainly planted doubts in the minds of their constituents about whether they were more committed to the good of their states or to the special interests of cheap-labor businesses and their national party leadership.
In a series of tweets earlier tonight, I noted:
With disappointing immigration record, Sen. Donnelly (D-IN) loses to Mike Braun who ran as NumbersUSA "True Reformer" on all 12 pro-worker categories.
Ind. Sen. Donnelly loses after failing to live up to hopes that he'd be a pro-worker Dem on immigration issues. Eked out a C-minus immigration grade, acting against workers as much as for them.
When he had a chance to show the moderation he had displayed in the House, Sen. Donnelly (D-IN) voted for the gigantic Gang of 8 amnesty & foreign worker increase in 2013.
As the evening progressed, I sent out these tweets:
3 Dem. Senators who earned F-grades from NumbersUSA for consistently supporting more foreign workers and less immigration enforcement lost re-election to challengers who pledged a much different approach: Heitkamp (ND), McCaskill (MO), Nelson (FL)
Heitkamp (ND), McCaskill (MO), Nelson (FL) earned immigration F-grades over the last two Congresses (4 yrs) -- meaning they acted in nearly every instance for more foreign workers, more immigration-driven congestion & less enforcement.
Then in the wee hours of this morning, the Nevada race was called as a defeat for Sen. Heller who had been among the Republicans in 2013 who ensured that the Gang of Eight massive amnesty passed the Senate (although it was stopped in the House). Heller had a Career "F" on chain migration and unnecessary foreign workers. He had a Career "D" on refugee and asylum fraud and on amnesty.
Another F-grade Republican Senator who was a ring-leader in the Gang of Eight -- Jeff Flake (Ariz.) -- is retiring voluntarily after determining that he would not likely win the Primary this year. At this moment, it is uncertain if he will be replaced by Rep. McSally (Grade B-minus) or Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (F-minus).
A definite improvement will come from the victory of Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) to be the new Senator to replace retiring Sen. Corker. Grassroots opposition to the Gang of Eight amnesty appeared to be on the verge of blocking it back in 2013 when Sen. Corker put together a plan that garnered enough of his fellow Republicans to help the Democrats beat the filibuster against the amnesty.
SOME HOUSE ALLIES LOST WHILE MANY MORE HELD OFF VIGOROUS CHALLENGES
My colleagues will be providing you with circumstances that contributed to each of these losses of some A-grade Representatives, most notably Dave Brat (R-Va.) and Pete Sessions (R-Texas).
They'll also list many more A-grade Representatives that were in very competitive races but won.
NO MANDATE FOR IMMIGRATION EXPANSIONISM
Immigration scholar Prof. Roberto Suro wrote in the Washington Post that, if Democrats were to win control of the House, they would not be able to claim a mandate for expanding immigration because they did not campaign on it.
In races where Democrats replaced Republicans who had good pro-enforcement records, the Democrats were largely silent on immigration or even ran as pro-enforcement tough.
All of you who are in the districts of those new Democratic Representatives will have an important job to help the new Members see the importance of distancing themselves from the national party's expansionism and instead to model themselves off the more than 120 former Democratic Members who left Congress between 1996 and 2014 with NumbersUSA grades of A and B.
We'll have much more to tell you later. The races haven't been called in Montana or Arizona, though Senator Jon Tester (D-Mont.), another Gang of Eight vote, is trailing, and Rep. Martha McSally looks poised to take the Senate seat in Arizona.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) also announced this morning that he was challenging current Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy --an ally of outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan -- for leadership of the House Republicans. This will likely have implications for how Republicans approach immigration after the Democrats take over the House in January.
ROY BECK is Founder & President of NumbersUSA
Updated: Wed, Nov 21st 2018 @ 11:30am EST